Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Step 1: Harvesting Invasive Plant Species

I'm so grateful for the positive feedback I've received on Foreshadowing and for the inquiries regarding the techniques I use. So over the next few weeks I'm going to post the step-by-step process involved in this project, starting with the harvesting of invasive plant species.

So far I've collected and experimented with five invasive plant species:
1- Dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
2- Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

3- phragmites australis Subsp. australis

4- reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea)

5- garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolate)

Of these five species, I am using three to make homemade paper: phragmites, reed canarygrass, and garlic mustard. I'll explain in a later post on making pulp why Dame's rocket and buckthorn didn't work.

It's imperative to know the best way to remove each plant in order to avoid spreading the seeds and causing further growth. Some plants also require a permit from the DNR for harvesting and transporting. The Michigan Natural Features Inventory is my go-to site for information on both invasive and native plant species in Michigan.

This summer I'm hoping to participate in/take advantage of organized invasive pulls at local nature preserves. I want to experiment with making paper out of Eurasian water milfoil, spotted knapweed, purple loosestrife, black and pale swallow-worts, narrow-leaf cattail, and any other herbaceous or aquatic invasive plant I can get my hands on. :) If you have these or other plants you'd like to donate to this project, please contact me!


  1. Excellent work and very beautiful!! I am the Land Stewardship Manager for Legacy Land Conservancy. A few of our staff people saw your work at this year's Stewardship Network conference, so I thought I would check it out. Making paper from all invasive material...way cool!!

    Legacy is interested in exploring ways we can partner with you and your work.

  2. Thank you for visiting this site and reading about the project. I would love to connect with you. You can email me at