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The Nature of Things

A blog about nature and the environment

They’re everywhere


They look like some miniature Stars-Wars-villain spaceship: a somewhat triangular-shaped pod with three black spikes. Such are the seeds of Eurasian water chestnut. Eurasian water chestnut clogs parts of the Hudson River and is on the state’s most-wanted aquatic invasive-plant list. chestnut2.jpg

And the seed pods are seemingly everywhere, washed up on the river’s shore. I’ve seen oodles at Norrie Point and the ones in the photographs were in Beacon. In the shoreline photo below, look for the black pods among all the driftwood.

Betsy Blair, manager of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, said the plants were released in a garden pond near Schenectady in the late 19th century.


“They gradually made their way into the Mohawk River and down to the Hudson, making their appearance in the late 1930s or so. They now occupy about 2% of the river’s surface area, although you might think it’s more when viewing some of the larger patches of bright green floating vegetation during the growing season,” she wrote in an e-mail.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008 at 4:05 pm by Mike Risinit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Eurasian water chestnut, Hudson River, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, Invasive plants, invasive species



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The Nature of Things provides a chance to talk about the wild denizens that share the Lower Hudson Valley with us and the natural settings that make this place home for everyone. From Long Island Sound to the Hudson River to the Great Swamp and beyond, almost anything related to the environment is fair game in this blog.


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About the authors
SBenischekJournal News staff writer Greg Clary writes Earth Watch, reporting on environmental issues in the lower Hudson region. Clary has been a reporter, editor and columnist at the Journal News since 1988 and has covered police and courts, transportation, municipal government, development and the environment in the Lower Hudson Valley, among other topics.
Laura IncalcaterraLaura Incalcaterra covers the environment, open space and zoning and planning issues for The Journal News. A Boston College graduate, Laura grew up in Rockland, attended East Ramapo schools and has worked for The Journal News since 1993. Laura has written features and covered North Rockland, crime, government and a host of other issues.
SBenischekMike Risinit covers Patterson and Kent in Putnam County, as well as environmental topics touching on the Hudson River and the Great Swamp. Risinit has been a reporter at The Journal News since 1998.
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