>The Carolina parakeet's habitat is reported as being the cane understory
("canebrake") that was common in the southern states before it was
"settled" by Europeans.  The cane still grows is small clumps in the
south, and I'm wondering if anyone knows why it mostly disappeared.  Wild
hogs?  It was certainly cleared for farming, of course, but there were
many areas that were never cleared and others that have returned to native

Oh no.  I thought it disappeared because people cut it down.   That isn't
I'm told that it is one of those plants that seldom flowers, then once
every umpteen years, a large group will flower, then die.   Maybe after
some clumps died, they weren't replaced by new clumps?
This cane actually grows as far north as southern Illinois, but it's not
very impressive there, just stalks under high trees.

That flowering delay seems consistent with many types of bamboo, Liz, and
it causes havoc among those animals that live in bamboo stands.  Pandas are
an example, and a community of birds in some areas of the neotropics.  In
the latter area individual stands of bamboo periodically die off but others
remain, so there's a migration of birds from one to the other.  (Someone
correct me on this if I'm only giving anecdotal information.)  If that was
the case with the American canebrake, it would explain why it was so easy
to remove and never regenerated.  That said, however, one can still find
small stands of the cane here and there in small clumps.


Bruce Bartrug
Nobleboro, Maine, USA
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•The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but
because of those who look on and do nothing.  - Albert Einstein
•In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence
of our friends. -Martin Luther King

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