Thursday, September 2, 2010

Invasive Plants on the Prowl!

During the drier months the staff at RSCF tries to go out and tackle some invasive plants and nuisance weeds. It may be the hottest time of year, but it's the easiest time to be able to get into certain areas without being flooded down with water.

One of the biggest weeds we tackle is Cesar's weed. It is native, however when it starts blooming it can shoot out to higher than 6 feet and take over the landscape. In the beginning of the following video we have our intern, Neil, hacking some pesky weeds down.

Lead keeper, Rose, gives a little synopsis on Brazilian pepper. An invasive plant sometimes confused with native holly. This species of tree produces a dense canopy that shades native plants from access to the sun. They are usually found in warmer climates and do not fare well in cold regions.

Finally, David shows us a little sneak peek on the invasive plant Ligodium. This vine usually starts at the base of a tree and begins growing upward. Without being tackled it will grow out towards nearby plants strangling them and stealing all their nutrients.

The best way to kill invasive species is by pulling them out, making sure to get the root. Hang them somewhere upside down so the roots cannot reach soil and regrow. However, with Ligodium, since it becomes such a tight knit knot of a vine, it's best to spray it with herbicide.

Make sure to check out which invasive plants may be in your backyard that you can maintain and prevent from spreading. Let's try to keep Florida's plant and wildlife as native as possible!!


Loret said...

Caesarweed (Urena lobata) is not native according to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants by the Institute of Systematic Botany.

I noticed this past week it is returning in my yard so I'll be out pulling away....and I encouraged fellow members of my local Native Plant Society Chapter to do the same.

Loret said...

I should have written that Caesarweed is not native to Florida.

You are in Florida, correct?