Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Pretty? NO!

The Scotch broom pictured here is beautiful while blooming. But this exotic invasive is like standing gasoline during the summer & fall. See the list below of other invasive plants.

When Masanobu Fukuoka, author & guru of The One-Straw Revolution, visited the Northwest he remarked that we should spreed this plant around because it was such a good nitrogen fixer. Shows what carnage can be considered when you're out of your ecosystem.

California alone is home to 4,200 native plant species, and is recognized internationally as a "biodiversity hotspot." Approximately 1,800 non-native plants also grow in the wild in California. Here’s a short list of just some of the invasive plants in California alone. Data is from the
USDA. NAL. National Invasive Species Information Center.

It’s strange that this list does not include three major invasive plants: ice plant [Mesembryanthemum ssp.], pampas grass, [Cortaderia selloana], and Periwinkle [Vinca ssp.].

NOTE: "3:1 rule: For every year you delay controlling an invasive plant infestation, it will take three years to regain control."

Common Name ( Botanical Name)
Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia)

Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius)
Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera)
Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica)

Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)

Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)

Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)

Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum)

Fig Buttercup (Ranunculus ficaria)
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Hairy Whitetop (Lepidium appelianum)

Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

Japanese Stilt Grass (Microstegium vimineum)
Japanese World Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum) 

Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

Japanese Spiraea (Spiraea japonica)
Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)

Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae)

Mile-A-Minute Weed (Persicaria perfoliata)

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)

Old World Climbing Fern (Lygodium microphyllum) 

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
Purple Star Thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)

Quackgrass (Elymus repens)

Russian Knapweed (Rhaponticum repens)

Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.)

St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)

Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)

Whitetop (Lepidium draba)

Witchweed (Striga asiatica) 

Yellow Star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)

Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

As Good as Beans

The Ceanothus shrubs & trees (Ceanothus spp.) are just past their peak. But they have offered a glorious view. In the forest it is especially important to have the early colonizing trees because, while not being in the legume family, they fix nitrogen from the air into soluble nitrogen nodules on their roots—just like beans & peas.

Other non-leguminous nitrogen fixers include: Alder trees & shrubs (Alnus spp.), bayberry & sweet gale (Myrica spp.), & sweetfern (Comptonia peregrinal).


Let me know what you think. Visit my web site to learn about my new book on drip irrigation and other gardening books. Thanks, Robert