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Invasive vegetation

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This page will eventually list exotic vegetation that you should be wary of on your restoration site. In the mean time the website www.invasive.org is an excellent source for information on invasive species, flora and fauna. Here is a direct link to their exotic weeds list. Here is a link to the Federal noxious weed list

California and the west coast

  • Ice plant
    Ice Plant

In the early 1900s Ice Plant (C. edulis) was brought to California from South Africa to stabilize soil along railroad tracks and was later put to use by Caltrans for similar purposes. Thousands of acres were planted in California until the 1970s. It easily spreads by seed (hundreds per fruit) and from segmentation (any shoot segment can produce roots). Its succulent foliage, bright magenta or yellow flowers, and resistance to some harsh coastal climatic conditions (salt) have also made it a favoured garden plant. The Ice Plant was for several decades widely promoted as an ornamental plant, and it is still available at some nurseries. Ice Plant foliage can turn a vibrant red to yellow in color.

  • Pampas grass
Pampas Grass
Pampas Grass, is a tall grass native to southern South America that seeds prolifically, with each plant able to produce over 1 million seeds during its lifetime. Cortaderia selloana was introduced to Europe and North America as an ornamental grass, and, to a lesser extent, to provide food for grazing animals. The feathery flower head plumes, when dried, are widely used in flower arrangements and other ornamental displays.

  • Reed canary grass

Reed canary grass is an invasive species in wetlands, particularly in disturbed areas. When reed canarygrass invades a wetland, it suppresses native vegetation and reduces diversity. The grass propagates by seed and rhizome, and once established, is difficult to eradicate. Reed canary grass is still planted today as a hay crop or for forage and it is also used to provide fibers which find use in pulp and papermaking processes. I took the attached picture of the complete devastation of a wetland area by this species while surveying potential wetland restoration sites in Oregon.

Reed canary grass


Southeast United States

  • Kudzu

Kudzu is an invasive plant species that was introduced from Japan into the United States in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition, where it was promoted as a forage crop and an ornamental plant. It is a huge problem for the Southeast United States. Kudzu has naturalized into about 20,000 to 30,000 square kilometers (7,700–12,000 sq mi) of land in the United States and costs around $500 million annually in lost cropland and control costs.

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