Archive for the ‘Invasive Plants’ Category

Giant Reed   Leave a comment

Giant Reed In The Tanque Verde Wash — Image by kenne

Giant reed is an invasive grass common to riparian areas, streams, and rivers throughout the Southwest.
It thrives in moist soils (moderately saline or freshwater), sand dunes, and wetland areas. 

Giant reed forms dense, monocultural stands and often crowds out native vegetation for soil moisture, nutrients, and space.
When dry, it is highly flammable and becomes a fire danger in riparian habitats unaccustomed to sustaining fire.
It uses far more water than native vegetation, thus disturbing the natural flood regime.

Shoots and stems grow rapidly (as much as 4 inches per day during spring), outpacing native plant growth.
Shallow parts of the root system along stream edges are susceptible to undercutting, which contributes to bank
collapse and spreading of reproductive parts downstream. Giant reed grows back quickly following a fire,
thereby increasing its dominance over native riparian species.

I spotted this growth out in the Tanque Verde wash while walking the trail near the wash the other morning.

— kenne

Source: Forest Service

 

Fountain Grass   Leave a comment

Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) In Sabino Canyon Recreation Area — Image by kenne

Fountain Grass is a perennial bunchgrass with attractive purple or green flowers. It is an ornamental plant that is still sold in nurseries. Although some nursery varieties are considered “sterile,” no varieties are recommended for planting and landscaping. Fountain grass is a close relative of buffelgrass, the most problematic invasive species in the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area. Fountain grass is present in much of the western United States and is a big problem invasive species in Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, and California. 

Fountain grass is a native of Africa. Fountain grass seed was first available in the US around 1880and has been cultivated as an ornamental plant in Tucson since 1940. Records document that fountain grass began establishing itself in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson as early as 1946. 

Fountain grass can form dense stands with several undesirable effects. It provides a large amount of fuel for hot fires that can destroy native plants and animals. It displaces native grasses, blocks the natural flow of water in washes, and alters animals’ habitat, particularly frogs and toads that are sensitive to such changes. Source: National Park Service

Sabino Creek — Ash From The Bighorn Fire   1 comment

Sabino Creek — Ash From The Bighorn Fire — Image by kenne

It happens that I get tired
of revolutionary cafes
and peacock poets
of narcissistic reflexives
and the songs of the deaf.

It happens that I am terrified
by this hardened generation
that rushes out in search of absolutes
fashions names and blasphemies,
doctrinizes on the pros and cons
of armed struggle,
and meditates, with a beer in its hand
and a sour cry on its lips
on the cadavers of others

Who are  we?
Those same parishioners perhaps
who come and go indifferent
along the streets
on the Day of the Dead
with our hands full
of death’s-head cakes
and our hearts in ashes.

— from Day of the Dead In June by Lucha Corpi

Water Hyacinth — World’s Worst Aquatic Plant   3 comments

The Invasive Water Hyacinth Blooming on Lake Houston — Images by kenne

These beautiful blossoms photographed near the water’s edge on Lake Houston belong to the water hyacinth, one of the most productive plants on earth and is considered the world’s worst aquatic plant. By forming a dense floating mat on the water surface, they interfere with navigation, recreation, irrigation, and power generation impeding water flow, creating good breeding conditions for mosquitoes.. These thick mats create low oxygen conditions beneath the water surface excluding native submersed and floating-leaved plants.  Water hyacinths can become a severe environmental and economic problem for gulf coast states and in many other areas of the world with a sub-tropical or tropical climate, rapidly spreading throughout inland and coastal freshwater bays, lakes, and marshes. 

kenne

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