Some people might be saying, "Ugh, not invasive plants again!" It is a topic some of us hear about over and over, but I think it is a topic that can't be talked about enough. As much as it is discussed, I am occassionally surprised to find someone who doesn't know what phragmities is for example. Invasive plants are a problem that affects plant life, wildlife, and stormwater facilities. The need for education on invasives is still out there and Crooked River Cooperative Weed Management Area and EDDMapS have come up with quick and easy ways to help.
The problem with invasive plants is that they are not a native plant to a region and have no indigenous diseases or pests to keep them in check. As a result, they continue to grow and poliferate, out-completing native plants and creating a monoculture. This monoculture reduces the biodiversity of native plants, insects, and wildlife that are beneficial to the environment. Invasive species such as narrow leaved cattail, hybrid cattail, and phragmities (common reed) will quickly take over a stormwater basin, drainage swale, or bioretention cell. This results in a reduction in the volume of stormwater that the facility can hold and can clog the inlet and outlet structures. This can then result in flooding adjacent to or upstream of the stormwater facility. This also means that the property owner and municipality are not meeting their Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) requirements.
Here's how you can Join the War On Invasive Weeds!
Crooked River Cooperative Weed Management Area has put together a great guide on their 10 most (un)wanted invasive species.
- Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
- Hybrid Cattail (Typha x. glauca)
- Narrow Leaved Cattail (Typha angustifolia)
- Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)
- Eurasian Honeysuckle (Lonicera sp.)
- Glossy Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)
- Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
- Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
- Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
- Winged Burning Bush (Euonymous alata)
This guide teaches you identification, control methods, a month-to-month schedule on when to treat, and their 4 Steps To Winning the War (Prevent, Detect, Report, Control). You can find a PDF of the brochure here, you can contact our office at 216-524-6580 for a copy of the brocure, or contact Crooked River Cooperative Weed Managament Area.
In addition to the brochure, Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System Midwest (EDDMapS Midwest) has designed an app that allows you access species information and photographs and allows you to report what species you have found and where. This allows professionals to verify the sightings and notify natural resourch managers so that they can take the appropriate actions to control the invasive species in your area. You can report your findings via the website or by using the app on your smartphone or tablet. The app is available for download at the bottom of their homepage.
Happy invasive species hunting and don't forget, everything is connected and everything we do affects something else be it near or far, small or large.
For more information on other invasive species you can check the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.
Blog author: Kelly Parker, Urban Conservationist