About invasive plants

Invasive plants affect all Californians…

Invasive aquatic plants such as water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) clog waterways. Photo courtesy Adam Morrill, CA Dept. of Boating and Waterways

Invasive aquatic plants such as water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes) clog waterways. Photo courtesy Adam Morrill, CA Dept. of Boating and Waterways

 

…if you own a farm or ranch:

  • Invasive plants crowd out crops and rangeland forage. These invaders can be low in nutrition or even toxic to livestock. Invasion can cause land values to drop, and management is often costly. Nationwide, invasive weeds in pastures and farmland cost an estimated $33 billion per year.

 

…if you enjoy the outdoors and watching wildlife:

  • Invasive plants can blanket waterways, trails, and scenic landscapes, making boating, hiking and biking difficult, and lowering the land’s value for photography and wildlife viewing. Invasive plants can significantly degrade wildlife habitat. Nationally, invasive species are the second-greatest threat to endangered species, after habitat destruction.

 

…if you hunt or fish:

  • Invasive plants reduce habitat for game species. This stress on wildlife reduces hunting and fishing resources. Invasive aquatic plants form dense mats that restrict boat access and kill fish by reducing oxygen in the water.

 

…if you live in the city or suburbs:

  • Invasive ornamentals such as Scotch broom, pampasgrass, and eucalyptus increase fire fuel loads and are dangerous near homes. Plants like giant reed (Arundo donax) clog creeks throughout California, reducing their water-carrying capacity and increasing the danger of floods during winter storms.

 

…if you’re a public official:

  • Some invasive plants generate higher fuel loads than native plants. When these plants invade, wildfires can be more frequent and sometimes catastrophic. Towns and wildlands may need decades to recover from these dangerous, costly fires. Some invasive plants consume enormous quantities of water. This water is lost to wildlife, agriculture, and drinking supply, at a high price. And controlling invasive species is a top recommendation of climate resiliency plans.