SF Bay Sea Lavender Control
Cal-IPC and partners prioritized Algerian sea lavender (Limonium ramossisimum) and European sea lavender (L. durisculum) as top priorities for removal to protect San Francisco Bay tidal marshes. These plants are found in several other locations along the California coast (for instance, Morro Bay, Carpenteria Marsh near Santa Barbara, and San Diego), and are a prime candidate for early eradication before they spread further. California’s salt marsh habitat is home to a unique assemblage of plants and wildlife, and much of this habitat has been lost to development. Few weed species can thrive in this habitat, but sea lavender is spreading aggressively so it is critical that we address it before it becomes too widespread to control. The effort in San Francisco Bay is aimed at full eradication if possible. However, each sea lavender plant can put out thousands of seeds that float, so we will have to gauge effectiveness as removal efforts progress. There are some fifty known locations around the Bay, many of them small. After our first two years, we have brought a dozen of the largest sites under management, representing 50% of the infestation by area. In years 3 and 4 we plan to expand our reach to bring 90% of the area under management.
Plants being managed
LocationSan Francisco Bay tidal marshes Project map in Calflora
Tidal marsh habitat supporting endangered wildlife (Ridgeway’s rail, salt marsh harvest mouse), sensitive plants (salt marsh bird’s beak), and migratory waterfowl.
Cal-IPC and partners are aiming for full eradication of invasive sea lavender from San Francisco Bay. This will likely take a decade or longer. Though the total area infested is only 16 net acres, this is spread out over 55 sites around the bay, and each plant can produce thousands of seeds. To date, control has been started on half of all non-native Limonium in the bay.
- Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge
- Eden Landing State Ecological Reserve
- San Francisco State University, Dept. of Biology
- Marin Audubon Society
- San Francisco International Airport
- County of San Mateo, Public Works Dept.
- Save the Bay
- Aquatic Environments, Inc.
- Olofson Environmental, Inc.