Desert Knapweed Containment
Volutaria tubuliflora, or desert knapweed, is a plant from north Africa that has recently been found in California. These are the only known sites in North America. There are two small sites on the coast in San Diego County and Orange County, and a major infestation in Borrego Springs, 50 miles inland in the Sonoran Desert. This infestation has spread over 15 square miles, and range modeling shows that desert knapweed would find suitable conditions across the American Southwest. In the 2016 superbloom, partners mapped and removed populations across the area during the January to April growing season. Multiple visits to each site were necessary since germination is spread out over the season, and the goal is to keep it from spreading more seed. Seed trials are underway to determine their capacity for dormancy to help determine the duration of effort that will be required, but we estimate at least a decade.
Plants being managed
LocationBorrego Springs, Chula Vista and Newport Bay
Desert wildflowers, habitat for flat-tail horned lizard.
Our eventual goal is eradication, but our near-term goal is containment.
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
- Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Museum
- University of California, Cooperative Extension
- Steele Burnand Anza Borrego Desert Research Center
- County of San Diego Agricultural Commissioner
- California Dept. of Food & Agriculture
- Irvine Ranch Conservancy
- Orange County Chapter, California Native Plant Society
- Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area
- The Sahara Mustard & Volutaria Weed Eradication Task Force