One of LLELA’s biggest management challenges is the control of exotic plant species. Without blinking an eye, any LLELA staff member can produce a long list of invasive species present on the property. Left unchecked, these undesirable species expand rapidly, shouldering out native plants and wildlife and reducing habitat quality. In our prairies, uncontrolled King Ranch bluestem and Johnson grass will form large colonies, shading out rivals and lowering the diversity of plants available for wildlife. In our forests, Japanese honeysuckle and Chinese privet will choke out native understory plant species as they compete for water and sunlight.
A variety of techniques are used to control these species at LLELA, but the best method of all would be PREVENTION. Believe it or not, some of the most invasive plant species we have to contend with are still grown commercially or are included in wildflower seed mixes. Get to know these invaders. Protect wild areas by removing these species from your property when you find them, and inform your neighbors.
LLELA volunteers use a tool called a weed wrench to manually remove Chinese privet from a forested area.
LLELA’s Most [UN]Wanted
- Bull Thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
- Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
- Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense)
- Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera)
- Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
- Japanese Privet (Ligustrum japonicum)
- Johnson Grass (Sorghum halepense)
- King Ranch Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum)
- Nandina (Nandina domestica)
- Nodding Thistle (Carduus nutans)
- Parrot Feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum)
- Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa atropurpurea)
- Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
- Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis)