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Home > Feature Articles > Landscaping

California fights noxious weeds

Weeds in Southern California are the responsiblity of all landscapers and gardeners. You can make a difference...and learn a lot in the process of protecting our natural resources.

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California's "Encycloweedia" has notes on Identification, Biology, and Management of Plants Defined as Noxious Weeds by California Law. There's a photo gallery as well as common names, scientific names and pest ratings...and more.

Many invasive plants are or have been sold in consumer nurseries -- and it is important that you plan your landscape and gardens carefully to avoid inadvertent contamination of your local ecosystem with noxious weeds.

Urban landscapes are as important as rural areas when it comes to reducing our invasive weed problem. Weeds anywhere create seeds that are distributed by the wind, water, birds and even our own boots and car tires.

There are so many beautiful and California-native and California-friendly plants to choose among -- you can make it a satisfying adventure to find great plants for your home and community by doing a little research first.Some plants may look beautiful, but they can have a devastating effect. Non-native invasive species are a threat to biodiversity in the United States. Unchecked, invasives lead to the destruction of natural areas, force native species into extinction and can cost millions of dollars in damage to agriculture and infrastructure.

A voluntary Code of Conduct has been written by the Center for Plant conservation. You might find it

A few of the worst noxious weeds in Southern California are:

Yellow Starthistle

Purple Loosestrife

Bull Thistle

Weedy Spurges

Mediterranean Sage

Southern California Desert Weeds...they're NOT wildflowers

No matter how beautiful a delicate blossom is...only native plants are our true "wildflowers". Weeds are not wildflowers and should be removed from your property. When they stray into wilderness areas, agricultural regions and even urban settings they create many maintenance and ecological problems such as poisons for local wildlife, crowding out of native plants that are necessary food sources, and dangers from seeds that can harm the digestive tracks of small wildlife.

The Southern Low Desert Resource Conservation & Development Council (SLR RC&D) is mounting an effort to rid the eastern portion of Southern California Desert of noxious weeds. In November 2005, they developed and signed an Memorandum of Understanding with over 20 stakeholders, including California Department of Food and Agriculture, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, and NRCS to form the Low Desert Weed Management Area (LD WMA).

They have received grants to fund planning activities and the publishing cost of a noxious weed brochure. The WMA has submitted its first major grant application for $100,000, to remove Tamarix. The new brochure “Low Desert Weed Management Area - Our Worst Weeds” highlights 14 of the most invasive weeds in the area.

Weed erradication really gets expensive. We can save on our taxes for the long term by reducing the spread of weeds in our own backyards!

Southern Low Desert RC&D,

53990 Enterprise Way, Suite 6-B, Coachella, CA 92236

South Coast RC&D

4500 Glenwood Dr. Riverside Ca 92501 To coordinate local interests, identify natural resources and related socioeconomic issues, develop solutions and implement projects ensuring a regionally sustainable quality environment within a stable economic base SOURCE: California Association of RC&D Councils

CARC&DC is an association of independent Resource Conservation and Development (RC&Ds) Councils and steering groups within California. Its members partner together to help forward CARC&DC's mission and to provide self help to the Association membership.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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