Tag Archive: Invasive

An Alternative to Invasive Ruellia

 

Individual Ruellia ‘Mayan Compact Purple’ flower. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

Avid horticulturists often get frustrated when attractive, floriferous, versatile, durable, and easy-to-grow plants get sidelined because they have been declared an invasive species. Ruellia simplex (commonly known as Mexican petunia) was declared a category 1 invasive in 2001 by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council, described as “a plant that is altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives” (Source: UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants).

It produces copious amounts of seed year-long, which do not require exposure to cold weather (stratification) or mechanical damage (scarification) to germinate. Its excellent garden characteristics such as prolific flower production, and adaptability to varying light, temperature and moisture levels also increase its invasive potential.

Fortunately, recent developments in the field of plant breeding have developed several sterile Ruellia cultivars that have demonstrated low invasive potential in field trials. UF / IFAS researchers have developed the MayanTM series, which includes four distinct new cultivars: ‘MayanTM White’, ‘MayanTM Pink’, ‘MayanTM White’ and’ MayanTM Compact Purple’. They are available to the public through various licensed nurseries.

Three month old plant of Ruellia ‘Mayan Compact Purple’ in full flower. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

This spring, UF/IFAS Extension agents were given the opportunity to try MayanTM Series Ruellia at their local offices. I opted to try the ‘MayanTM Compact Purple’ cultivar and so far it has been an excellent landscape plant. It is shorter than other Ruellia cultivars and has adequate branching throughout so as to not look leggy. It blooms regularly and flowers have a nice, purple hue. It does not mind full morning sun but benefits from afternoon shade, particularly during the hot summer months. So far, it seems like an excellent selection for plant borders or areas where a durable source of color is needed. Additionally, it produces no fruit and very little viable pollen, so it does not have potential to hybridize with naturalized Ruellia simplex populations.

Although this is a sterile selection, it can still multiply by rhizomes. While I have not observed any invasive behavior in ‘MayanTM Compact Purple’, I have just tested it in one location.

For more information consult this article from Florida Foundation Seed Producers and one from Hort Science on the ‘MayanTM Compact Purple’ cultivar.

Ruellia ‘Mayan Compact Purple’. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

Ruellia ‘Mayan Compact Purple’ Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/09/18/an-alternative-to-invasive-ruellia/

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop – September 28

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop – September 28

The Six Rivers Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) group and the Florida Forest Stewardship Program will offer an Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop on September 28, 2017; 9:00 am to 3:00 pm Central. This one day workshop will be held at the UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension Office, 3098 Airport Rd, Crestview, Florida 32539.  You are invited to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, privet and others. We’ll also address exotic insects that are causing, or will cause big headaches for forestry and natural resource professionals. Earn pesticide applicator CEUs and forestry CFEs and connect with partnership and assistance opportunities!

Cost is $ 10 per person, lunch and materials included. You can register online through the Eventbrite Registration site. You can also reserve a space by contacting UF/IFAS Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850 and pay at the event with cash or check, made  payable to the University of Florida. Approved for 4.0 Category 1 SAF CFEs. FDACS pesticide CEUs are still pending approval.

Cogongrass will take over native or cultivated vegetation, as can bee seen in this hay field. Photo credit: Doug Mayo

 

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Author: Libbie Johnson – libbiej@ufl.edu

Agriculture agent at UF IFAS Escambia County Extension.
http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/

Libbie Johnson

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/25/invasive-exotic-species-and-control-workshop-september-28/

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop

Invasive Exotic Species and Control Workshop

Join us to learn about identifying and controlling some of the most troublesome invasive exotic plants like cogongrass, Japanese climbing fern, privet, and others.  We will also address exotic insects that are causing, or will cause, big headaches for forestry and natural resource professionals.  Earn pesticide applicator CEU’s, forestry CEU’s and connect with partnership and assistance opportunities.

 

Presented by the Six Rivers CISMA and the Florida Forest Stewardship

September 28, 2017

9:00 – 3:00 CDT

Okaloosa County Extension Office

3098 Airport Rd.

Crestview FL 32539-7124

invasive_species17_six_rivers_announcement

Registration:

Japanese Climbing Fern can quickly cover natural vegetation. Spores and small plants can be potentially transported in pine straw. Climbing ferns are a problem for managed timber and home landscapes. Photo by L. Scott Jackson

$ 10 per person; lunch and materials included

http://fsp-workshop092817.eventbrite.com/

Or, call Okaloosa County Extension at (850) 689-5850

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Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/08/18/invasive-exotic-species-and-control-workshop/

NISAW 2017: National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Aliens are invading our forests, pastures, fields and lawns. Well, okay, not aliens but invasive species are invading our beautiful landscapes.  Invasive species are non-native or exotic species that do not naturally occur in an area, cause economic or environmental harm, or negatively impact human health.  These invasive species have become the number one threat to biodiversity on protected lands.  However, invasive species do not know boundaries, and as a result, public, private lands, natural and man-made water bodies, and associated watersheds are affected.   National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is February 27-March 3, 2017.

It is estimated that Florida Agriculture loses $ 179 million annually from invasive pests (http://www.defenders.org/sites/default/files/publications/florida.pdf). Generally, eradication of an invasive species is difficult and expensive.  Most of the mitigation efforts focus on control rather than eradication.

EDDMaps (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System), a web-based mapping system for reporting invasive species, currently has 667 different invasive plants reported in Florida. Many invasive insects, animals and diseases have also landed in Florida.  Some famous invasive species in Florida include cogongrass, wild hogs, red imported fire ants, Chinese tallow, and lionfish.

For National Invasive Species Awareness Week, the University of Florida IFAS Northwest Extension District will highlight new invasive species each day. There are a couple of ways to receive this information during NISAW:

You can help us control invasive species in several ways. First, always be cautious when bringing plants or plant materials into the state.  Plants or even dead plant material can harbor weeds, insects and diseases that can become invasive in our state.  Second, when you see something suspicious, contact your local extension agent for help identifying the weed, insect or disease.  Third, you can volunteer your time and effort.  Invasive species control is difficult and requires a cooperative effort for funding and manpower.  The state has several Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) in which public and private organizations work together to control invasive species in their area.  These CISMAs hold work days in which volunteers can help remove invasive species from the environment.

For more information about NISAW or invasive species, contact your local county extension agent.

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Author: Jennifer Bearden – bearden@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/02/27/nisaw-2017-national-invasive-species-awareness-week/

Skunkvine – A Stinky Invasive Plant

Skunkvine – A Stinky Invasive Plant

Skunkvine illustration. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

Skunkvine illustration. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants.

North Florida gardeners have many non-native, invasive plants to deal with, but none quite as stinky as skunkvine (Paederia foetida). As the name implies, skunkvine has a noticeable smell, especially when the leaves are crushed, and it is an aggressive-growing vine, capable of smothering desirable landscape plants. Gardeners should learn to recognize and control this plant before it gets a foothold in the garden.

Skunkvine is native to eastern and southern Asia and a member of the coffee family (Rubiaceae). It was introduced to Florida prior to 1897 as a potential fiber crop, but quickly spread and is now considered a Category I invasive plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) and as a noxious weed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences (FDACS).

Skunkvine can be identified by the following characteristics:

  • Aggressive twining vine
  • Leaves are opposite each other
  • There is a thin flap of tissue on the stem between the leaves
  • Leaves have a strong skunk-like odor when crushed
  • Clusters of small, tubular, lilac-colored flowers appear in late summer to fall
  • Fruits are shiny brown and can persist through winter

 

Skunkvine flowering. Photo by Ben Ferrin (UF/IFAS).

Skunkvine flowering. Photo by Ken Ferrin, UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Used with permission.

 

Once you have identified skunkvine in your garden, the next step is to work to remove it. For small patches, pulling by hand can be effective but will require monitoring to ensure it doesn’t resprout. When hand pulling, you want to be sure to get as much of the root as possible. For larger areas, chemical control using herbicide products that contain triclopyr, imazapic, or aminopyralid are most effective. Carefully reading the product label will help determine which product to purchase.

Since skunkvine can be easily spread by seed and fragments of stem, care must be taken when disposing of it. The best solution is to place plant debris into a trash bag and dispose of it with your regular household garbage.

By knowing how to identify and manage skunkvine, north Florida gardeners can keep it from stinking up their own gardens, their neighbor’s gardens, and surrounding natural areas that support our native wildlife.

 

References:

Langeland, K. A., Stocker, R. K., and Brazis, D. M. 2013. Natural Area Weeds: Skunkvine (Paederia foetida). Agronomy Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. EDIS document SS-AGR-80.

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Author: Mark Tancig – tancig00@ufl.edu

Mark Tancig

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/08/20/skunkvine-a-stinky-invasive-plant/

Native vs. Invasive Plants

Native vs. Invasive Plants

 

CrossvineAccording to the Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants, there are more than 4,200 plant species naturally occurring in the state.  Nearly 3,000 are considered native.  The Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) defines native plants as “those species occurring within the state boundaries prior to European contact, according to the best available scientific and historical documentation.”  In other words, the plants that grew in natural habitats that existed prior to development.Dogwood seed

Native plants evolved in their own ecological niches. They are suited to the local climate and can survive without fertilization, irrigation or cold protection.  Because a single native plant species usually does not dominate an area, there is biodiversity.  Native plants and wildlife evolved together in communities, so they complement each other’s needs.  Florida ranks 7th among all 50 states in biodiversity for number of species of vertebrates and plants.  Deer browse on native vines like Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), Trumpet Creeper (Campsis saw-palmetto-palm-tree-pictureradicans), Yellow Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) and Trumpet Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens).   The seeds and berries of Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) and Dahoon holly (Ilex cassine) provide vital food for songbirds, both local and migratory.  Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) provides cover for numerous birds and small mammals, as well as, reptiles.

Non-native plants become “naturalized” if they establish self-sustaining populations. Nearly one-third of the plants currently growing wild in Florida are not native.  Privet berriesWhile these plant species from other parts of the world may provide some of the resources needed by native wildlife, it comes at a cost to the habitat.  These exotic plants can become “invasive”, meaning they displace native plants and change the diverse population into a monoculture of one species.  Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense), Popcorn trees (Triadica sebifera) and Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) have Cogongrassfloweringimagechanged the landscape of Florida over the past decade.  While Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) and Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) have change water flow in many rivers and lakes.  These invasive species cost millions of taxpayer dollars to control.waterhyacinth4

By choosing to use native plants and removing non-native invasive plants, individuals can reduce the disruptions to natural areas, improve wildlife habitat and maintain Florida’s biodiversity.

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Author: Sheila Dunning – sdunning@ufl.edu


http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu

Sheila Dunning

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/03/22/native-vs-invasive-plants/

February 21-27 Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 21-27 Invasive Species Awareness Week

Cogongrass flowering in Crestview in February.  Photo by Jennifer Bearden

Cogongrass flowering in Crestview in February. Photo by Jennifer Bearden

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is February 21-27, 2016.  This week is dedicated to focusing the nation on the impacts of Invasive species.  Non-native, exotic, invasive species do not naturally occur in an area.  They cause economic and environmental harm, and can negatively impact human health. These invasive species have become the number one threat to biodiversity on protected lands.  However, invasive species do not respect boundaries, and as a result, public lands, private lands, natural and man-made water bodies, and associated wetlands and watersheds are all affected.

It is estimated that Florida Agriculture loses $ 179 million annually from invasive pests (http://www.defenders.org/sites/default/files/publications/florida.pdf). Generally, eradication of an invasive species is difficult and expensive.  Most of the mitigation efforts focus on maintenance control rather than eradication.

EDDMaps (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System), a web-based mapping system for reporting invasive species, currently has 667 different invasive plants reported in Florida. Many invasive insects, animals and diseases have also landed in Florida.  Some famous invasive species in Florida include cogongrass, wild hogs, red imported fire ants, Chinese tallow, and lionfish.

For National Invasive Species Awareness Week, the University of Florida IFAS Northwest Extension District will highlight two invasive species each day. There are a couple of ways to receive this information every day of NISAW:

You can help control invasive species in several ways. First, always be cautious when bringing plants or plant materials into the state.  Plants or even dead plant material can harbor weeds, insects, and diseases that can become invasive in our state.  Second, when you see something suspicious, contact your local extension agent for help identifying the weed, insect, or disease.  Third, you can volunteer your time and effort.  Invasive species control is difficult and requires a cooperative effort for funding and manpower.  The state has several Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) in which public and private organizations work together to control invasive species in their area.  These CISMAs hold work days in which volunteers can help remove invasive species from the environment.

For more information about NISAW or invasive species, contact your local county extension agent or explore the following online resources:

 

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Author: Jennifer Bearden – bearden@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/12/february-21-27-invasive-species-awareness-week/

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2016

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2016

NISAW 2016Invasive species are non-native or exotic species that do not naturally occur in an area, cause economic or environmental harm, or negatively impact human health. These invasive species have become the number one threat to biodiversity on protected lands.  However, invasive species do not know boundaries, and as a result, public, private lands, natural and man-made water bodies, and associated watersheds are affected.   National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is February 21-27, 2016.

It is estimated that Florida Agriculture loses $ 179 million annually from invasive pests (http://www.defenders.org/sites/default/files/publications/florida.pdf). Generally, eradication of an invasive species is difficult and expensive.  Most of the mitigation efforts focus on control rather than eradication.

EDDMaps (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System), a web-based mapping system for reporting invasive species, currently has 667 different invasive plants reported in Florida. Many invasive insects, animals and diseases have also landed in Florida.  Some famous invasive species in Florida include cogongrass, wild hogs, red imported fire ants, Chinese tallow, and lionfish.

For National Invasive Species Awareness Week, the University of Florida IFAS Northwest Extension District will highlight two invasive species each day. There are a couple of ways to receive this information each day of NISAW:

You can help us control invasive species in several ways. First, always be cautious when bringing plants or plant materials into the state.  Plants or even dead plant material can harbor weeds, insects and diseases that can become invasive in our state.  Second, when you see something suspicious, contact your local extension agent for help identifying the weed, insect or disease.  Third, you can volunteer your time and effort.  Invasive species control is difficult and requires a cooperative effort for funding and manpower.  The state has several Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMA) in which public and private organizations work together to control invasive species in their area.  These CISMAs hold work days in which volunteers can help remove invasive species from the environment.

For more information about NISAW or invasive species, contact your local county extension agent.

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Author: Jennifer Bearden – bearden@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/02/12/national-invasive-species-awareness-week-2016/

Panhandle Invasive Species Workshop Thursday October 15th

Panhandle Invasive Species Workshop Thursday October 15th

invasive

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/10/03/panhandle-invasive-species-workshop-thursday-october-15th/

Invasive Species of the Day: Cogongrass and Tawny Crazy Ant

Invasive Species of the Day: Cogongrass and	Tawny Crazy Ant

NISAW-logo09[1]

Cogongrass (Imperata Cylindrica):

Cogongrass Photo Credit: Chris Evans, Illionois Wildlife Action Plan, www.bugwood.org

Cogongrass Photo Credit: Chris Evans, Illionois Wildlife Action Plan, www.bugwood.org

Cogongrass is one of the 10 worst weeds in the world.  This grass is an aggressive grower and forms colonies causing loss of productive forest areas, severe degradation of habitat, and economic issues.  Since its introduction in the 1900s, Cogongrass has spread to most of the counties in Florida.  Reproduction occurs through seed production and the creeping rhizome system.  This plant is prolific once established with the creation of a very dense rhizome system that retains water and releasing of allelopathic chemicals reducing competition from other plants.

Cogongrass is yellow/green in color with an off-set midrib and a fluffy white seed head. Cogongrass is drought and shade tolerant. Once this grass invades, it will quickly displace the native species and requires frequent and intensive controls.

Early detection is best since a small infestation is easier and cheaper to treat. The larger infestations become more time intensive, expensive, and difficult. There are treatment options for these infestations, make sure that specific instructions are followed and treatment is repeated.

For more information on the biology of this plant and various treatment options visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wg202. Also, by contacting your local UF/IFAS Extension office for assistance and information.

 

Cogongrass is a fire-adapted species, thriving where fire is a regular occurrence. In fact, the threat of wildfires greatly increases with the presence of cogongrass, a non-native invasive species. Cogongrass fires burn hotter and faster than native grass fires. This footage, shot in Baldwin County, Alabama, demonstrates how destructive a cogongrass fire can be to native vegetation.

Tawny Crazy Ant (Nylanderia  fulva):

Cleaning up large piles of dead ants are a daily cleanup chore for this homeowner. Photo: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS Extension Okeechobee County

Cleaning up large piles of dead ants are a daily cleanup chore for this homeowner. Photo: Dan Culbert, UF/IFAS Extension Okeechobee County

Nylanderia fulva is part of the group of ants called “crazy ants” due to their erratic and quick movements.  These ants are medium to small and goldish brown to reddish brown in color.  The Tawny Crazy Ants nest in large numbers in leaf litter, soil, rotten logs, under potted plants and along underground electrical conduits.

Nylanderia fulva is a nuisance to humans.  They infest gardens, sidewalks and other areas of human traffic.  They cause damage to electrical lines.  They also displace other native ant species due to their large colony size.

This ant, Nylanderia fulva, has been confused with several other ants such as the Nylanderia pubens and Nylanderia guatemalensis.

Controlling the bug population in your garden and around your home will help decrease the likelihood of Tawny Crazy Ants invading.  Avoid transporting plant material, mulches and such to uninfested areas.  Granular baits can be used to control smaller populations but large populations will probably need a professional pest control service.

The Tawny Crazy Ant was a Featured Creature by UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology.  Also, the UF/IFAS School IPM has some good information about controlling Tawny Crazy Ant.

Download a Coloring and Activity Book at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN94200.pdf

Download a Coloring and Activity Book at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN94200.pdf

For more information, contact the author Jennifer Bearden, UF/IFAS Extension Okaloosa County Agriculture Agent 850-689-5850

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Author: Jennifer Bearden – bearden@ufl.edu

Agriculture Agent Okaloosa County

Jennifer Bearden

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/01/invasive-species-of-the-day-cogongrass-and-tawny-crazy-ant/

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