LLELA’s biggest management challenge is the control of exotic plant and animal species. Without blinking an eye, any LLELA staff member can name at least 20 invasive species present on the property. Left unchecked, these undesirable species expand rapidly, shouldering out native species 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 left unchecked will mat the ground and climb young trees, strangling them as it reaches for the sunlight. In our wetlands, parrot feather will shove aside all other plants and completely cover the bottom if given an undisturbed summer.
A variety of techniques is 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 sold in local greenhouses 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’s Most [UN]Wanted
Double click one of the plant names below for a photo and more information.