Monday, Feb. 06, 2023
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Invasive Plants

Throughout Madera County, destructive, non-native plants have permanently taken over hundreds of thousands of acres of formerly productive agricultural and wildlands to the detriment of ecosystems and economies depending on this land. Although many non-native or invasive plants exist in Madera County without causing harm, some are so invasive that they can spread across landscapes, replacing desirable plants with acres of nothing but noxious weeds.

Invasive plants are often, either accidentally or on purpose, imported by individuals, their animals, their vehicles, or by hay/straw or gravel deliveries. Without the natural competitors, predators, and/or pathogens that provide a normal control in their country of origin, they cannot be kept in check.

Some examples of these plants include:

  • Spotted knapwee puts out a poison that kills neighboring plants, allowing it to dominate the landscape at the expense of native phttps://www.maderacountywater.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Full-Purple-Brochure-Red.pdflants. It is bad forage for livestock and wildlife.  Once established, it does not hold the soil in place well, and soil erosion and increased runoff result.
  • Yellow starthirstle is poisonous to horses, causing “chewing disease.” It spreads rapidly.
  • Italian thistle crowds out native plants, reduce forage for livestock and wildlife; and because it is prickly and painful, degrades recreational areas.
  • Brooms exclude native plants and increase fire danger because they are extremely flammable.
  • Arundo donax consumes a huge amount of water and is a serious fire hazard.

For more information about Invasive/Non-Native Plants:

Top 10 Noxious Weeds & Invasive Non-native Plants of Mariposa, Madera, and Fresno Counties

Field Guide – to Invasive Non-Native Weeds of Mariposa, Madera, and Fresno Counties

Dangers of Arundo in Madera County

Yellow Starthistle