Now that the Kick Pampass sheriffs have rounded up most of the Jubata plants in town, a new invasive has arrived to challenge the authorities. Dittricia graveolens (aka Stinkwort) is rapidly moving onto roadsides and pastures all around the Peninsula. Stinkwort is a short, yellow-flowered annual blooming in late Sept.-Oct.
Few plants have been spotted in La Honda or San Gregorio, but the Pampas team has turned its attention to identifying and removing Stinkwort before it gains a toehold in our area. One local horse pasture with a sizeable infestation is being tackled by the owner and our team this month, hopefully before the plants flower. Even now, the horses get sticky foliage on them causing issues with their hair.
A native of southern Europe, Stinkwort grows to about 3 ft. tall with sticky and aromatic foliage. These invasives take advantage of disturbed soils, roadsides, overgrazed pastures, drained wetlands, washouts, service line corridors, etc. Removal is quite easy either by cutting or pulling (in soft soil) or using a rogue hoe or pick axe. If cut or pulled before flowering, the plant can be composted in place and will not return the following year. Once buds have formed, all plants should be bagged since viable seeds will still develop from the pulled plants. The life of the seeds is about 2 years.
Be on the lookout, and either remove plants yourself, or report to the appropriate authorities (in this case, San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center firstname.lastname@example.org or 650 726-2499). As always, feel free to contact us for assistance in removal of Pampas, Jubata or Stinkwort on your property or volunteer to join our team. Our enthusiastic volunteers love seeing native plants have a chance to thrive in the San Gregorio watershed.
(Also published in The La Honda Voice, August 2018.)
Protecting the San Gregorio Watershed.