The weather has been perfect for the thriving of invasive plants this spring.
If you are looking for a way to quickly identify a new visitor, click over to the Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States at http://www.invasiveplantatlas.org/.
"Invasive alien plants threaten native species and habitats by competing for critical and often limited resources like sunlight, water, nutrients, soil and space. They succeed through vigorous growth, prolific reproductive capabilities and by causing changes that favor their growth and spread. Invasive plant species displace and alter native plant communities, impede forest regeneration and natural succession, change soil chemistry, alter hydrologic conditions, alter fire regimes, cause genetic changes in native plant relatives through hybridization and some serve as agents for the transmission of harmful plant pathogens.
The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States is a collaborative project between the National Park Service, the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The purpose of the Atlas is to assist users with identification, early detection, prevention, and management of invasive plants. The focus is on non-native invasive plant species impacting natural areas, excluding agricultural and other heavily developed and managed lands. Four main components are species information, images, distribution maps, and early detection reporting procedures. The Invasive Plant Atlas is one step in the effort to combat invasive species, preserve our natural landscapes and the native plants, animals, and other creatures that inhabit them."
The drought years were ideal for eradicating these foreign interlopers but with the mild temperatures and regular rainfall, they are back with a vengeance!