A LESSON ABOUT INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES

A LESSON ABOUT INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES

The price of freedom from the insidious desert invader, the Sahara mustard plant, is eternal vigilance. That’s one thing reporter Dan Stork learned at the recent Morongo Basin Conservation Association’s annual meeting…

Sahara Mustard, up close and personal.

Sahara Mustard, up close and personal.

 

London Rocket, --" tastes like arugula"

London Rocket, –” tastes like arugula”

Morongo Basin Conservation Association directors Pat Flanagan and Deborah Bollinger did some show-and-tell of undesirable desert visitors at the Association’s annual meeting. Flanagan pointed out the dark green color and hairy leaves of the Sahara mustard.  She said it’s an annual plant that germinates early, getting a jump on native plants, and crowding them out. Bollinger displayed a huge specimen she had picked that morning, and said that a single plant can have 9000 seeds. Flanagan advised mustard-fighters to pull the plants out by the roots, and to separate the flowers and seeds and put them in black plastic bags to prevent them from getting back in the environment. Event coordinator Claudia Sall said that the annual Hold-the-Mustard event will be February 11. Flanagan also showed another invasive species, the London Rocket, of a bright green color.  She said that the tender leaves of the London Rocket are edible, and can be used like arugula. I tried one during a break—pretty tasty.

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