Pretty Plants Create a Dangerous Threat

Columbia County’s The Chronicle recently published an article about the threat of invasive plants and shared some great insight from Crystlyn Bush, a Riparian Specialist with the Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District. Though this may not be new information to some of us, certain attractive plants or those that provide delicious fruit can be quite dangerous, posing a threat to biodiversity across the country. Specifically in our region, we have issues with Himalayan Blackberry, English Ivy, and Scotch Broom, among others. These plants arrived here by different methods; some came over inadvertently on ships with settlers, while others were intentionally introduced by people who weren’t aware of the long lasting impacts.

These plants not only affect biodiversity, but can have huge economic consequences. “The top 25 invasive plants are responsible for $83 million in costs to agriculture in the form of reduced production, the cost of controlling their spread, and degrading the native environment,” says Bush.

However, Bush gives us hope and a positive outlook on invasives: “There is not a bad plant, just a plant out of place.” While we may not be able to get rid of invasives entirely, we can attempt to keep them from spreading further.

Read the full article written by Morris Malakoff here.

To learn more about invasive plants in Oregon, check out the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Oregon Noxious Weed Profiles page.