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An invasive weed is out-competing native plants in Maricopa county and is heading down I-10

Posted at 3:51 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 20:59:46-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — An invasive weed is out-competing native plants in Maricopa county and is heading down I-10 into our area.

The Arizona Native Plants Society and Pima County are teaming up to stop the weed in its tracks.

But Stinknet has been found growing in one part of our area already.

Volunteers already pulled the weed out of the ground in this area off I-10 Prince months ago and now it's coming back thanks to our winter rains. They say this is a fight they don't want to lose. An invasive plant species from Africa is trying to take over the desert southwest.

“It's a problem in California, it’s a problem in all of Maricopa county, and it is coming down I-10 heading our direction,” Arizona Native Plant Society manager Jessie Byrd.

Byrd says to not let the little yellow flowers fool you. This noxious weed could spell death to many of our native plants.

“We don't want this plant in Tucson, because it will out compete all of our native plants. It is so prolific and so vigorous it will out compete our native plants.”

It goes by a few names.

“Stinknet is the name, oncosiphon piluliferum is its scientific name.”

Byrd says Stinknet is the most fitting name, and says a little foothold has been spotted sprouting up just off I-10 near prince.

“It does stink it has a peculiar strong odor and that helps identify it before it gets to the flowering stage.”

Byrd says the threat to our native plants is very real.

“All of the springtime wildflowers that we love so much it will out compete our gold poppies, it will out compete our desert-marigold it will out compete those beautiful little things that we love so much.”

She hopes they can get the word out before it is too late.

The Plant Society and Pima County will be offering a Stinknet identification class from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow and again next Thursday.

Take Prince road west of I-10 and turn north to get to the lot adjacent to the Inland Kenworth business property.