|Huge patches of Ditttrichia graveolens, stinkwort, in Scotts Valley|
|Ken Moore attacking a large stand of Dittrichia graveolens - stinkwort. At this point in the year, cutting it off at the base should stop the plant growing. It's an annual.|
On an earlier trip, I found two huge patches of Dittrichia graveolens - stinkwort in the Glenwood area of Scotts Valley (thanks to a tip by a resident there via social media). They were going to seed and we had to do something about it.
|Dittrichia has small yellow flowers and Small seeds with pappi (hairs)|
On the exploratory trip, we found stinkwort along Glenwood Drive itself,
|Stinkwort flowering opposite Scotts Valley High School on Glenwood Drive|
|Stinkwort in Siltanen Park in Scotts Valley|
Once it flowers stinkwort will go to seed very quickly, even quicker after it's pulled and left lying on the ground.
But it only germinates in open sunny places, and Ken found a shady area where we could pile up the pulled plants. The seeds live for three years or so, maybe less. So - this is just the best we could do.
|Another volunteer, Chuck, piling plants in a shady area nearby.|
Chuck worked with a hand tool, and mostly so did Ken. The brush cutter overheated after just a few minutes.
|Chuck whacking with a sharp hand tool|
I and another volunteer, Jill, mostly pulled the cut weeds onto tarps and dragged them to the growing pile. It was hard work in very hot weather - it's been hot and dry all month.
But we prevailed!
It took four hours for four people to clear that one patch, and Ken, Chuck, and Jill returned today - I had propagation group to attend - and they finished off the rest.
But I did feel sorry for the tiny little field mice who were living in the stinkwort. As we felled the last plants, they scurried out looking for shelter.
|Wee sleekit cow'ring timorous beastie!|
It's worth the effort - or should I say, you'll really regret it if you don't make the effort - when you see the consequences of ignoring this blight. We may not be able to keep it off the freeway medians, but we can keep stinkwort out of our gardens and parks and wild areas.