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Category #1 Invasive Exotic

FibberMckeeFibberMckee Posts: 12,826 AG
Introduced from Japan/India as an ornamental shrub, Coral berry has become a nuisance plant ranked as Category #1 Invasive Exotic. Ardisia crenata has shiny green leaves & bright red berries in Winter making it popular for Xmas. A single source like Walmart must have sold millions of knee high potted Coral berry, seeding vast acreages. Various animals eat the berries rapidly spreading the exotic. In North FL it grows rambunctiously w/o any help - Like a Weed. So much so that it can displace native plants & take over. Have seen suburban wood lots where ground cover is nearly half Coral berry. Own property that neighbors planted Coral berry next to 20-30 years ago. The invasive plant has been spreading in all directions. The original dozen or two potted shrubs have given rise to thousands & thousands of free Coral berries. Their invasion has reached out ~1000' - about half way across my land. Last Spring the State had a crew out, 4-6 Park vehicles daily, teams spraying & pulling Coral berry, for a couple of weeks.

Each Winter I pull out thousands of Coral berry & carefully to haul mature plants w/seed to be destroyed. Each year there are more & some are further out than ever before. It's impossible to get them all, the reseeding is accelerating, it is a losing battle. The North & West portions of lot are still free.

Neighbors either don't give a ****, still think they're pretty, or aren't motivated to do anything. The result is rapidly thickening & spreading beds of Coral berry next door.

New 'National Geographic' came. Has interesting article on Tumble weed. Having grown up w/Hollywood Westerns, never had a reason to think the iconic Tumbling Tumble Weed wasn't a native plant. Nope, another Invasive Exotic. From Russia, believed to be unknowingly introduced ~1874, via contaminated flax seed, near Scotland, SD.

Had friends out West who didn't like Tumble weed, but didn't realize how big a nuisance they'd become, or how far they'd spread. Haven't been out West since early 90's. Thought they were always there, where they were supposed to be, like the Cactus & Sage brush. Didn't know that when the Tumble weed is ready to tumble it's loaded w/seed & by snapping off to tumble in the wind the plant distributes its seed widely. Pic of highway workers removing Tumble weeds the size of small cars an eye opener.


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