Apr. 23, 2018

spotted knapweed, Centaurea stoebe

Here's the rest of the story from Saturday's volunteer day at Ives Fen Preserve. We pulled garlic mustard and dame's rocket, and stuffed the plants in bags. Those were then taken to dry open upland areas that have been disturbed or depleted by gravel mining and farming. There is a significant population of invasive knapweed. Spotted knapweed has chemicals that leech into the soil and kill the native competition. Dumping organic matter prevents germination of the biennial knapweed, improves the soil, and encourages the return of the natives. The mustard plants won't grow in those areas. All in all, a good Saturday. Spotted knapweed is a Eurasian native that has now been reported from every state except AK, MS, OK, and TX, and from AB, BC, NB, NS, ON, QC, and YT. Ives Fen Preserve, Lenawee Co MI, 7/3/11.