For invasive plant management in the Sonoran Desert, buffelgrass is the archenemy. Over 90% of our invasive plant management efforts are directed against buffelgrass
NPS photo/Bethany Hontz
What's an Invasive Plant?
Native plants evolved as part of the ecosystem and have been part of our landscape since before the arrival of Europeans.They have adapted through natural selection to the soil, climate, and other plants and animals of the ecosystem. A non-native plant species is not native to an area and has usually been introduced by people.
Non-native plants are considered invasive when they are known to displace native plant species. Invasive, non-native species can be harmful or destructive to native plant and animal communities, as well as negatively impact local economies and human safety.
Invasive plants know no boundaries. They can affect native plants and wildlife, change the fire regime, endanger the ecosystem, make the park less attractive for visitors, and spread beyond park borders to adjacent land.
Whether they arrived by wind or water, bird or boots, invasive plants are a threat in . Saguaro National Park
The spread of buffelgrass is one of the largest threats to the well-being of the Sonoran Desert.
A close relative of buffelgrass, fountain grass is also found all over the park.
Though its flowers can be pretty, tamarisk is a risk to our ecosystem!
Grasses Agrostis stolonifera,
Cenchrus ciliaris (a.k.a. Pennisetum ciliare),
Cenchrus setaceus (a.k.a. Pennisetum setaceum),
soft feather pappus grass
rose Natal grass
annual rabbitsfoot grass
beardless rabbitsfoot grass
Schismus arabicus and S. barbatus,
Forbs Asphodelus fistulosus,
no common name in English, in Afrikaans it is wolbossie - tentative ID on potentially recent introduction
stinknet (a.k.a. globe chamomile)
prickly Russian thistle
Sonchus asper, S. oleraceus,
goathead (a.k.a. puncture vine)
Shrubs & Trees Leucophyllum frutescens,
Mexican palo verde
silver senna (a.k.a. feathery cassia)
Cacti Opuntia basilaris,
beavertail prickly pear
Opuntia engelmannii var. linguiformis,
cow's tongue prickly pear