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  • Niki Knox

The Invasive Stinknet

“Globe Chamomile” - These are NOT desert flowers


Stinknet (Oncosiphon piluliferum), also known as globe chamomile or globe daisy, is an invasive weed native to South Africa that has become a growing problem in the southwestern United States. It is an annual plant that typically grows up to two feet tall and has small, yellow flowers that resemble daisies.

Stinknet has a pungent odor that is often compared to that of a skunk or a mix of gasoline and sagebrush. The plant is highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of soil types and moisture conditions. It reproduces quickly and can swiftly outcompete native vegetation, reducing biodiversity and impacting wildlife.

Stinknet is a serious threat to the ecology of the regions it invades, and its spread should be controlled to prevent further damage.

Stinknet is bad for Arizona for several reasons:

  1. It is an invasive species: Stinknet is not native to Arizona or the southwestern United States. It was introduced from South Africa and has become a serious invasive species that has the potential to outcompete and displace native plants, reducing biodiversity.

  2. It is harmful to livestock: Stinknet is toxic to livestock, particularly cattle and horses, and can cause liver damage or even death if ingested in large quantities.

  3. It can trigger allergies: Stinknet produces a lot of pollen, which can trigger allergies and asthma in some people.

  4. It is a fire hazard: Stinknet is highly flammable and can increase the risk of wildfires in areas where it is present.

  5. It is difficult to control: Stinknet is a very aggressive plant that is difficult to control once it has established itself. It produces a lot of seeds that can remain viable in the soil for many years, making it hard to eradicate completely.

Getting rid of Stinknet can be a challenging task due to its ability to produce a large number of seeds that can remain viable in the soil for years. However, there are several methods that can be used to control its spread and reduce its impact, including:

  1. Hand pulling: Small infestations of Stinknet can be controlled by hand pulling. It is important to remove the entire plant, including the roots, and to dispose of it in a way that prevents seeds from spreading.

  2. Herbicides: Herbicides can be used to control larger infestations of Stinknet. Pre-emergent herbicides can be used to prevent seed germination, while post-emergent herbicides can be used to kill mature plants. However, the use of herbicides should be carefully controlled and should follow all safety precautions.

  3. Biological control: Biological control involves using natural enemies of Stinknet, such as insects or fungi, to control its spread. However, this method may not always be effective, and the release of biological control agents must be carefully monitored to prevent unintended consequences.

  4. Prevention: The best way to control Stinknet is to prevent its spread in the first place. This can be done by avoiding the introduction of Stinknet seeds into new areas and by controlling the movement of soil, hay, or other materials that may contain Stinknet seeds.

Overall, Stinknet is a serious threat to the ecology and economy of Arizona, and efforts should be made to control its spread and reduce its impact.




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