Although we do not seem to have garlic mustard here in So. Cal., we have many similar invasive weed problems. This video demonstrates what invasives can do, how, why and what we can do to combat them. Our efforts in the Nature Park to control castor bean and milk thistle are good examples. Next we may try to get a handle on the non-native mustards that paint the park yellow in spring.
The Nature Park was very pleasant on Saturday. Sugar bush, mulefat, wild cucumber, golden currant, and barberry were a few of the native plants in bloom. We saw two lupines and many California poppies getting ready for the spring wildflower display. The black sages by the entrance, along with buckwheat and bush sunflower, are doing well, and getting ready to bloom also.
milk thistle (if you see this, kill it!)
The weeds are abundant. Last year we focused on eliminating castor bean (Ricinus communis), and it is still nearly non-existent. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is mostly gone as well. The weed we are now focusing on eradicating is milk thistle (Silybum marianum) - shown above. If you see it, pull it out or just kick it over with your foot. We want to get rid of these seedlings before they flower and spread a great abundance of seeds in the spring. The plant grows to six feet tall. A couple of years ago a boyscout troop worked hard removing it. We now have to keep after the offspring!
Enjoy the rest of the pictures and do take some time from your busy schedules to walk around the park yourselves.
The South Pas Nature Park (officially The Arroyo Seco South Pasadena Woodland and Wildlife Park) is a small parcel along the Arroyo Seco graced with mature coast live oaks, southern walnuts and western sycamores. Planted with sage, buckwheat and other native coastal sage scrub plants the park provides an inviting environment for birds, lizards, squirrels and numerous other critters. Locals too enjoy walking, jogging and horseback riding through the park.
Friends of the Nature Park
In 2006 the Friends of the Nature Park was created as a community stewardship group for the park. Join us on Saturdays at the South Pas Nature Park on Pasadena Ave. to remove weeds and litter, and enjoy the park. Come for the whole time, for an hour, or just stop by to say hello! For more information contact Barbara Eisenstein.