Do not let wedelia go wild
Last week was National Invasive Species Awareness Week. What better time to take a look at one of our worst invasive plants? An invasive plant is a plant one that is not endemic to a particular region or ecosystem and is able to outcompete native vegetation and cause disruption to local habitats. A good example in Southwest Florida is wedelia. Originally introduced into the United States as an ornamental plant, it is a sprawling groundcover that can quickly blanket a wide area — and other plants — if permitted to thrive unchecked. It roots at nodes as the stems creep along the ground, and removal is difficult because it will resprout from any of the nodes if left behind. For this reason, mowing wedelia is not advised because its spread can be compounded when small chopped pieces spread into a larger area. Being in the Aster family, flowers are yellow and daisy-shaped and can be confused with the islands’ native dune sunflower. It is highly recommended to remove as much wedelia as possible from your property, though it may be a slow process that requires a healthy dose of patience.