Hateful hitch-hikers

!!urena-lobata-(2)
Ceasarweed or Caesar’s weed is yet another Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Category 1 invasive pest plant found at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. Its dime-sized, pink flowers appear to be tiny hibiscus flowers, and, indeed, this plant is a member of the Malavaceae (hibiscus) family. Note the not yet ripe fruits in the picture above.

!!Vertical-Peter-Sutherland-on-12-1-2005-w-urena-lobata-burs

Now note the ripe ‘hitch-hiker’ fruits festooning Peter Sutherland (Class of 2001), after an invasive plant workday in 2005. Tiny star-shaped sticky ‘spines’ grab onto anything soft, including animal hair and clothing. Relatively large and heavy, these ‘burrs’ are unlikely to be spread far by birds. Mammals, especially humans, are the dispersal agents on which this ‘camp-follower’ relies.

!!urena-lobata-burrs

Of Asia origin, this hitch-hiker thrives along the trails at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area and other places where humans go, seen below trying to overtake beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa).

!!urena-lobata-(9)

Its leaves are quite distinctive in shape, so, please pluck up seedlings if you see them. They pull out very easily and satisfactorily.

!!urena-lobata-more-(2)

Please be careful not spread this hateful hitch-hiker at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area or to other locations. Properly dispose of any hitch-hikers that attach themselves to you in the trash!

3 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s