Donate Index Calendar Nature Land Protection Stewardship Newsroom Contact

Invasive Plants & Animals

Giant Cane


Kern River Valley Invasive Species Information

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria - Kern River Valley Invasive Species Information

Perennial Pepperweed, Lepidium latifolium - Kern River Valley Invasive Species Information

Salt Cedar, Tamarix ramossisima - Kern River Valley Invasive Species Information

Kern County Fire Department Helps Audubon and Fish & Game with Invasive Weeds


CNPS Policy on Invasive Exotic Plants

Bureau of Land Management's Weeds Website

CalFlora -- expanded weed photos and mapping

California's Noxious Weeds -- a California Department of Food and Agriculture page

CalWeeds Database - weed control projects inventory

Cornell Report on the costs of exotics

InvasiveSpecies.Gov - The Nation's Invasive Species Information System

National Agricultural Pest Information System (NAPIS)

Weeds Gone Wild

Weed Research and Information Center -- UC Davis


Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
Silk tree (Albizia julibrissin)
Giant reed (Arundo donax)
Yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis)
Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium)
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum
Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum)
Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
Salt cedar (Tamarix species)
Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)
Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

General Educational

What the heck is an Invasive Plant? - Printable brochure - PDF (810 KB)


Staff and volunteers of the Kern River Preserve have spent over a decade fighting invasive species. These efforts have paid off with one of the most native forests in western North America.

Each year staff of the Kern River Preserve and partners spend many hours eradicating invasive weeds from South Fork Valley lands.

Each of us can help prevent the spread of invasive plants and animals. You can help by learning which species can become invasive and eradicate these from your own yards. Help to educate your local nurseries about the problem with invasives and get them to stop selling problem plants. Contact your legislator and local agriculture commissioner to make sure no invasives are sold or promoted in your county or town.

The article that follows is a tutorial on giant cane: one of a series of articles staff of the Kern River Preserve are preparing to educate about local invasives and some steps each of us can take to help eradicate them.

GIANT CANE (Arundo donax)

Arundo donax was introduced from the Mediterranean region of Europe to California in the 1820's for roofing material and erosion control. Additional plantings as an ornamental throughout the country have caused it to become naturalized along North America's fresh waterways.

Giant cane is in the grass family and can grow to 20 feet tall. While it superficially resembles bamboo, its stalks rarely exceed 1 inch in diameter. The pale green leaves are 1-2 inches wide.

This plant is very invasive. It displaces native vegetation and wildlife and is highly flammable so should be removed as soon as it is found. When fires happen, giant cane acts as a "ladder" with tall flames that spread to vegetation and buildings.

Spreading by its rhizomatous roots rather than from seed, giant reed is not easy to remove or control once established. One method of control is to smother it with a tarp. Cut and remove all stems, then cover the entire area with a heavy, light excluding tarp throughout the entire year. This works by not allowing the plant to photosynthesize. Another method done by licensed pesticide applicators is to cut down tall mature plants and remove stalks. When emerging giant reed shoots reach 2-4 feet in height and then spray with the appropriate chemical.

Ecologists have determined that the cut, regrow and spray technique is a cost-effective method to control and eventually eradicate giant reed.


Return to the previous web page

Home Page | Site Map| About KRP | Education | KRP Supporters | Projects

Birding | Events | Wildlife
FESTIVALS: Spring Nature | Hummingbird | Turkey Vultures

Volunteer Workdays | How YOU can HELP! | Application | Newsletters | Biographies | Keith Hansen

KRP History | KRP in the News | Kern Valley Pride Day | Achievements | Travel Information

Kern River Preserve P.O. Box 1662 18747 Hwy. 178 Weldon, CA 93283 E-mail
Copyright 1998-2013 by Audubon California | National Audubon. All rights reserved.

This site was created on October 21, 1998. Please Email to make comments or offer suggestions.