A Pretty Problem

12th July 2006, Wednesday

One of the most invasive introduced plants that threatens the natural vegetated shingle habitat is seeding now. Each plant can produce thousands of seeds that are blown by the wind (see photo). The problem is that the plant is very attractive and much loved by visitors (and insects), so what are we to do?

Seeds of Red Valerian

The plant is Red Valerian, a Mediterranean species introduced to British gardens before 1600.

Red Valerian

..but look how it has spread across the shingle near Ternery Pool!

Red Valerian

Our only choice is to take action to limit its spread – this will be a mix of careful spot spraying with herbicide and hand weeding in areas with rare plants.