Battling the Stinknet

Apr 25, 2022 | MSHCP, News

You are relaxing in your garden and spy an ugly weed. Seizing your gardening gloves and a spade, you quickly remove it and keep your eyes peeled for other invaders. Similarly, on the thousands of acres of land protected by the MSHCP, the Western Riverside County RCA regularly battles invasive plants that affect protected habitat.

One of these invasive plant species is the Oncosiphon pilulifer or stinknet. While beautiful with ball-shaped yellow flowers, the plant has a pungent odor. Native to South Africa, the stinknet blooms from late February through May. Over the last few decades, the plant has increasingly impacted lands from Arizona to southern California, including western Riverside County.

Left undisturbed, the stinknet can grow in concentrated sections and choke out native plants, such as the San Jacinto crownscale, which can be found only in the San Jacinto Valley. The photo below shows how the stinknet can grow through a bunch of crownscales.

RCA and RCA-MSHCP contract staff at Riverside County Regional Park and Open Space District recently rolled up their sleeves to pull stinknet plants from the Dilworth property near Hemet. While this particular team was out only for one day, RCA partners work tirelessly to pull these invasive plants from RCA-owned lands throughout the year. The work was hard and tedious but also rewarding. In addition to acquiring land for the MSHCP reserve, the RCA monitors the welfare of protected species by managing conserved lands to help animals and plants thrive.