zondag 4 maart 2012

Weeding from outer space

What attracted me to the Tamarisk shrub between the clutters of a Google image seacrh for 'invasive species'  is the massiveness with which it fills up space. The picture in question comes from a 2006 NASA project explaining the use of satellite images to predict and prevent its spread in the West of the US. What? A plant that needs weeding from outer space? That's not a plant: that's a beast!

(It's another example of a plant introduced for ornamental reasons that escaped from the garden and became a blight on the landscape. One tamarisk plant can absorb 750 litres of water a day, that's 273.750 litres a year from already arid soils. It also deposits salts on top of the soil to make it even harder for other plants to grow near them.) 

1 opmerking:

  1. When I was in Death Valley a couple years ago, I kept seeing signs for "salt cedar removal." I asked a local what that meant, and he point to a grove of lovely trees that looked like willows. He described them as a very thirsty invader, capable of drinking hundreds of gallons of ground water every day, and there was a thriving business in their destruction.