Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Least Wanted List"

Unless you live in the state of Florida you might not know about Carrotwood Trees (Soapberry family (Sapindaceae)

I took these photos because the berries fascinate me, but things are not always what they seem. I did not take a photo of the tree because it is one of the trees I do not love. I did not know any of the facts listed here until I looked up the tree for the post.

I had no idea it was on the Goverment Least Wanted List
and NOTICE: As of July 1999, carrotwood has been added to the State of Florida List of Noxious Weeds. A tree? a Noxious Weed?

When planted as ornamental tree, Carrotwood invades a  natural communitie, including dunes, coastal strand, sand pine scrub, slash pine flatwoods, cypress swamps, freshwater marshes and river banks, it poses a special threat to coastal ecosystems like mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks. Once planted it spreads, crowding out and out-competing native plants for available light and nutrients.

Our local wildlife needs mangroves to survive, this tree is destroying the mangroves.
1955 someone plants in eastern Florida. Sarasota, Florida in 1968 it was introduced as an ornamental tree. Carrotwood became a popular landscape tree throughout southern Florida in the late 1970s and early 1980s. By 1990, wild carrotwood seedlings began to be seen in the wild in various habitats.
Who knew? I sure did not.
things are not always what they appear to be and as Humans we continue to dabble with our enviroment causeing unknown results for years and then it is to late.

this gives new meaning to Grows Like A Weed

* Above Info from*


SquirrelQueen said...

The berry is very interesting and pretty in its own way. It is a shame when plants like this invade an area and push out the native plants. Someone probably thought it was a pretty tree and brought it into the area without doing any research first.

Lucy said...

Very interesting. Yes...there's a bush here that some fool brought back from China and they've been trying to get rid of it for twice as many years as I've been alive. It takes over the desert plants and that's a no-no. But it's still here. Doing it's job. Sad.

MedaM said...

Hi Sandra, this is interesting. What a pity that a tree with such beautiful berries is a noxious weed, in fact. You took really beautiful photos of it.

Scott said...

Those berries are fascinating and lovely. Too bad the tree is such a weed.

DawnTreader said...

Now after reading all that, those berries suddenly start to look a little aggressive ;)

S. Etole said...

It's very intriguing ... appreciate the story of it.

Ginny said...

Reminds me of my Lionfish post! Is this tree on your property? How many and how big are yours? The berries are kind of creepy looking, like they may be poisonious, I wonder if the birds eat them? But even those bud thingys don't look too attractive to me, when you compare it to other things. Why is it Carrotwood, the wood is orange? I have a post to do on a Yellowwood tree around here. I guess things are where they are for a reason, and people need to stop transplanting from other states or countries.

Picturit said...

Interesting post you never know what damage you can be doing innocently. However scientists are not perfect. In the UK Greenfly was a real problem for agriculture and are native Ladybirds who eat said aphids could not do enough because of the overwhelming numbers of aphids. So scientists introduced a Japanese Ladybird called the Harlequin Ladybird to the UK. This Ladybird is an aggressive predator so would hopefully reduce the aphid numbers. Good Idea? No not really as Harlequins also eat other Ladybirds which now threatens the existence of our native species. WE SHOULD NOT TAMPER WITH NATURE, it can take care of itself.

Nezzy said...

Nope, sure don't have those 'round the Ozarks! They sure are beautiful trees though. Great pics as always!

Have a terrific day filled with blessings from above!!!

Judy said...

I love those "pods"!

Kilauea Poetry said...

Hi Sandra..I got as far as writing your comment but had unexpected company early today with a whole lot of nonsence. I saved this and realized my computer was still on stand by!
Anyway, some group took it upon themselves to get rid of the mangroves here. Even sprayed them at a local fishing and surfing beach!
This will show you before and after what they did-
Mangroves sever as a natural barrier for serve as speed-breakers in coastal storms, cyclones and tsunami. Anyway..this I suppose is the other side of invasive? These look kind of pretty but shrubs and trees like the guava can really get out of hand. Great post. Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow-

Stacey Dawn said...

Intesting for sure- and those are berries? Can they be eaten?

Reminds me to "not judge a book by it's cover!!"

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hmmmm---interesting. I've never heard of Carrotwood--but we have alot of invading weeds and trees around here. Some people say that the ground cover we have in our yard (Periwinkle) is an invading weed... But-- we love it as a ground cover since we can control it --and since it chokes out all of the other weeds...