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Invasive plant identification and control

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    Lesser celandine

    Also known as fig buttercup - this small non-native Prohibited buttercup is a very early blooming spring ephemeral, with its showy bright yellow flowers out as early as mid-April. The glossy bright green leaves only reach 3 to 5 inches in height, but form a dense mat that exclude all other plants. Lesser celandine prefers moist forest soils, often along forested river banks. This plant can quickly take over the forest floor and crowd out native wildflowers. Report all lesser celandine, whether in gardens or in natural areas. Photo credit: Mike Putnam
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    Lesser celandine bulbils

    Lesser celandine spreads primarily by vegetative bulbils, which are small bulbs, formed where leaves join the stem. They break off to float downstream or be moved by rodents and form new plants. Photo credit: Mike Putnam
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    Lesser celandine

    Lesser celandine prefers moist forest soils, often along forested river banks. This plant can quickly take over the forest floor and crowd out native wildflowers. Report all lesser celandine, whether in gardens or in natural areas. Photo credit: Mark Verhagen
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    Narrow leaf bittercress

    Narrow leaf bittercress is a Prohibited species that has only been reported from a village in Dane County, although it could show up anywhere in the state. It usually has a two year life cycle. The first year it forms a rosette with three to eleven lobed leaflets on pinnately divided leaves. Photo credit: Leslie Merhoff
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    Narrow leaf bittercress flowers

    The second year the plant sends up its flowering stalk with six to 20 sharply pointed leaflets. Small white flowers with four petals develop on the six to 20 inch flowering plants that quickly develop long seed pods. Seeds are easily moved by people and invade forests, floodplains, wetlands, grasslands and disturbed areas. They are easily hand pulled, but must be disposed of carefully if already flowering or in seed. If you find this plant in any setting, please report it ASAP.Photo credit: Aldo de Bastiani
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    Wild chervil in bloom

    This white flowering invasive is already widespread in Chippewa and Dunn counties, where many people are working to control it. It is also found in several other counties where it is listed as Restricted; in counties where it has not been found it is listed as Prohibited. Wild chervil often starts on roadsides and is easily spread by mowers. Without control it can spread into adjacent forests, grasslands and unplowed fields. Photo credit: Jill Hapner
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    Wild chervil patch

    Wild chervil has fern-like leaves that are largely smooth and with leaf bases that nearly surround the stem. It grows to 4 to 6 feet and flowers in early summer. Mowing must be done at the early flowering stage or its seeds will be spread. Herbicide spraying should be done before flowering or early flowering. Report instances of wild chervil growing anywhere in the state.. Photo credit: Jill Hapner

Related Information

Last Revised: Monday, December 05, 2022