Invasive plant, Stinknet, threatening Arizona wildlife

Stinknet plant
Posted at 4:51 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 15:34:47-05

They may look vibrant and harmless, but the invasive plant called "Stinknet," which is native to South Africa, is exploding in the Valley.

Known for its bright yellow hue, round shape, and pungent odor, Stinknet grows wherever possible, including yards, trailheads, and open fields.

Although it's been in Arizona since the 90s, it's been thriving in Phoenix for the past couple of years thanks to wet winters and springs.

It's creating challenges for several reasons, including growing on private property and spreading into wilderness areas, competing with native plants, eliminating some food options for animals.

They can also add unwanted fire danger, threatening the safety of wildlife, because of how combustible it is when it dries out. Communities like Cave Creek have been taking action.

Annia Quiroz with the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance says that community has become active in terms of educating its citizens and ensuring that everybody has information on how to treat it.

Quiroz says the best thing to do if you have Stinknet growing in your yard is to simply pull it out when it's small, as you would a typical weed.

In January, Stinknet was added to the "Noxious Weed" list by the Arizona Department of Agriculture, meaning that municipalities and agencies can devote more time and money to managing it before it spreads like wildfire.