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A stinknet-like invasive growth is sweeping the Phoenix area, creating headaches for homeowners Arizona’s Family

A stinknet-like invasive growth is sweeping the Phoenix area, creating headaches for homeowners Arizona's Family

Phoenix (3TV/CBS 5) — You may have seen it in the Valley and believed that it’s a flower however, Globe Chamomile, or ‘stinknet it is an invading plant. Since its introduction it has been gaining popularity. Arizonans have complained about the amount of it and how it is dried out it can be used as fire fuel.

The flower appears like the shape of a bright yellow globe however, it’s not a native plant of Arizona It’s actually out of South Africa. But, nobody knows what brought it here and why, but the majority of people would like it to go away. “We relocated here in the year 2016, and this was the first year that we were here, we only got to see a tiny bit of it, a tiny amount. It was simply plain desert plants. However, each year it’s been getting worse,” said David Davidoff resident of Cave Creek.

It’s located in Cave Creek that stinknet now covers mountainside properties and homes. “We’ve been working on getting it a few times this year, and each time it’s taken an immense amount of work” Davidoff said.

The neighbor across the street is feeling exactly the same. “Just two weeks ago we had this whole section of my property completely cleaned,” said Rick Ivanseck. It’s at a point where neighbors are saying it’s becoming an issue. “It costs us about a couple of thousand dollars each year to get rid of this right now,” Ivanseck said.

Shawn Gilleland is a firefighter who has been observing the plant for many years. “As you can see when looking across the desert, it sort of fills in the places where other plants aren’t. It doesn’t actually take over most of the other species, but it’ll take over every place that is available,” he said.

As summer draws near it is likely that the plants will begin to dry and pose an issue. “Obviously when you look across the desert, it provides lots of colour. They didn’t know how dangerous and how fast it’s likely dry up and eventually become an ignition source,” he said.

This is a fear that homeowners are afraid of. “It makes us shiver. In truth, we keep our truck connected to the trailer for horses for a reason, mainly due to that. We’re afraid that something could ignite quickly and we’ll need to take the horses and leave,” Davidoff said.

Gilleland states that clearing the plants and staying persistent is essential. “Right now is the perfect time to eliminate it. Particularly if it’s not completely dried out. After drying out, it starts dispersing the spores but if it’s in its green form, it’s more likely not to move around your property and scatter the spores in the air, where they’ll be carried,” he said.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture placed the plant on its list of noxious weeds to be eliminated in 2020. But, lots of research is being conducted to determine the best method of eliminating the plant completely.

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