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Unmasking Stinknet: Understanding Its Hazards and Impact

Stinknet photos

Stinknet (Oncosiphon piluliferum): Tucson's Unwanted Guest

Stinknet is the not-so-friendly invader that's made its way to Tucson from the Phoenix area. Originally from South Africa, this invasive plant has found a home in our desert landscape.

Stinknet's rapid spread in the Tucson area has become a cause for concern among conservationists and residents alike because it is so proliferate and hard to kill. Even Roundup (glyphosate) won't kill it!

  1. Spotting Stinknet in Our Desert Environment

  • You can identify Stinknet from its distinctive small yellow flowers and its unpleasant odor similar to turpentine and citrus.

  • Like other opportunistic weeds, Stinknet is often found in Tucson urban communities, such as disturbed areas, roadsides, and open spaces.

  1. The Ecological Impact to Tucson's Biodiversity

  • This invasive plant outcompetes native vegetation, leading to reduced biodiversity and disruption of fragile desert ecosystems.

  • Winter annuals are threatened by the Stinknet invasion. And winter perinnials may also be impacted by this weed.

  1. Navigating the Stinknet Challenge in Tucson

  • Tucson has limited resources combat the resilient nature of this invasive plant. It must be hand pulled or weedwacked.

  • Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation, along with volunteers, recently attacked the Stinknet infestation at the Pima County Fair Grounds to help keep it from spreading during the Pima County Fair.

  1. Tucson is Fighting Back

  • Brush off your clothes and dogs after a hike or walk in an area where Sinknet is present.

  • Immediately get rid of Stinknet when you see it on your property.

Stinknet poses a real and immediate threat in Tucson. It is important to be able to identify and remove it. Together, we can preserve the unique beauty of our desert landscapes and biodiversity that make Tucson special. Call us at (520) 546-2994 if you have any questions about Stinknet or need help removing it from your property.

Deborah Munoz-Chacon

Certified Arborist


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