Arizona invasion – fire hazard

In recent years we have observed a pesky new extremely invasive weed in Cave Creek, which seems to have begun to our north and now has spread to Phoenix and as far south as Tucson. The weeds are called Globe Chamomile and have long bright green stalks and leaves with a single yellow ball flower. When flowering they are pretty, but grow quickly and snuff out natural desert growth.

Their growth begins in November and flowers from January through March. Thereafter, they dry up and seeds begin to disperse. The seeds are very light and are spread primarily by wind. The stalks and leaves dry up and are not only unsightly but also create a fire hazard. The growing proliferation of these weeds has adversely affected the beauty of the desert and the fire hazard has grown exponentially.

According to Maricopa Parks and Recreation Department, Globe Chamomile plants should be dug out as they are recognized. Chemical weed control can be performed with the application of Garlon or Trichlopyr4. Round up and related chemicals are not effective on these weeds.

Cave Creek has been invaded with these weeds and the invasion will only grow if we don’t take control. Heat and dry conditions are just ahead and these dried out weeds can catch fire quickly and spread.

Bruce Biemeck
Cave Creek