invasive plants

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy

The invasive aquatic plant called European frogbit was found in Oceana and Ottawa counties this summer. 

Frogbit is a small green plant that looks like a water lily. Kevin Walters with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy said it can form dense mats on the water's surface.

"So there’s no light penetration in the water, it makes movement of waterfowl and fish difficult," Walters said. "For humans it makes access to the water for fishing, swimming, boating, things like that can become very difficult."

Today on Stateside, a Wayne State University law professor remembers Judge Damon Keith, the longest-serving black judge in American history who died Sunday at age 96. Plus, why the popular flower baby’s breath poses a threat to the coastal sand dunes of the Great Lakes.

This You Should Know: The plant that swallows homes

Jan 26, 2019
Cheryl Bartz

When picking plants for your garden next spring, be careful about what you choose. A species called Japanese knotweed has been known to eat people’s houses. Well, not literally. But Emily Cook with the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network says knotweed roots grow through roads, sidewalks – and yes – even homes.

 

 


Should we ever leave invasives alone?

Dec 21, 2017

Invasive plants and animals are an expensive problem in the United States.

Federal agencies spent more than $104 million last year to control them. But a study on the garlic mustard plant shows that it might be better to leave some invasives alone. 

Garlic mustard is a forest plant with heart-like leaves and clusters of white flowers. It can grow up to about four feet tall and is often the first green plant you’ll see in the spring.

Europeans settlers brought it to the United States in the 1800s as an herb for cooking. It was also used to treat ulcers and gangrene.

Paul Vugteveen, a chef in Battle Creek, uses the plant in his cooking. He says it has a garlicky, oniony flavor and is best served raw. 

Researchers who work in wetlands in Michigan are taking a new approach to invasive plants. They’re harvesting them for fertilizer and fuel. 

Sam Corden

Researchers who work in wetlands in Michigan are taking a new approach to invasive plants. Instead of removing plants like phragmites and switchgrass, they’re harvesting them. They say these plants are a threat to biodiversity, but they can benefit farmers and even power homes.

Plants usually don’t get as much love as cute animals. Sometimes it’s hard to get people fired up about an endangered plant.

But Jane Kramer’s trying to do that anyway.

She’s a fine art photographer. She takes photos of the shadows of rare or threatened plants, and then prints them on paper she makes out of invasive plants like garlic mustard and purple loosestrife.

Amos Ziegler has developed a smartphone app that could make it a lot tougher for invasive plants and critters to sneak into our state and get a foothold before they're detected.

Great Lakes invaders go digital

Nov 20, 2014

More than 2,500 species of plants, fish and mollusks will be invading the internet soon.

It’s an effort by more than 20 museums and universities around the Great Lakes region (including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University). They’re teaming up to digitize their collections of species that are not native to the Great Lakes.

Ken Cameron directs the Wisconsin State Herbarium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he’s leading the project. He and his collaborators will be pulling fish and mollusks out of jars and taking dried plants out of drawers, taking photos of them, and uploading them to the online collection along with data about the species. He and his colleagues around the region will be doing this for 1.73 million specimens.