“New” Noxious Weed

Coralberry (Ardisia crenata) officially has been added to the Florida Noxious Weed List, which prohibits its cultivation and sale. Like many invasive pest plants, this “beauty” was cultivated and sold by the Florida nursery industry, a $1.9 billion industry in 2010.

Adding a plant to the the Florida Noxious Weed List is a long and arduous process, and, only after they have spread widely are they added to this list, unfortunately. Three other plants were added to the list along with coralberry: 2 aquatic weeds and Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense).

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Coral ardisia has not been found at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area, at least not yet, in part due to the ongoing efforts of Ken Gonyo (Class of 2012). Coral ardisa was rampant at the the Indian River Lagoon Greenway in the hammock portion of this property that was purchased by Indian River County through its conservation land acquisition program and is shown above with beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). The Indian River Land Trust has made improvements to the property and manages it. Coral ardisia was threatening to overtake native plants there and, of course, was likely to be spread by birds to the nearby Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.

Ken educated the Indian River Land Trust (IRLT) staff about this invasive pest plant, and two years ago began to de-berry plants with IRLT volunteers. Ken now leads an exotic plant control work day there every Tuesday morning at 8:30am.

Ken is pictured below in 2012 when we discovered the coral ardisia infestation when taking a walk at the Greenway (after working to control air potato at ORCA) playing tug-of-toy (stick) with a very happy Pepper …

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That air potato and trail maintenance work day also included Bob Bruce, Diane LaRue, Linda Chancellor, Sam Chancellor, Diane Morgan, Karen Schuster, and John Warner …

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