For the second year running we have taken part in the invasive non-native species control as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded New Forest ‘Our Past, Our Future’ Landscape Partnership Scheme.
American skunk-cabbage (Lysichiton americanus) is present in several locations in and around the New Forest National Park.
Under European Union regulations, it is an offence in the UK to keep, cultivate, breed, transport, sell or exchange this species, or release it, intentionally or unintentionally, into the environment.
American skunk cabbage is a large, imposing perennial producing paddle-shaped leaves up to 1.5 metres tall and yellow arum-like flowers in spring that are spectacular but foul-smelling (hence the name). Originally from western North America, it was widely available from garden centres and nurseries for planting besides ponds and in bog gardens.
It spreads vigorously in wet woodland, wetlands and ditches, forming dense stands that out-compete native vegetation by shading and smothering. Reproduction by seed in the wild is frequent. It has been reported in at least 10 EU countries.
We are just recording the results from our late May treatment and the dieback looks promising.
The large site presents awkward access bordering a lake and approximately 1 hectare of boggy woodland often requiring a long walk in full PPE and a heavy Knapsack. Due to the densities of the plants we have used spray paint to mark individual plants and a flag system to help navigate the woodland.
To learn more about weed control, please click here