Palm Beach County Logo, link to home page
 
 

Invasive Plants

 
 

Natural Areas

 
 

Invasive Plants (Alphabetical)

 

A
· B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U/V · W · Y/Z

 

Invasive Plants A

 


AIR POTATO

Scientific name
Dioscorea bulbifera
Family
Dioscoreaceae/yam
Origin
Tropical Asia

DESCRIPTION
An aggressive twining vine, stems can grow to 66 feet or more in length; stems are rounded. Leaves are long stalked; blades eight inches or more in length, broadly heart shaped alternating on vine. Aerial tubers formed where leaf is joined to stem, usually roundish. Flowers are rare (in Florida), small, fragrant, male and female, arising where leaf is joined to stem on separate plants, in loose irregular clusters or spikes, 4 inches long.

HABITAT/ECOLOGY
Occurs in a variety of habitats, including pine flat woods, coastal dunes, and hammocks. Can quickly envelop native vegetation, climbing high into tree canopies. Produces large quantities of aerial tubers which fall to the ground and root, aiding in its spread. Has a dormant period. Aerial stems die back during winter months.


ASPARAGUS FERN

Scientific name
Asparagus densiflorus
Family
Liliaceae/lily
Origin
South Africa

DESCRIPTION
Evergreen perennial herb from a crown of tuberous roots; reaches up to two feet tall; stems stiff or spreading to 6 feet long. Larger branches usually bearing tiny prickles. Branchlets are flat needle-like, light bright green, 1 inch long, clustered at branch nodes. Leaves are scale-like, found at base of branchlets. Flowers are small, white to pinkish white, and fragrant. Fruit is berry; green at first, turning bright red when mature; less than one inch wide; three (3) seeds per fruit.

HABITAT/ECOLOGY
Occurs in tropical hammocks and scrub; thrives in any well-drained soil; drought and salt tolerant; grows well in sun or shade. Flowers and fruits through summer and fall. Displaces native ground cover and understory shrubs.


AUSTRALIAN PINE

Scientific name
Casuarina equisetifolia
Family
Casuarinaceae/beefwood
Origin
Australia, South Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia

DESCRIPTION
Evergreen tree can grow to 150 feet in height, usually with a single trunk and open, irregular crown. Bark is reddish brown to gray, smooth in young tree; rough, brittle, and peeling in mature tree. Six to eight leaves in whorls encircling joints of branchlets. Flowers are unisexual, inconspicuous, female in small clusters where branchlet is joined to branch, male in small spikes at branchlet tip. Fruit is a tiny one-seeded, winged nutlet, formed in brown woody cone-like clusters 3/4 inch long and 1/2 inch wide.

HABITAT/ECOLOGY
Occurs throughout South Florida on coastal dunes, scrub, and pine flat woods. Does well in nutrient poor soils; salt tolerant, but sensitive to cold temperatures. Reproduces prolifically by seed; seeds dispersed by birds. Spreads rapidly; forms dense stands/mono-cultures along canal banks, road shoulders, and disturbed sites. Debris produced from Australian Pine stands inhibits growth of other plants.

 

Contact Information

 

Natural Areas Program
John Prince Park
2700 6th Ave. S.
Lake Worth, FL 33461
Mapquest - Google Maps
(561) 963-6736

 

Staff

 
  • Greg Atkinson
    Parks Resource Supervisor
 

Let Us Know

 


Do you have a comment
about your County
park system, services
or this website?


Contact us