Two highly invasive aquatic weeds that until now had not been seen in the area recently were reported to Deschutes County and the Oregon Department of Agriculture, officials said Thursday.
Residents with water features on or adjacent to their properties are urged to be on the lookout for “Yellow Floating Heart”, found in the Redmond area; and “Water Primrose”, found in the Terrebonne area.
Yellow Floating Heart flourishes in slow moving rivers, lakes, reservoirs, ponds and swamps. The floating, heart-shaped to almost circular leaves grow on long stalks. The 5-petaled flowers are bright yellow and float at the water’s surface, with one to several flowers per stalk.
Water Primrose may be floating, creeping, or upright and forms dense mats in ditches, ponds and lake margins. Leaves vary in appearance, are usually elongated, are willow-like and arranged alternately on reddish-brown stems. Water Primrose blooms in summer to early fall with bright yellow one-inch solitary flowers-having five to six petals each.
These plants have similar negative effects. Water recreation is impacted due to the loss of fish habitat, fishing access, clogging of boating waterways, and swimming areas. Infested waterways suffer drops in dissolved oxygen, which can kill fish and invertebrates.
Also, waterfowl lose preferred food plants and feeding grounds. Species richness of all aquatic species drops significantly. Infested waterways often build up significant populations of mosquitoes because of the improved habitat conditions for them, which provide protection for developing larvae.
In addition, water primrose can cause significant clogging of irrigation canals and drainage ditches where it has established growth.
HELP FOR LANDOWNERS: Deschutes County and the Oregon Department of Agriculture can assist landowners in the treatment and control of these two plants.
Residents who think they may have this plant growing on their property are asked to contact Deschutes County Forester/Vegetation Manager Ed Keith at (541) 322-7117 or Oregon Department of Agriculture Integrated Weed Management Coordinator Mike Crumrine at (541) 604-6580, or send email to EdK@deschutes.org .
For more information about Deschutes County's noxious weed education programs, please visit www.deschutes.org/weeds.