Local governments and residents are going all out to eradicate
Canada Goldenrod, an exotic plant turned pest that has taken root
in almost a third of the nation's mainland.
Brought to the mainland in 1935, the plant, called Solidago
Canadensis in Latin, has attractive bright yellow
This is a highly reproductive period for the plant.
Unfortunately for other species, its rampant growth is
endangering indigenous grasses, shrubs, trees and crops across
about 10 regions, the State Forestry Administration's Wang Xiaohua
told China Daily yesterday.
The forestry administration suggested a nationwide drive last
March to get rid of the plant, but it is still thriving in
foothills, meadows, roadsides and woodland clearings in Shanghai
and the provinces of Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui,
Jiangxi, Zhejiang and Yunnan, the Beijing Youth Daily
Province, it is spreading towards the world-renowned West Lake
in the provincial capital Hangzhou.
In the report, plant expert Qian Jun is quoted as saying that
grass areas around the lake are in danger of being completely taken
over by Goldenrod. A single stalk of the plant can produce more
than 20,000 seeds.
Local government staff and residents have been asked to help get
rid of the plant "from the root."
According to China Central Television (CCTV) reports, the plant
which flowers between late summer and autumn covers some 2,000
hectares in the city of Ningbo alone. Orange harvests in the city's
Chunwu Township have dipped as a result of the invasion.
The best time to eliminate the plant is during the flowering
stage, said an environmentalist surnamed Ye in Hangzhou, who
suggested that people cut off the head of the plant, uproot it, dry
it in the sun and burn it.
An expert writing in Jiangsu's
Zhangjiagang Daily recommended using herbicides to kill
the plant now covers 335 hectares of land as compared to 67
hectares last year, said He Jiaqing, a professor at Anhui
University. An official surnamed Huang from the province's
agricultural commission said the focus now is to prevent the plant
from spreading to farmland.
According to CCTV reports, more than 400 types of harmful exotic
plants are causing annual losses of more than 57.4 billion yuan
(US$7.1 billion) to the country's agriculture, forestry, animal
husbandry and fishery industries.
Zhao Wenxia, an associate research fellow from the Beijing-based
Chinese Academy of Forestry, told China Daily that the
country's research into exotic plants is still undeveloped. It
would be unscientific to jump to the conclusion that an exotic
plant is either "good or bad," Zhao said.
(China Daily October 27, 2005)