Invasive Species Awareness Week

Today is the start of the 2011 National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW), a week of activities, briefings, and events to highlight what is being done across the nation and around the world to stop and slow the spread of invasive species. Even if you are not in Washington DC, you can participate through web seminars. On March 1st, NISAW will be hosting an interesting web seminar on "Elements of Effective State and Regional Coordination" at 1:15 pm. To login and listen to presentations visit

For more information and a full agenda of events visit the NISAW website.

HB 338: Public Hearing, Tuesday

A public hearing for HB 338 is scheduled for Tuesday March 1st at 8am in E1.014 at the Agriculture & Livestock committee meeting at the Texas State Capitol.

House Bill 338 would require a public entity, other than the department (Agriculture), that produces a list of noxious or invasive terrestrial plant species growing in this state shall provide with the list a disclaimer that states:

“This plant list is only a recommendation and has no legal effect in the State of Texas. The Texas Department of Agriculture has sole authority to label terrestrial plants as noxious or invasive.”

New Biocontrol for Arundo donax Approved by USDA

The USDA has announced that a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact have been prepared relative to a proposed biological control program for Arundo donax (Giant Reed).

The proposed biological control agent, Arundo scale (Rhizaspidiotus donacis) is one of the most damaging insects to A. donax in its native range, and could prove to be an effective biocontrol. - Learn More

Sen. Hegar Drops Support for Invasive Aquatic White List

House Bill 3391 of the 81st Legislature, authored by Sen. Hegar in 2008, directed Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to establish a "white list" of non-native aquatic plants approved for sale or possession in Texas, a move by the State to curb the invasion of aquatic invasive species. All eyes were on Texas to see how it would play out.

In January, Sen. Hegar retracted his support for the “white-list” that TPWD was close to finishing, saying "With the list and rules now complete, it is clear that approval of this measure would severely impact our state's economy and the biofuel, nursery, and gardening industries across the state." – View Sen. Hegar’s Press Release

Free Invasive Plant Guides

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) is distributing free copies of 2 recently released field guides.

“A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests” is posted in PDF format on the SRS website and “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests” is also posted as a PDF.

To request hardcopies of the guides send your name and complete mailing address, along with book title, author and publication number to:

New Homeowners Guide to Invasive Plants

The University of Georgia's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health have created a handy "Homeowner’s Guide to Preventing the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Plants in Georgia". Although written for people in Georgia, many of the tips and techniques can be adapted to people living in Texas. - Download the free online copy

Call for Nominations

Southeast EPPC will present a career achievement award at their annual conference. The award goes to an individual with an outstanding record of service to invasive plant research, education, outreach or control in the southeastern United States. Jim Miller received the award last year.

Please e-mail nominations to by April 1 and include the name of the person you are nominating and a brief paragraph on why they should be chosen.

Invasive Spotlight: Bastard Cabbage
(Rapistrum rugosum)

Native to Central Europe, the Mediterranean, northern Africa and western, temperate Asia, bastard cabbage (Rapistrum rugosum) was introduced through contaminated seed mixes. It is an annual herbaceous plant that grows from 1 to 5 feet or more in height and has a taproot that can become quite large. Leaves are deep green, lobed and wrinkled, and sometimes have a reddish cast. Bastard cabbage typically flowers from early spring into summer, bearing clusters of small, showy "highlighter-yellow" flowers at the tips of its branches, resembling those of broccoli and cabbage.

Bastard cabbage seeds germinate early in the growing season and quickly cover the ground with a blanket of leafy rosettes. These dense rosettes block sunlight from reaching seeds and seedlings of native plants. In some places, it forms a monoculture out competing all other vegetation. (photo from Central Texas Plants)

Learn more about bastard cabbage and other Texas Invasives.
More News

National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2011: Feb. 28 - March 4, 2011, Washington, DC - More Information

13th Annual Southeast EPPC Conference: May 3-5, 2011, Lexington, KY - More Information

Save the Date: 2011 Texas Invasive Plant & Pest Conference: November 7-10, Austin, TX

If you would like your invasive species event or news listed in the next iWire, please send the details to


New Continuing Education Online Module: Emerald Ash Borer

Don't forget, we have added an Emerald Ash Borer training module to the Citizen Science Online Training. The purpose of the module is to train citizen scientists about the history of EAB introduction and how to identify and report this pest. This is a required module for all citizen scientists. Please visit the Online Training and complete the module soon.
Welcome Hays County Invaders

On February 26th, we conducted an Invaders of Texas training in San Marcos for the new Hays County Invaders. Before the workshop was even over they were planning their outings to detect and report invasives throughout Hays County. Welcome Hays County Invaders.
Invaders of Texas Citizen Science Workshops

Saturday March 26, 2011
Winedale Historical Center, Round Top, TX

Friday July 1, 2011
Botanical Research Institute of Texas, Ft. Worth, TX

To request a workshop, please visit our Workshop Page.