Volunteers needed to pull invasives from Upper St. Croix
The St. Croix River Association invites interested volunteers to to help remove invasive yellow irises from the banks of Upper St. Croix Lake in Solon Springs...
The St. Croix River Association invites interested volunteers to to help remove invasive yellow irises from the banks of Upper St. Croix Lake in Solon Springs
Work to remove the invasive species begins at 10 a.m. June 30 at Prevost's Landing.
Volunteers are encouraged to bring food, water, sun screen, gardening gloves, long-sleeved clothing and be prepared to work outside on the water. The excursion will take place along the lake's southern edge. Upper St. Croix Lake, as the headwaters of the St. Croix River, is an ideal place to help reduce both local and downriver spread of invasive yellow iris.
Yellow iris is an invasive species of perennial flower native to Europe, Western Asia, North Africa and the Mediterranean region. It was brought to the United States for use in gardens, erosion control and to remove metals from sewage treatment plants. It has since expanded its territory across most of northern U.S. and Canada, and is still sometimes sold online and from nurseries as an ornamental for water gardens.
During the months of May and June, it is easily identified by its yellow flowers. It has long, narrow, sword-shaped leaves, and typically stands between three and four feet tall. When not in bloom, yellow iris can be confused with native blue flag iris, which has purple flowers. They have similar leaf shapes, but on yellow iris, the midvein along the center of the leaf forms a sharper ridge.
The plant spreads quickly through rhizome and seed reproduction, and tends to crowd out native plant species like blue flag iris and decrease plant and animal diversity. The yellow iris is unpalatable to wildlife, and can cause skin irritation in humans if handled without gloves.
For more information on the event, visit stcroixriverassociation.org or contact Angelique Dahlberg, invasive species coordinator for the St. Croix River Association, at (715) 483-3300.