While walking about town this week, I happened upon a couple of women who were cutting off the tall (and somewhat nice-looking) plumes from grasses that I see growing all over the city. Curiosity got the best of me, so I paused to ask them about what they were doing. The information I was given was a real eye opener. The grass is called Ravenna, is highly invasive and is pushing out plants native to our area. These ladies had received permission from Grand County to work toward eradication of this threat to our landscape. I also learned that the city has been working to rid city areas of this species.
Returning home, I decided to do some research on my own and am quite upset at the information I found regarding this grass. Choking out native plants is only one part of the potential destruction these cause. The damage to rivers and creeks is even more extensive where it thrives on large amounts of water, creates habitats for undesirable rodents, and creates fire hazards where there were once none. Many states have this classified as a class A noxious weed. The impacts from this invasive species are disheartening, but let’s not become discouraged.
The most important things we can do to preserve our native plants is to stop these from spreading. First, do not purposely plant this grass, cut off seed heads throughout the spring and summer when they first appear and dig up any that you can. Elimination of these plants will keep the beautiful plants we have here from being threatened. I had no idea about Ravenna grass, and I’ll bet I’m not alone.