US Army Corps of Engineers
Jacksonville District

Spencer discusses invasive plants at local science symposium

Jacksonville District
Published Feb. 21, 2013
Jessica Spencer (left) of the Invasive Species Management Branch describes two new plants that have recently invaded Jacksonville, Fla. –Old World climbing fern and Saltcedar – at the 2013 Timucuan Science and History Symposium Jan. 25.

Jessica Spencer (left) of the Invasive Species Management Branch describes two new plants that have recently invaded Jacksonville, Fla. –Old World climbing fern and Saltcedar – at the 2013 Timucuan Science and History Symposium Jan. 25.

In an effort to educate land managers and the public about two plants that are just beginning to invade the Jacksonville area, biologist Jessica Spencer gave a presentation at the 2013 Timucuan Science and History Symposium Jan. 25 in Jacksonville, Fla.

The unwelcome vegetation described by Spencer was Old World climbing fern and Saltcedar.

Saltcedar has recently been found inhabiting several new sites, including a retention pond, the JaxPort Cruise Terminal and Big Talbot Island State Park. Jacksonville District is continuing the early detection/rapid response effort to control saltcedar.

“If we are able to get people to rapidly identify and treat these infestations before they spread, then we can avoid major impacts in the future,” said Spencer. 

Old World climbing fern, an invasive vine known as the Kudzu of south Florida, made a dramatic jump to north Florida where it was detected in two populations in Jacksonville. The Invasive Species Management (ISM) Branch is working closely with First Coast Invasive Working Group and the Florida Inland Navigation District to implement an aggressive early detection/rapid response to this species.

"I enjoy educating the public on invasive species issues. Most people have an interest in the topic and I usually get lots of follow-up questions and comments.  Today, I even got a couple of volunteers,” said Spencer.