Garden Club

Our invasive species hunters are at work!

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Before and after photos of French broom hunters along Skyline Boulevard

A volunteer takes a break from removing French broom along Skyline Boulevard

Invasive species that are MOST WANTED by the Burlingame Hills Garden Club and water-wise alternatives:

 

 

MOST WANTED:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Broom                                                   Bermuda Buttercup

 

These are two of the most highly-invasive species in our community. They crowd out water-wise native plants and soak up their light and nutrients. 

 

Appearance: French Broom (Genista monspessulana) and Bermuda Buttercup (Oxalis Pes-caprae) are currently in bloom, have YELLOW flowers, and are rapidly spreading through The Hills. Broom is a 3-8 ft. perennial shrub with bright yellow pea-like flowers and oval leaves in groups of three. Where there is one, you will likely find many seedlings and smaller plants. Buttercup grows to about 12” in height, has clover-like leaves, and can be hard to see if not in bloom. 

 

Risk: These plants were brought here by humans, have flourished due to no longer having natural predators, and are crowding out water-wise native vegetation and the wildlife that feeds on it. They also can increase the risk and intensity of a wildfire. 

 

Removal: Both plants will likely take a few years to eradicate, but it should get easier each year. Before Broom goes to seed in late March or early April, hold the base of each plant and gently pull upward. Larger broom (more than 1/2” at the base) may require some leverage to remove. Contact gardenclub@burlingamehills.org or call Tomas at (650) 777-7899 if you’d like to borrow a large broom puller. NEVER pull Buttercup roots from the ground. Instead, cut each plant at ground level. The stems, leaves, and flowers are edible and add a lemony, sour green apple taste to salads.

 

WANTED: Algerian Ivy and Himalayan Blackberry 

 

Appearance: Ivy is the predominant ground cover in The Hills and Blackberry is the predominant edible berry plant. 

Removal: Both are difficult to remove because they spread using underground runners. Also, removal on hillsides should be carefully considered since it can lead to erosion. Professional assistance is advised.

 

WANTED: Jubatagrass and Pampasgrass 

 

Appearance: Tall stalks with large white or purplish plumes 

 

Removal: As soon as possible, cut them down to about 2” above the ground with a pair of gardening shears. Carefully place the stalks into a large garbage bag,  secure closed, and place in your BLACK Recology cart.

 

Water-wise alternatives* 

 

TREES

 

Western varieties of:

Oak (Black, Canyon Live, Interior Live, Valley, and Coast Live—the most common oak in The Hills)

Cedar

Cypress

Fir

Pine

OTHER TREES

California Bay Laurel (not recommended within 30' of most oaks and Tanoak due to the high probability of transmitting the Sudden Oak Death pathogen) 

California Buckeye 

Oregon Ash

Toyon

Western Redbud

BULBS

 

Blue Dick

Brodiaea 

Firecracker Flower

Gold Nuggets

Triteleia

White Globe Lily

 

Western varieties of:

Allium

True Lily (Lilium)

 

SHRUBS/PERENNIALS

 

Blue-eyed Grass

Bush Anemone**

California Lilac (ceanothus)

California Fuchsia

Canyon Sunflower**

Coral Bells**

Coffeeberry**

Coyote Mint

Cream Bush**

Dudleya (succulents)

Dutchman's Pipevine** 

Flannelbush

Manzanita 

Silk-tassel 

Snowberry**

Snowdrop Bush

Sticky Monkeyflower

Wild Buckwheat

 

 

Western varieties of:

Currant**

Fern**

Gooseberry**

Grape**

Grass (such as Deergrass**, Fescue**, Melic**, Needlegrass**, and Vanilla**)

Honeysuckle**

Iris**

Sage (such as Hummingbird**)

Sedum (succulents)

Trillium**

 

 

ANNUALS

 

Baby Blue Eyes

California Poppy (can be a perennial)

Chinese Houses**

Goldfields

Miner's Lettuce**

Tidy Tips

Wind Poppy

 

Western varieties of:

Clarkia

Lupine

Penstemon

Poppy

 

* Selected especially for Burlingame Hills gardens. Note that water-wise plants need regular watering for 2-3 years and good drainage.

** Grows well in shade or part-shade

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