Removal of the invasive species Pennisetum villosum on Santa Maria
Jan. 22, 2024
As part of action C8.1 “Control and eradication of invasive alien species (IAS) of flora in terrestrial habitats” of the LIFE IP AZORES NATURA project, the operational teams of the Santa Maria Environment and Climate Change Service (SAACSMA) have been removing the Pennisetum villosum flora species, legally classified on the National List of Invasive Species since 2019 (Decree-Law no. 92/2019 of 10 July).
This species, mostly naturalised on roadsides and paths, has begun to spread to gardens, where it is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant. However, its inclusion on the National List of Invasive Species has the effect of banning its introduction into the wild and its cultivation or use as an ornamental plant, and owners of the lands where this species occurs are obliged to eradicate it (article 19, no. 1, paragraph e) of Decree-Law no. 92/2019, of 10 July).
On the island of Santa Maria, the SAACSMA team found that the plant was spread out in a carpet-like pattern and was very deep-rooted, making it difficult to remove it mechanically, having started it manually. In March, after the plant has rested and is at the most appropriate stage in its life cycle, it will be controlled more closely to prevent it from sprouting again.
Find out more about the project at www.lifeazoresnatura.eu/en/