Beautiful and Dangerous Yellow Bloom Strikes California

Kaitlyn Bolling, Staff Writer

Recently in California, black mustard flowers are sprouting and spreading all around and are releasing harmful chemicals that prevent native plant germination.

But not only does the Black Mustard flower push out native California growth, but it also sucks up all the water present around them. This leaves California’s poppies, lupine, and other plants to decrease in numbers while volunteers hope that if they plant enough of a different arrangement of plants, they could eventually balance out the previous numbers and restore what the Black Mustard destroyed.

The Black Mustard plant invaded California in the late 1700s and was confirmed when scientists examined some the bricks left on the coast to search for original or native plants based on the seeds and pollen in or around the brick.

The Black Mustard plant is usually found on central and southern coasts of California due to the immense rainwater they received. And although the plant may look gorgeous and harmless at first, it will not only kill native growth but also cause wildfires when dried up. These wildfires can spread and inflict damage to nearby farms, animals, and civilization causing them to retreat from their area while even some leave with injuries.

Some of the volunteers as mentioned, work under a man named Joseph Algiers to pull weeds and plant native species while keeping in mind that they could manage the growth rate and even slow down how many are sprouted so they can save nearby vegetation and plants, but also prevent chances of a wildfire.

Joseph Algiers is a restoration ecologist for Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. He leads a team of volunteers to clean up the Black Mustard weeds before they cause further damage to the environment.

They can grow up to 10 feet tall and although it can cause danger, biologists identified the worst offenders as the ‘Evil 25’ and didn’t include the Black Mustard. “It would probably be easier to get another man on the moon than to get rid of this invasive plant on a regional scale,” Algiers said as stated from NBC news.

The black mustard plant is a danger to the environment and causes serious damage to the environment if not treated.