Invasive Plants

Balance in the desert ecosystem is threatened by many invasive plants. Sahara Mustard is perhaps best known, but there are many others that are equally problematic.


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  Sahara Mustard

Sahara mustard is an invasive non-native weed that is a significant threat to our desert plants and wildflowers. It is also a fire hazard. Use these resources to identify the plant to stop its spread.

Mustard - Brassica tournefortii - detailed photos 

July 2019 - MBCA has been part of an effort to get Saharan mustard designated as a top priority Target Weed for the Biologic Control Program of USDA-ARS in their 2020-2025 Project Plan. This letter making the request to the responsible agency leaders was signed by several Congressmembers including our California 8th District Congressman Paul Cook. 

Here is a list of other invasive plants found around the Morongo Basin and in the Mojave Desert.  Click each one to find a comprehensive guide on how to recognize and fight these invaders.  Many thanks to Pat Flanagan for creating these very helpful guides.

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UPDATE!  A new invasive threat has appeared in the lower desert, in the Anza Borrego area. While it's apparently not yet found in the Morongo Basin, keep a lookout for Volutaria - "A new and noxious plant (that) threatens Southern California."  Read this brochure from the University of California Cooperative Extension for photos and details. 
  • MBCA Supports the Fight Against Sahara Mustard

    MBCA joined Tubb Canyon Desert Conservancy and other groups in urging the United States Department of Agriculture to consider Sahara mustard as a new "weed of interest" in its next five-year plan. The Tubb Canyon group has been involved in a scientific search for a biocontrol agent for Sahara Mustard which drew some USDA interest. MBCA's letter notes the ongoing damage to our "diverse and vital desert ecosystem" due to the proliferation of Sahara mustard. 
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