Courtesy North Coast Land Conservancy
SEASIDE — Soon the seed pods of invasive policeman’s helmet plants will be maturing, and when they do, their seeds can fly as far as 20 feet, spreading the plant far and wide.
You can help arrest this weed and keep it from overrunning native coastal plants. Join North Coast Land Conservancy for a volunteer stewardship day at its Circle Creek Conservation Center in Seaside, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 21.
Policeman’s helmet, a highly invasive, non-native plant, has taken hold throughout the Necanicum River watershed, choking out native plants and reducing plant and animal diversity while increasing the risk of streambank erosion.
North Coast Land Conservancy and the Necanicum Watershed Council are working together on a three-year project to try to rid the watershed of this invader. The community can help get rid of this weed.
The plant is easy to pull; the next step is to pile uprooted plants and stomp on them to crush the stems and prevent the seed pods from developing or maturing.
Wherever you live in Clatsop or Tillamook counties, keep an eye out for policeman’s helmet on your property. As soon as you see it, pull, pile and stomp the plants so they can’t reproduce.
Visit NCLCtrust.org/pull-pile-stomp for more details and to report suspected sightings of the plant.
Policeman’s helmet is named for the shape of the blossom, which resembles an old-fashioned British policeman’s headwear. It is native to the Himalayas and was introduced in North America as an ornamental garden plant but has since spread widely.