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Have You Seen It? Invasive Plant Takes Root In Westchester

Incised Fumewort is making its mark in Westchester.
Incised Fumewort is making its mark in Westchester. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - The Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy is warning Westchester County residents to be wary of a highly invasive plant that is making its way into the area.

The invasive plant, known as Incised Fumewort - or Corydalis incisa to the science community - is a native of the floodplains in Asia, though in 2005 it was first found in the Bronx River, where it swiftly spread.

Recently, the plant has been found along the Bronx River in Westchester, and members of the Conservancy (BRPRC) are teaming with the Westchester County Parks Department and scientists from Iona College to begin controlling the spread through study and removal.

The flowers of the plant have been described as tubular and purple, with as many as 16 on each of several stalks per plant, blooming in April and May. Its leaves are highly divided and a pale green with a white cast on the underside. Mature plants can reach 20 feet in height, while sprouts are closer to four feet in length.

According to the BRPRC, invasive plants disrupt the balance of ecosystems by displacing native plants and reducing biodiversity. Incised Fumewort reproduces quickly and aggressively, blanketing areas and snuffing out native plant life in just a few years.

As the study into the invasive plant continues in Westchester, officials have asked anyone that spots Incised Fumewort to send photos and the location to info@bronx-river.com.

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