Stinknet: Help prevent invasive weed from taking root in Globe

David Sowders/Arizona Silver Belt Stinknet in bloom.

Drive Highway 60 through Gold Canyon near the Basha’s store and you’ll see roadside banks of bright yellow flowers. They’re not goldpoppies or marigolds - instead they’re an invasive weed commonly known as stinknet (Oncosiphon piluliferum), also colloquially called globe chamomile though it isn’t a chamomile. University of Arizona Gila County Cooperative Extension Agent Chris Jones said that in parts of the Valley this plant with the distinctive round yellow blossoms has formed a monoculture.

A relative newcomer to the invasive weed scene here in Arizona, this hardy plant native to South Africa has quickly spread since it was first confirmed here in 2005. Now it has begun to appear along Highway 60 here in Globe. Jones said its seeds are very light, making them easily carried by the wind, and that they can also be spread via vehicle tires.

“The good news is we have a chance to prevent this weed from establishing in Globe-Miami if we act now,” said Jones. Earlier this month, he and two volunteers pulled, bagged and terminated several plants just east of the Globe Taco Bell after a resident reported their presence. “We removed a few of these last year about a mile west, and haven’t seen them reappear,” said Jones. Last Friday, he and about eight volunteers tackled stinknet patches in the yard at First Choice Lumber, with the manager’s permission.

“If we’re vigilant spotting and removing these plants during April and May, when they flower and are easy to see and to differentiate from the native gold poppies and desert marigolds, we can pull them – seedballs, roots and all – bag them, and send those bags to be buried deep in the landfill,” said Jones, who will lead another stinknet removal in Miami Gardens on May 19 at 10:30 a.m.

Search the web using keywords “stinknet” or “globe chamomile” to familiarize yourself with this plant and help eradicate new ones before they get established or reproduce. To volunteer for the May 19 weed removal, or if you see clumps of stinknet, contact Chris Jones at (928) 402-8585 or [email protected]. If you see this plant, please email Jones with photos and specific locations.