Due to its ability to displace native species and disrupt natural processes such as fire and water flow, air potato is listed as one of Florida’s most invasive plants.
Many people are unaware of the problems that exotic plants cause in Volusia County. People often incorrectly perceive of exotic plants as easier to grow, more colorful, or less expensive to buy. Residents, especially those new to Central Florida, are not accustomed to our native flora and unknowingly contribute to exotic invasive plants being introduced into Florida’s natural areas.
Of particular threat are the exotic invasive plants that have no locally occurring pests or diseases that would normally keep these plants in check in their country of origin. Many of these exotic invasive plants have become established in our county parks and on other publicly and privately owned lands. These exotic invasive plants are displacing the native plant species that our wildlife depends upon.
The exotic plant removal program strives to educate residents and visitors to Volusia County about the problems related to exotic invasive plants in our local communities. It also promotes the concepts of planting native plants, being water wise, and being responsible when using fertilizers or pesticides.
A proactive outcome of this education program will be training citizens to recognize and remove exotic invasive plants. They will learn the removal techniques in our public natural areas first, and then use that knowledge to eliminate exotics growing in their own backyards.
You can help by volunteering your time to learn about the exotic plants in your area and joining our removal team.