Recently, wildlife scientists said that Ludwigia Peruviana, an invasive weed threatening the elephant habitats and foraging areas in Valparai, Tamil Nadu.
About Ludwigia Peruviana:
- It is popularly called primrose willow, Ludwigia Peruviana, is a native of Central and South America.
- Its flower is pale yellowish in colour and the plant grows to a height of about 12 feet.
- It is an aquatic plant, which is now challenging the existence of local vegetation in various swampy areas around the world.
- The rapid large-scale spread of the weed — which was probably introduced as an ornamental plant for its tiny yellow flowers.
- It grows faster in wetlands than other harmful weeds.
- The pre-monsoon temperature and monsoon rains help this weed grow faster.
- It has shaken the balance of these perennial foraging grounds, limiting the growth of grass and native plants that are palatable to elephants and other animals including gaur.
- It is among the 22 priority invasive plants in Tamil Nadu.
- Unlike other invasive plants, Ludwigia poses a unique challenge as it grows in swamps and there is little scope to use machinery which may further destroy the ecosystem.
- Even if Ludwigia is pulled out manually, the soft plant easily breaks and it spreads again from the root or broken stems that fall in the swamp.
Q1) What is an ornamental plant?
An ornamental plant is a type of plant that is cultivated and grown for its decorative qualities, rather than for any practical use like food or medicinal purposes. These plants are primarily chosen for their attractive appearance, unique foliage, and beautiful flowers.