Bouverie Preserve stewardship staff recently partnered with a CalFire crew from Glen Ellen to implement a series of planned 1 meter-square controlled burns in its grasslands and oak woodlands to determine the best control methods for rosy sandcrocus (Romulea rosea). The first set of spring burns was completed in June. Additional test burns will be conducted this fall.
Rosy sandcrocus is an invasive forb with great potential for severe degradation of California open spaces and rangelands. Almost no information is available regarding management of this species in California, though many landowners in the Sonoma County region report its recent colonization.
Native to South Africa, the species is thought to have been introduced to California in the early 2000's from Australia through the Carmel Highlands in Monterey County. It has now spread through Marin, Sonoma, San Mateo, and Santa Cruz counties, and has been found in more isolated populations in eight additional counties in California. Once established, rosy sandcrocus is challenging to control. Seeds of this species can be transported by grazing animals and are toxic to herbivores when eaten in high quantities.
For landowner who may have spotted this invasive species, our science staff plans to publish results from this study in late spring next year.