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Parasitic Vine Accused of Going on Rampage in Wetlands

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Saltmarsh dodder via Wikipedia
The Argonaut has the latest on the drama underway at the Ballona Wetlands over a parasitic vine called saltmarsh dodder that has been introduced in the wetlands. Two different Playa del Rey organizations--who haven't always agreed on local issues, including development in the area---are at odds about whether the vine is destructive to other plants (one of the organizations introduced the vine). How the Argonaut describes saltmarsh dodder. It is a "parasitic vine that wraps itself around a host plant and takes its nutrients and water. It spreads from host to host, curling its orange stems around its hosts before moving on to the next plant."


So the vine is like your funny friend that gets too wrecked at an event and goes on a tear, annoying other guests, because in normal circumstances, the "vine adds to the liveliness of the party but does not become too obnoxious," writes Edith Read, a biologist with the wetlands group, wrote on Ballona Blog. But as Read tells the Argonaut, the still-in-recovery Ballona salt marsh can't handle the out-of-control vine. Roy van de Hoek of the competing environmental group--the Ballona Institute--tells the paper he indeed planted the vine as given both the "restorative qualities" and because it would soon be "extinct in Los Angeles County." He disputes the fuss that the vine will wreck the party.
· Special Report: What’s That Parasite Taking Over the Wetlands? [Ballona Blog]
· Wetlands organization says rival group's planting of parasite akin to a 'restoration train wreck [Argonaut]