Pesky Plant Trackers campaign


With the completion of its third season, the Pesky Plant Trackers campaign is coming to a close. Next, researchers will analyze the data you collected, interpret the results, and develop models to predict the timing of life cycle events for these species. The predictions will be used to more effectively time management actions to control these invasive plants

As this campaign winds down, we invite you to register for a gratitude party hosted by Abbie Anderson via zoom for all those interested in pesky plants, whether you collected data or not.

Although the campaign is ending, you can still record data on wild parsnip and knotweeds. Continuing to collect data on these species in future years will extend the important record you have started of how plants at your sites respond to climate in different years. Your data can also be used to test the predictive models that researchers create! However, if you are interested in participating in other campaigns, Nectar Connectors or Quercus Quest will likely have species available to observe in your area.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for all of the time and effort you have put into this campaign. I have truly enjoyed everything that you have taught me about these pesky plants, and look forward to learning more with all of you as the seasons change.


What you reported on Pesky Plants this year

Collectively, you reported Japanese knotweed, Bohemian knotweed, and wild parsnip at 67 sites this year. We had 80 observers contribute data to the campaign on 255 plants or patches of plants.

The map below shows the sites where observers reported leaves on Bohemian knotweed (triangles), Japanese knotweed ( squares), and wild parsnip (circles). The colors represent when the first "yes" was reported within 30 days after a "no" report.

The lines on the Activity Curves below show the proportion of "yes" records that you submitted for leaves, open flowers, and ripe fruits in Japanese and Bohemian knotweed this year. Both of these species showed similar patterns in when leaves, flowers, and fruit began to appear.

The Activity Curve below shows your observations of Wild Parsnip this year. You started observing leaves in March, open flowers in May, and ripe fruits in July.

When taking a closer look at Japanese knotweed over the past three years, we can see similar patterns in what you reported for leaves, open flowers, and ripe fruits. You can also compare multi-year patterns of the pesky plant data you collected with our visualization tool! It will be interesting to see what the researchers find when they analyze your data!

Did you earn your Pesky Plant Trackers badge this year? You can earn this badge by observing wild parsnip, Japanese knotweed, or Bohemian knotweed once a week for six separate weeks in the same year. See it on your Observation Deck.

Thank you again for your contributions to this important project!

Abbie Anderson
Program Coordinator
Pesky Plant Trackers

Samantha Brewer

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator


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