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Incorrect Species

June 13, 1988

Many of the plants mentioned in your story on Invading Plants (May 30) are invasive, although not particularly relevant to Southern California. But to feature in your illustration the Washington filifera (California fan palm), just indicates a lack of homework.

This plant is not only a native to our area, but is a relict plant, left over from a more temperate climate which now only survives in the canyons of our deserts or at seeps originating from earthquake fault lines. It is, in fact, in a fair amount of jeopardy. They have been proposed for the California Rare and Endangered Plant Inventory compiled by the California Native Plant Society.

Invasive plants are a very real problem in California. Some of our most aggressive intruders are the African tamarisk in the desert, pampas grass and Scotch and French bloom, and the fountain grass in San Diego.

In light of the rampant construction and disregard to what is left of natural habitats, I believe you would do a tremendous public service by focusing an article on the problems of invasive plants in Southern California.

RUTH WATLING, Curator

The Living Desert, Palm Desert

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