INVASIVE SPECIES ALERT!!!!

BEACH VITEX

About The Beach Vitex

  • It is an fungus.
  • You can find this organism mostly location at the beach or rivers ext.
  • The organism can be spread by someone picking it and planting it some where else.
  • It can spread up to 60ft across the ground.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began to notice beach vitex spreading from original plantings on South Carolina beaches, crowding out native dune plants, and spreading by seeds and vegetative fragments. Over the past two years, the South Carolina Beach Vitex Task Force has documented beach vitex at 115+ populations along the South Carolina coast. It also occurs along the North Carolina coast, and was recently observed on a beach in Alabama.
  • Common names: Beach vitex, chasteberry, roundleaf chastetree, Monk’s pepper

  • Beach vitex is a deciduous woody vine that was introduced to the Southeastern U.S. from Korea in the mid-1980’s. Prior to its intoduction to the South Atlantic coast of the U.S., beach vitex had no history of invasiveness. However, by the mid-1990’s, dune restoration specialists.

  • Currently, beach vitex is not regulated in the MidSouth or the United States. Assessments are now being conducted to determine if the plant should be regulated by federal/state plant regulatory agencies.

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Why The Concern?

  • It can take over the beaches.
  • Smother other animals.
  • Harmful towards other ocean animals
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began to notice beach vitex spreading from original plantings on South Carolina beaches, crowding out native dune plants, and spreading by seeds and vegetative fragments. Over the past two years, the South Carolina Beach Vitex Task Force has documented beach vitex at 115+ populations along the South Carolina coast. It also occurs along the North Carolina coast, and was recently observed on a beach in Alabama.

Habitat.

Currently, beach vitex blankets a number of oceanfront dunes in the Carolinas. Because of its invasive nature, beach vitex crowds out native dune plants such as sea oats. American beachgrass and seaside panicum. In addition to threatening natural sand dune plant communities, beach vitex degrades endangered loggerhead sea turtle nesting habitat as well as habitat for the federally threatened plant, seabeach amaranth.