- Photo credit: @Jaun Antonio Campos Prieto
- Baccharis halimifolia
- Common name: Eastern baccharis, groundsel tree
- Habitat:Primarily littoral zones
- Description: The Eastern baccharis or groundsel tree is a long-living shrub native to North America. It was first imported into Europe as an ornamental plant and, in some areas, was also intentionally introduced to act as a windbreak along coastal dunes.
- Origin and Worldwide Distribution: It is now well established in parts of Belgium, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom where it has spread into a wide range of habitats, including saltmarshes, dunes, woodlands and other coastal areas.
- Potential or Known Impacts: The shrub can grow into dense impenetrable thickets that choke all other native vegetation, altering the structure of the original habitats and causing serious damage to the ecosystem services they provide. It can also be toxic for livestock. The Eastern baccharis produces abundant amounts of seeds which increases the chances of the species spreading further into Member States.
- How did it/could it get here? It was first imported into Europe as an ornamental plant and, in some areas, was also intentionally introduced to act as a windbreak along coastal dunes.
- Is it found in Ireland? Not present in Ireland, but present in UK.
- Methods for Prevention: EU-wide measures to prevent further invasion include the prohibition of sales and of keeping, planting or propagating the species. Furthermore, they provide for the rapid eradication of any newly establishing population and the management of existing populations.
- Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016)This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.