By Roslyn Giles
(WTVM) Columbus -The Chinese Privet, an exotic plant is taking over a rare but unique Georgia plant called the "Georgia Rockcress (Arabis Georgiana)." Volunteers and staff from Georgia Power, The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy teamed up to remove the invasive species at Goat Rock Dam in Harris County.
Workers rappel a cliff using ropes to get the job done. "They cleared a good bit of the area cutting down the Chinese Privet using some herbicide on the stumps after its cut," says Dr. Michele Elmore, an ecologist from The Nature Conservancy.
The Rockcress is state-listed as threatened and a candidate for federal listing. The spread of exotics like Chinese Privet and Japanese Honeysuckle can crowd out Rockcress and other native plants.
This process has been ongoing for about ten years. The Chinese Privet is easily recognized. It's an evergreen-it' stays green all year long and the leaves are opposites rather than alternates.