Smelly news out of south-central Arizona where Casa Grande Ruins National Monument has closed its picnic area until May due to an overgrowth of an invasive and noxious winter weed called stinknet. While the stinknet blossoms are kind of pretty to look at, they smell like turpentine and can cause severe skin rashes and serious breathing problems for anyone who gets too close.

Arizona Native Plant Society officials said stinknet, which is native to South Africa, experienced an explosive spread in Maricopa County during the wet fall and winter seasons of 2016, 2018 and 2019. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument officials are asking visitors not to walk near or step on the flowering weed for their own safety and avoid spreading it.

Park officials are working on a solution to mitigate the nasty plant but advise the picnic area will be close through April 30th.

Casa Grande Ruins Picnic Statement:

Casa Grande Ruins Picnic Area Closed Through April 30, 2024

COOLIDGE, AZ – Casa Grande Ruins will be closing the picnic area March 28 – April 30, 2024. Due to the density of an invasive and noxious weed called Stinknet growing in the picnic area, the area is closed while the Casa Grande Ruins team works on a solution that will get us back to reopening the picnic area as soon as possible. We also ask that visitors avoid walking near or stepping on this flowering weed in other areas of the park to avoid spreading it.

Stinknet can cause severe skin rashes and serious breathing problems. For the safety of visitors and their health, we ask that you do not enter the picnic area. For more information about Stinknet, you can check out the following sites:

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