Several volunteers from the American River Parkway Foundation helped clear an estimated 3,000 Red Sesbania plants from the river shores near Rio Americano High School.

The invasive plant came to the region as an ornamental plant, for its beautiful red and orange flower, but recently has become a growing issue in the Sacramento Region.

Recent El Camino High School grad and parkway foundation river steward Elle Harlow, 18, was one of three volunteers that met Saturday to pull the plants.

"The plant itself is tall and green and kind of looking like a fern,” Harlow said.

She and others from the organization often volunteer to remove trash and other invasive plants along the waterways.

"They absolutely take over wherever they are and keep any of the native plants from growing,” Harlow said.

The plant can form dense stands that cut off access to waterways that choke out native wildlife and plants, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The plant grows in wet soil and can cause erosion along rivers and streams that can lead to flooding.

A two- to three-year-old Red Sesbania, a member of the pea family, can release 100 to 1000 seed pods per year – Once released into streams can be spread far and grow quickly.

“Despite all of the negative consequences of escaped red sesbania plants, California nurseries continue to sell them, and the expansion of red sesbania in California is expected to continue,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

More information about the plant can be viewed by visiting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website by clicking here.