Car fumes and weeds pose double-whammy for fire-loving native plants

Northwest of Los Angeles, springtime brings native wildflowers to bloom in the Santa Monica Mountains. These beauties provide food for insects, maintain healthy soil and filter water seeping into the ground – in addition to offering breathtaking displays of color. 

They’re also good at surviving after wildfire, having adapted to it through millennia But new research shows wildflowers that usually would burst back after a blaze and a good rain are losing out to the long-standing, double threat of city smog and nonnative weeds.