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Article: Coral Ardisia, A Beautiful but Invasive Plant: Invasive = bad news

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Forum: Article: Coral Ardisia, A Beautiful but Invasive PlantReplies: 0, Views: 14
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United Kingdom
(Zone 9a)

February 15, 2010
1:23 PM

Post #7560484

This is a very interesting topic that has caused some good threads to develop. It's great to find a website for gardeners that can create such good discussions.

I agree with the author. Invasive plants are a menace and usually they are sold by nurseries who you would think would know better. But what's invasive in one environment can be anything but in another. I have purple loose-strife (Lythrum salicaria) in my garden but as I live in the UK it's not a problem. This is its natural environment and it's up against other native plants by a wildlife pond so it has a hard life. I wouldn't plant it in a flower boarder though - in my experience, most natives are far too rampant if they have space and a good soil. A weed is only a plant in the wrong place.

Over here we have a big problem with invasive introduced plants. Top of the list are Japanese knot-weed (Fallopia Japonica) and Rhododendron ponticum. The first spreads like a rash, it will break through concrete and will grow from the tiniest root fragment (gardeners have been known to move house in despair when this arrives), the second seeds itself in woodland and crowds out every other plant, making it a desert for wildlife. There are lots of others but these two are the worst by any standards.

Both of these were introduced by Victorian plant hunters in the 19th century. These people brought back some wonderful plants and often risked their live to do it, but sometimes they got it totally wrong. Now we suffer the consequences and the only way to eradicate these weeds is by using chemicals which are dangerous to other plants or by intensive labour.

We also have a growing problem with introduced diseases. Again, the first of these arrived in Victorian times eg. hollyhock rust but they are turning up more frequently now. In the 1960s, it was common to see native elm trees but Dutch Elm Disease wiped them out almost completely. Now Sudden Oak Death is destroying trees in many of our parks, and not so much oaks but rhododendrons and related plants.

The only way to tackle both of these problems is to be vigilant. If a plant goes berserk and spreads all over, don't keep it. And definitely don't give it to friends. Take it back to the nursery, if that's where it can from, and let them know what they're selling. I know that this is preaching to the converted, but never dump it by the roadside. It may not be in your garden any more but it will be in everyone else's very soon.

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Other Article: Coral Ardisia, A Beautiful but Invasive Plant Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
Here as well jjacques 0 Feb 4, 2010 8:07 AM
Not in WA - whew wannadanc 0 Feb 4, 2010 8:56 AM
Invasive species: myth or menace? flabotany 16 Feb 5, 2010 10:58 PM
Menace in Houston LeslieT 1 Feb 9, 2010 3:28 AM
Not a menace in dry Mediterranean S. CA natureguyfrog 0 Feb 10, 2010 12:25 PM

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