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Mankind's worst character trait is certainly his control-freak side! Actually, I should say modern man, as the so-called primitive peoples of the world always lived in perfect harmony and respect with mother nature.
Playfully swapping plants and animals around the globe was inevitable with the roaming nature of the human species - settlers and sailors of the old days wanted to take along a piece of home! With a lot of plants this worked just fine and has often made vast improvements in the diet of countries, but sometimes things went badly wrong too .
I do agree with the sentiments of the article - is there always a need to interfere just for the sake of keeping CONTROL? In fact, the mention of elaborate counter-schemes makes me apprehensive too - what if those get out of control too? If the loose-strife munching beetles decide to feast on the 'good' plants as well ?
Nature has a way of balancing things out, except it might not be exactly the picture we have in mind.
There are definitely occasions when we have to re-address the blunders of the past, where man and nature cannot live alongside any longer. I'm thinking of the massive effort of clearing the pine forests around the city of Cape Town , which posed a severe fire hazard. They were introduced by the first white settlers and soon crowded out the local vegetation. The Cape is a winter rainfall area, so veld fires are common in February/March, when everything is very dry after the summer. The sparse Cape vegetation burns down fast and cool, but the big pine trees burning is another story!
But back to the much debated invasive plants. I guess I just don't like the term "invasive plant". It has connotations of clever warfare.
Is a rosebush in a cabbage patch considered a weed?
Food for thought.
Your invader may be my cherished plant. I have learned that plants labeled as "invasive" in humid climates may die from lack of moisture in arid ones. I have nurtured morning glory and snow-in-summer in order to get them to grow in the single-digit dew point climate of the American southwest. Snow-in-summer found a happy home under a canale (cah-nall'-lee) or cut-off downspout, but has by no means taken over the sandy patch it occupies. However, it has nurtured or encouraged other plants to grow, such as rudibeckia, and purple lobelia. Morning glory grows, but not abundantly so. The lesson is that one gardener's invader is another's welcome ground cover.
Good points- the climate makes a huge difference in whether, or which, plants are invasive or aggressive. Many an East Coaster nurtures tropical favorites that (so far) seem guaranteed not to become invasive, because the winter cold will kill the plant.
It is interesting to hear about those things which you must coddle in the arid regions, to enjoy as unusual highlights!