Little bit of help on the way

Southern, NJ(Zone 6b)

Thanks for this and the other posts, Equilibrium.

Yaa, I was going through e-mails I hadn't had time to read as my mailbox got loaded up and I've run across quite a few informational sites that I had been meaning to share. Finally, I got so tired of going back through listserve e-mails that I just started deleting. I need to try to keep up but I've been so darn busy lately that it's been hard to do anything other than to skim

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

She's pretty cool, eh, keeping up on things for us? Meantime, I'm hiding and biting my tongue as I am able to recognize more plants and trees.

I feel for ya. I've been at this for a while now and it's an extremely humbling experience.

A little bit more help on the way-

The Florida Transportation Department Agreed to help battle destructive plants. They are the first government agency in the Country to sign on to voluntarily minimize the spread of invasive species.

Citra, FL(Zone 9a)

Hooray for FL!
Wonder how far behind CA is.

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Finally, a reason to be proud of my home state. We may not be able to vote correctly, but we're big on saving the environment. And what a great environment it is - today I had to urge Dad to turn the AC on. It was around 80 but the 83% humidity was killing me!

Tsk tsk tsk

today I had to urge Dad to turn the AC on. It was around 80 but the 83% humidity was killing me!
Stop bragging! I've got a snow drift that is about 3' high up against my back door that needs to be shoveled out by hand and both furnaces are running.

Texas is doing great in this arena regardless of whether they formaly announced that they agreed to to help battle destructive plants or not. Illinois had made a few baby steps toward the use of plants indigenous also. I suspect that as with anything else, once one government agency embraces the use of plants indigenous to their region that other government agencies aren't that far behind hopping on board. This is going to be a boon to native plant wholesalers across the country in the long run.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

I shop at Lowe's in Pensacola quite often. I will have to start looking to see if they reduce their number of invasives for sale.

Hey escambiaguy, what's happening is that the entire Florida Transportation Department has basically agreed to use exclusively plants that are indigenous to Florida in their projects. Lowes has no intentions of reducing the number of invasives they sell... people are buying them and it's not against the law to sell many of the species they pedal. Buyer beware.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

It said in that website that Lowes had agreed to a "voluntary code of conduct" in Florida. What do they mean by that?

Ohhhhhhhhh, that's very good. Probably for appearances though as many species have not been formally identified as exotic invasives because the process is extremely political but... at least they will stop offering the ones for sale that are formally identified so this is really great.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

Hopefully this means Lowes will stop selling privet and that butt-ugly nandina.

Is privet on the list for Florida? I don't think it made the list. It's far too popular and the nursery industry is selling boatloads of it so no matter how much scientific data is out there about the plant's invasiveness... some simply don't get on the list. Frequently, I notice that by the time a plant becomes formally identified, the cat is already out of the bag. I suspect they'll still be selling Privet but the Florida Transportation Department is won't be purchasing or planting it as they've come right out and stated they're pretty much going native.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

If Lowes keeps pedaling, then the FL DOT will have to build more bike paths and less roads.

Good all the way around.

BTW, the Tampa Bay nursery association was one of the original participants in the national conference that produced the St. Louis Declaration, and early endorsers of the voluntary codes of conduct to reduce invasives use along with the FL nursery association and FL landscape contractor association. Here's a link for more info:

Well, you were a major force in the St. Louis Declaration, did you about jump for joy when you saw that the Florida Transportation Department was the first government agency to hop on board? Not only did they hop on board but they went one step farther and formally stated they'd be using native plants. This speaks volume as other governent agencies will be following suit. It's only a matter of time.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Biking my way through the 'Net, I can add this to the discussion:

Two species of privet grace the Category I list for FL, along with nandina, lantana, and Ophiopogon. And Casuarina.

Very nice link. Glad you're biking around the www.

Oh my, some Ligustrum are on their list. Wish they were on our list. That's great for Florida but not so great for other states that haven't banned the sale of the plant yet. Has any one else noticed that some nurseries simply market those plants in other states where they are still legal to sell? And then there are those nurseries that only list a common name or that list the genus and the cultivar name to attempt to avoid detection so they can continue to pedal them. That's what's been happening in Illinois with Lythrum salicaria. Lythrum salicaria is a nasty plant that we now know does considerble harm to the environment so they're selling this nice Lythrum 'Morden Pink' or this nice Lythrum 'Dropmore Purple'. Just this past summer I had a gal tell me that these cultivars REALLY were sterile unlike Lythrum salicaria- uh huh.

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

That list is pretty much right. L.sinense is the number one invader of forest in the Florida panhandle and L.lucidum is a problem in isolated pockets. Strangely, L.japonicum is seldom a problem.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

That's amazing, that Ligustrums are listed as invasive. I've got 5 that are over 50 years old and 4 that are over 30. They are medium trees now. I've never seen them come up anywhere,..not even one. They bees love it when they bloom. They smell good. : )

Atmore, AL(Zone 8b)

You probably have Japanese privet (bigger waxy leaves), it is not as aggressive as Chinese privet. I have an old one too that hasn't given me any problems.

I've never seen them come up anywhere,..not even one.
Odd, many Floridians say the exact same thing about Rattus norvegicus, Eichornia crassipes, Myocastor coypus, Ailanthus altissima, Ctenosaura pectinata, Wisteria sinensis, Passer domesticus, Albizia julibrissin, and Bufo marinus.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Lotta Ligustrum living in landscapes; often invasiveness depends on which one you have and in which region that species is invasive.

The overall idea is to not distribute these plants where they ARE a problem.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

You are probably right, it does have bigger leaves. Nice shade out back. : )

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Yea again for the Florida DOT! I just think that it makes a lot of sense, especially here in Florida, to use natives. We're constantly being told to conserve water - I've been indoctrinated with that since elementary school. Using natives is such an easy way to conserve because once they're established they can take a lot of heat and drought. Case in point, I recently bought some Tampa Vervain (glandularia tampensis), an endangered species, from the Suncoast Native Plant Society (also available at Home Depot sometimes). Since I planted it (in full sun) it has not wilted in the least, and it has continued to bloom ever since. I had even thought how nice it would be to welcome visitors to Tampa by planting this in the medians of the highways. Seas of purple pretty. I actually drive past the I-4, I-275 junction that's being redone, and lately they've been planting as they finish up the project. There's a lot of palms and plumbagos right now. There are some other plants but I try to keep my eyes on the road while driving! It just seems like common sense to use plants that naturally grow in your area. They're way less trouble, you save water and fertilizer, and they don't shrivel up and die come August. And as I've said before, isn't it boring when everything looks the same? I want Florida to look like Florida!

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

I've been looking for glandularia tampensis for awhile now. Everytime I go to HD or Lowes, all they have are those verbenas with the white in them.

I use to have some years ago, and it was so pretty. Like a purple blanket that bloomed and bloomed. I'll have to check out the Suncoast Native Plant Society to see when they have a sale, and also check with some Tampa stores.
Thanks for the info. : )

This message was edited Dec 3, 2006 2:31 PM

Lutz, FL(Zone 9b)

Home Depot had it a few weeks ago but it was sold out. I happened to see five in a cart marked "Returns" so I promptly transferred them to my cart. The company that grows them is I don't think they sell retail but they provide Home Depot with their plants and might be able to tell you when they plan on delivering some.

South/Central, FL(Zone 9a)

O.K. Thanks mellie : )

Saint Charles, IL

There is a list coming out in Illinois shortly that will list several species that will be prohibited to sell in Illinois. On this list it does include Ligustrum. They are keeping Golden Vicary off the list right now, because there is little proof of it being invasive. Some of the other interesting things on the list include but are not limited to, Berberis thunbergii and its cultivars minue "Concorde" which is sterile, Euonymos alatus, minus a couple cultivars like "Rudy Haag." Euonymos fortunei, though I don't think they are going after the Emerald N Gold, Emerald Gaiety, Blondy types, but rather "Coloratus" which is a groundcover also known as Purple Leaf Winter Creeper. Lythrum salicaria is on the list, and has been along with Rhamnus. Lythrum alatum is not on the list as it is a native and not as crazy. All rhamnus are on the list, though there are native buckthorns that are worthy of planting. Meetings will be taking part on Tuesday the 12th of December 2006 and could be made publicly soon after. Hopefully in time for MIDAM which is an industry trade show in January.

Berberis thunbergii as well as all cultivars should be banned. Not only is the plant documented as being capable of outcompeting indigenous species which could disrupt entire ecosystems but I believe it is documented as being a host to Puccinia graminis which is a fungal disease that can threaten our wheat crops. Come to think of it, Berberis vulgaris may also be documented as being a host to Puccinia graminis. I was told Berberis thunbergii would be added to their existing list of plants to discuss last summer. Here's hoping it gets banned. Several others were suggested to include Euonymos alatus, Ailanthus altissima, Pyrus calleryana, and Albizia julibrissin however they were allegedly already on the preliminary list to be discussed by the panel. The process is extremely political. Remember, many of these popular plants have been touted as being valuable in the landscape and marketed as such so they currently represent millions of dollars annually.

Although all exotic Rhamnus are currently banned in Illinois, no native Rhamnus are banned and rightfully so.

You can find a list of plants currently banned somewhere at this site if you look for the Illinois Exotic Weed Act-

Regarding "sterile" cultivars in general... many cultivars are self-sterile but they can still produce viable seed when functioning as either a male or female parent in cross breeding with other cultivars as well as the straight species. The Bradford Pear is a classic example. We have numerous pollinators out there capable of effectively cross pollinating plants that are at great distances from each other. I don't believe Berberis thunbergii 'Concorde' is sterile. Perhaps self-sterile, but not sterile.

Yay for New York-

News from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

For more information: Kimberly Chupa, (518) 402-8000

DEC Announces First Statewide Invasive Plant Conference

Conference to be Held in Albany, NY on February 7 & 8

ALBANY, NY -- (02/02/2007; 1710)(EIS) -- The New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the Invasive Plant
Council of New York State (IPC) will be holding its first statewide
conference titled, "Invasive Plants on the Horizon and More." The
gathering will be held at the Holiday Inn on Wolf Road in Albany on
February 7 and 8, 2007. The conference will bring together partners from
around the state to exchange information and further efforts to combat the
threat of invasive species. DEC, along with New York State Office of
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and New York State Department
of Transportation, are sponsors of the conference.

See the link above for the full press release.

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