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Invasive Plants - Lists Can be Confusing Newsletter


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Invasive Plants - Lists Can be Confusing

Chinese pistache is on some lists and not on others.

This recent news release about invasive plants caught my attention. In looking at web sites about invasive plants, two things jumped out at me.

Texas Begins Cracking Down On Invasives
August 16, 2011 Today’s Garden Center

Several years after an invasive species ban was created in 2005, Texas is beginning to crack down on the sale and distribution of the plants. And due to the plants being listed broadly by species, confusion is arising, says Jim Reaves, Texas Nursery & Landscape Association’s director of legislative and regulatory affairs.

A recent TNLA member was fined for growing a sterile variety of purple loosestrife, a species on the noxious plant list. The variety grown was Lythrum ‘Morning Pink.’

Two Texas departments have authority to enforce the ban, Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), which focuses on non-aquatic noxious species, and Texas Parks & Wildlife, which focuses on aquatic plants. Both departments have overall enforcement power, and in the TNLA member case, it was the latter that fined the grower for carrying loosestrife.

The business or person who sells, distributes or imports a banned plant commits a Class C misdemeanor and up to a $500 fine per plant.

There are many commonly used plants on the various lists, and they are all quite different lists. Here are links to some of the most interesting:

The USDA has some really good information on invasive and noxious plants. Here’s the web site for the information from your state:

There are some interesting omissions from some of the lists. Some of the most invasive plants are privet, greenbriar, Japanese honeysuckle and poison ivy. When I consult on landscape projects, these are the plants that are removed first. Kudzu isn’t even mentioned in some of these lists. Here is the national list: 

A guide Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests is now available free from the U.S Department of Agricultural at this email address: or call 828-257-4830.

The most invasive plants in my yard continue to be houttuynia, cashmere bouquet, bamboo and wild strawberry. I can’t avoid the admission that I planted all these plants and at one time thought that using them was a grand idea. We DO continue to learn. By the way, the false strawberry is gone from the turf thanks to the Crabgrass Control organic herbicide from the Garden Weasel Company.

If you have questions on this newsletter or any other topic, tune in this Sunday from 8am - 11am CST to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

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Naturally yours,

Howard Garrett

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