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  Invasive plants
From: "ron" <ronlene at bellsouth.net> on 2004.08.28 at 15:36:14(12075)
To all of those who think it's OK to grow "just a few"
invasive plants "at home",
I live in Florida and volunteer with the Agriculture
Extension Service here. I read lots of information about the damage that
the imported invasive Genera of flora and fauna are causing to
our natives. Most of these living things were imported with good intentions, to
beautify our land, to protect from insect and animal predators, to improve
our food supply, and lastly, to profit from in business. Most
of these intentions worked fine for a while, but the long term effects are
starting to become apparent now, AND it is to late to reverse much of it.
I cannot go into the details of all of the individual species that are the
villains, but I am sure you have read about most of them.

Our country has thousands of natives that should make most
of us happy. As Aroid lovers, there are hundreds of aroids that have
passed the test of time for environmental safety. We should think very
carefully before we try to import and plant any species that does not have a
proven environmental safety record. It's always nice to have something
that no one else has, but by owning it, you assume the responsibility of
quarantining it until you are confident that it will not be invasive, because it
may escape. I believe this testing should be left to the
trusted professional grower.
We all take great pride in our collection. Lets also
take great pride in our environment! DON'T GROW INVASIVE
PLANTS!! Ron Kessler

From: "danny wilson" <mudwasp_ at hotmail.com> on 2004.08.29 at 04:16:39(12079)
when ever i grow something that is particularly invasive, monstly tuberous aroids, especially arisaema triphyllum and amorphophallus konjac, i make sure to grow them in pots and not let them go to seed. if i do want to put them in the ground, i just bury them in the pot. i have had first hand experience with extremely invasive plants. the most nasty in my town, samta cruz california, is Arum italicum. it crossed my entire neighborhood from what i can tell to be the location where a few plants were put many, many years ago. it even grows in 3 feet of large chunky granite we use for drainage in my back yard. you cna find A. italicum literally everywhere in santa cruz, including cracks in teh street. another monster around here is Arum palaestinum, believe it or not. i was actually able to locate the original palce these plants were introduced. several plants at that location had flowers nearing 2 feet long and 1 foot acros
s. if anyone wants any A. palaestinum, let me know, i will be happy to get a few out of here. all 3 documented forms grow here. the one that smells like over-ripe fruit, the one that smells exactly like dog poo, and hte one that smells like nothing. the big bad one around here particularly is dracunculus vulgaris. these plants are so insanely invasive that one year after planting 20 large flowering sized tubers bigger than a baseball each, which i got for free from a nice couple down the street from me, this year i dug them up and now have close to 100 babies and larger tubers. i even have 8 or 12 of the marbled forms as well as 3 or 4 variegated plants. keep these plants in pots, for the love of all taht is good.i do indeed know the dangers of releasing invasive plants in an alien environment
>From: "ron"
From: Floral Architecture <floralartistry2000 at yahoo.com> on 2004.08.29 at 05:49:01(12081)
There is one drawback to that theory. What is invasive
in Fl may not be invasive in CA or OH. One example is
chives. They seem innocent enough. Right? Well, those
little *#$&*& are all over the place at my uncle's
house in OH. I have garlic and regular chives. Both
have reseeded into every nook and cranny they can. But
here in CA. I can barely get the harvested seeds to
sprout and continue growing.
But, I am straying here.
I agree that invasive species should not be imported
but, who can we trust to say that they are invasive?
They have to be here to be able to prove their
From: "ron" <ronlene at bellsouth.net> on 2004.08.29 at 16:06:09(12085)
Hi Danny,
It's good to hear a response to my note. This is a
very worthwhile example of what can happen when an innocent gardener tries a new
plant in his garden. These invasive "treasures" can do the environment NO
good. Call your local County Agricultural Extension Service and tell them about
it and they can tell you how to eradicate the pest plant. DO NOT
offer it to your friends!! This will further pollute our precious
environment. Let your conscience be your guide.
I am NOT a radical,protestor, environmentalist or a person
who chains himself to gates, but I have seen the long term damage that evasive
plants and animals can do to our country. Let's hear some more
opinions! Ron Kessler

From: "Matyas Buzgo" <mbuzgo at botany.ufl.edu> on 2004.08.29 at 16:06:28(12086)
Is Pistia "invasive"?

Ten years ago, there was still a dispute, whether Pistia originated in the
New World or in the Old World. That is, nobody really knew, where it was
native to - and where "invasive".
Has there been new evidence published, showing that Pistia has not been
around in the warm climate of the New World since prehistoric times? Please
provide new literature (after 1994) that shows Pistia was introduced (by
Europeans or other Old Worlders).
With "shows" I mean hard evidence. I am aware that several articles call
Pistia "invasive", especially to Florida. But I never found evidence to
proof Pistia's absence prior to Europan arrival. Believing something is
"invasive" because everybody says so is not science, but mythology.
Does the community consider a plant "invasive" because it can temporarily
form monocultures? Then, are Phragmites australis and Fagus silvatica
"invasive" in Europe?


From: "ron" <ronlene at bellsouth.net> on 2004.08.29 at 17:32:30(12091)
Hi John,
Sorry for the delay. I recently installed Windows SP2 and the Firewall
thinks my Aroid mail is Junk ( Who Knows?). I'm slowly catching up. You
have many good points. Regarding some of the food crops, it may be easier
to buy them in the supermarket, than let them invade out yards. Most of the
other food crops have a proven record of safety. This is all I am
suggesting. Kudzu, Pistia, Brazilian Peppertree, Australian Pine, Umbrella
Tree, etc and some fish species do not. Careless plant importers that
recently brought in diseases such as the Cycad scale, the lobate scale, the
rapid Oak disease are not helping either. We should not contribute to the
problem. Ron

From: Tony Avent <tony at plantdelights.com> on 2004.08.29 at 20:04:10(12097)

Could we please use accepted terminology when discussing invasive plants.
An "invasive species" is defined as a species that is 1) non-native (or
alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and 2) whose introduction
causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to
human health. (Executive Order 13112). http://www.invasivespecies.gov.
Environmental harm is usually defined at disruption and displacement of
native plants in a functioning natural ecosystem.

Many of us have spent quite a bit of time working on this issue and
misusing the term invasive doesn't help address the real issue. Seeding
around in the garden may seem invasive to a gardener, but does not fit the
official federal definition. Thanks.

From: "Bobby McGehe" <bobbymcgehe at bellsouth.net> on 2004.08.29 at 21:35:08(12100)
Thank You!
From: "plantsman" <plantsman at prodigy.net> on 2004.08.29 at 22:12:46(12101)

I would very much like to help you rid your neighborhood of some of those
Dracunculis and A. palaestinum (preferably non-dog poo scented), the bigger
the better. D. vulgaris is quite hardy here although I'm not sure about A.
palaestinum but would be willing to experiment with in-ground and in pots.
Please contact me if you're serious. I'd be happy to compensate you for
shipping and handling.

David Sizemore

From: Floral Architecture <floralartistry2000 at yahoo.com> on 2004.08.30 at 01:00:06(12107)
Ron, I think you are missing my point. Invasiveness is
all subjective. Pistia is a complete menace to natives
in Fl and other warm gulf coast areas, not in New
England, WA, or the Midwest. They cannot be deemed
invasive until trials are done in the areas to be
introduced. What an Oxalis is doing in S. Africa is no
indication what they will do in S. CA. O. pes-capri is
unbelievable here. It is quite colorful when it is
blooming (which doesn't help with idiotic gardeners
who harvest bulbs and trasplant them). But, it still
will displace natives and cause environmental harm as
Tony has pointed out.
Phragmites, while a great commercial crop in Europe
for millenia, has no use here other than to remove
essential habitats for some already unstable environs
for natives.
From: "ron" <ronlene at bellsouth.net> on 2004.08.30 at 14:48:35(12116)
Hi John,
I really did not miss your point. You said it very well. I agree with most
everything you have to say. Unfortunately, plant inspection, at Customs
does not always have adequately staffed people to handle the exotics and we
lose to many worthwhile additions. I think the Aroid-l website has very
astute (and humorous) growers and I am sure they spread the word about
invasive plants. Say NO!!! to "The STRONGEST WILL SURVIVE". Ron

From: "hanson, skip" <shanson at emc.com> on 2004.08.31 at 15:02:40(12136)
Title: Message


I also live in Santa Cruz. Nice to see a local Aroider on the list. I would be
interested in getting some of

the A. palaestinum you mention. I promise to only grow them in pots [;).


From: Steve Marak <samarak at gizmoworks.com> on 2004.09.01 at 03:28:29(12139)
On Sun, 29 Aug 2004, plantsman wrote:

> Danny,
> I would very much like to help you rid your neighborhood of some of those
> Dracunculis and A. palaestinum (preferably non-dog poo scented), the bigger
> the better.

From: MossyTrail at cs.com on 2004.09.07 at 05:52:48(12173)
"ron" wrote:

>To all of those who think it's OK to grow "just a few" invasive plants "at
>by owning it, you assume the responsibility of quarantining it until you are
>confident that it will not be invasive, because it may escape. I believe
>this testing should be left to the trusted professional grower.
>We all take great pride in our collection. Lets also take great pride in
>our environment! DON'T GROW INVASIVE PLANTS!! Ron Kessler
If I may add something...

Even the professional grower may not be able to keep a handle on the plants being tested. Where I currently live, in the Hawaiian Islands, one of the most troublesome weed shrubs is Clidemia, also known as Coster's curse. It was originally imported legally by a botanic garden, but escaped. Now it is too widespread and abundant to control.

You have to go pretty high into the mountains to find much native vegetation in Hawaii anymore; most of our rainforests are reminiscent of the fictional island of New Switzerland (the setting for _The Swiss Family Robinson_) -- that is, an impossible mixture of every part of the globe. Incidentally, another of our worst weeds is an aroid popular with plant enthusiasts: the familiar Epipremnum aureum, with habits akin to the kudsu you Southerners know and love.

Jason Hernandez

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