Did I just buy more invasives??

catherinet(5 IN)June 5, 2013

Shoot. I drove 35 miles to a nursery I like, and found "Green Dragon". I have an old fashioned phone that doesn't have internet access, so I called my husband and had him look up "Green Dragon", to make sure it was native to our area. He found several sites that said it was. Unfortunately, I wasn't anywhere near the plant when I called him and didn't give him the scientific name. So I bought 2 for our woodland area and came home.

When I got home I looked up the scientific name of "Pinellia Pedatisecta" and everything I've found said its invasive and from Asia and NOT the native Green Dragon Arum that I thought it was. We struggle on a daily basis with invasives on our 35 acres and I'm not going to add another one to it!

The sign the nursery had over these plants said "Related to jack-in-the-pulpit and hardy to zone 6 and great for the woodland garden. I'm in zone 5...........so maybe it wouldn't even survive here, if I did plant it.

I called the nursery and the owner said to bring it back. Great......now I get to spend as much money on gas taking it back, as it cost to buy it. Maybe I'll just burn it. Bummer.

Anyone else have any experience with this plant?
I've learned my lesson......always look up the scientific name and don't go by the signs at the nurseries.
I should have just stayed home and burned the money. :(

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Is there any place else near that nursery worth visiting? It's what, maybe an hour's drive or so? I would want the satisfaction of returning the plants. Perhaps if more people did that, nurseries would begin thinking twice about offering invasive plants for sale.

I'm not at all familiar with this plant, but have learned, as you have, to check scientific names and not rely on common names or nursery signage. Years ago, in complete innocence, I purchased houttuynia cordata (chameleon plant) for my bog garden - believing the signs that said it required a boggy soil and would not be winter hardy in my zone 7 garden. Well, both proved wrong; it has nearly taken over the bog and is moving out into adjacent beds and lawn. I've been pulling it for years, which only seems to make it stronger! I don't want to use any herbicides for fear of harming the other bog plants or, more importantly, the koi in the adjacent pond.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 5:06PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks, agardenstateof_mind.
I hadn't thought about returning it as being a statement of being unhappy about them selling an invasive. That's a good point.
Yes, there are other stores around that I could visit. Unfortunately, I did all my shopping there today.......but I could always shop some more. :)

You just wouldn't believe our property. We moved here about 32 years ago, and the man who owned it first, bought Janpanese bush honeysuckle from the DNR.........also Russian olive. In our ignorance, we thought they were great plants. The birds loved the berries on the honeysuckle.

Then we got busy raising kids, and before we realized it, it covered about all of our acreage. We don't use chemicals, and my husband has tried to pull it out, but its futile. I think every single berry turns into a new bush.

I thought the drought last summer would help, but it came back with a vengeance. And we have wild grape, garlic mustard, wild yam, wild raspberries, wild rose, poison ivy, euonymous, crown vetch everywhere, and now in the past week, I've discovered 2 new vines. If I ever find kudzu, I think I'll go crazy. (I mean crazier).

I think I will return those plants.......even though burning them would have been such fun.......haha

I'm trying to accept globalization of plants and animals, since its not going away. But it makes me really, really sad.

(The one good thing recently is that I found a huge Jack-in-the-Pulpit!!)

Good luck staying ahead of your chameleon plant.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 8:59PM
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Glad to be of some help, small though it may be. It sounds like you have your work cut out for you controlling those invasives. My first thought was to go after the most aggressive ones first ... but, gosh, they ALL are!

A good site on invasives, for the middle Atlantic region region, but it may be useful to you as well, is the New Jersey Invasive Species Strike Team. www.njisst.org. Lots of information on invasives (plants, insects, fish, mammals), how to tell them from similar plants, and why they are a problem. They also have a "Do Not Plant" list ... which I think should be laminated and kept in everyone's glove compartment for quick reference.

If you ever need encouragement to keep up the battle against the invasive plants, try reading Doug Tallamy's essay "Gardening for Life" at the link below. There is some other good information on that website, as well.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening for Life

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 10:44PM
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I think it is a good idea to make a statement. I don't understand why some nurseries will sell any plant that has the potential to become invasive even if it is not on the invasive species list....irresponsible.

I too bought the chameleon plant. I dug them out a week ago. I went deep to make sure I got all the roots. Last night, I saw a new leaf in the area where I thought I got them all.

The Japanese honeysuckle smells divine. I see them on the side of the roads and empty lots. Last year, I was prepare to dig them up and bring them home. However, after research, I decided against it. I even ponder potted it to prevent it spreading. However, I too read that the birds will eat the seeds and disperse the plants that way.

I decided on the coral honeysuckle in the hope that hummingbirds will visit.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:40AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I, too, find it irresponsible to sell these things. I guess people just want what looks good, with no regard to the long-term effects.
I know when the man who first owned this property bought 3-4 long rows of jap. honeysuckle, he thought he was doing a good thing. I'm going to start another post about my more recent feelings about all these "invasives".
Good luck with your chameleon plants Tina.
(How did I miss that one? I have all the others!!).

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 8:53AM
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Don 't plant that one. It has become invasive here. Invasiveness varies somewhat from region to region. You need to check out lists that pertain to your area, but the honeysuckle apparently is everywhere.

And new ones to come. Example: Youngia japonica is invading here...new to me as of three years ago. Yuck.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2013 at 10:15AM
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