plant police/invasive plant list from customer

Jack7b_ny(7b NY)June 12, 2004

This is somewhat wordy, but I want to set the scene properly;

At the nursey this morning, arrived to find some returned used gallon and two gallon pots.( we reuse them and let our customers know we will take nursery pots back, sometimes they leave them by our closed sign if passing by at off hours). In one of the pots was an envelope addressed to the nursery, I thought in my innocence maybe a nice note thanking us for the nice plants that had been in the pots, or a personal note from a customer we hadn't seen in a while, but no, it was a list of invasive plants, according to an article that was copied and attached. Handwritten on the list, Please stop growing this plant!, and the plant, which I won't name, was circled on the list.Note unsigned, by the way.

This brings several issues to mind;

I'm sure this was a sincere, nonmalicious suggestion by someone who thought they were helping the earth.

If the plant is on someone's invasive list, is it all right to decide it should never be grown again?, and to then tell a nursery what they should or should not be growing?

Is it well meaning but crossing the line to rudeness/arrogance?

I know I'd be more comfortable if they had signed their name and we could have had a discourse.

Obviously I have the plant on my list and we grow it, so I have decided it is worthy and beautiful, and do not see an invasiveness issue, much less than say, Rose of Sharon, or another self seeder.

The previous night on another forum on garden web I read two unrelated posts in which people informed posters that the plant they were asking about was invasive and should never be planted, and must be ripped from the garden, when in fact, both posters misidentified the plant in question based on common names.

I know the whole subject of invasive plants is fraught with strong feelings and stridency, that is why this post is not about a specific plant, but rather the way in which the issue was brought to my attention and my feelings in response.

Thanks for listening,


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deeproots(8b South Ga)

before you go and buy a plant, do you not educate yourself on it's habits? (shame certain others do not)

I never did understand someone paying $150 for a plant and having no idea what it really is aside from flower color/leaf shape.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 12:43AM
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i used to refuse to grow plants that are considered invasive by customers. now i grow them and inform my customers about the plant in advance. i do not sell plants listed as invasive aliens by the michigan dnr.
do we stop growing ground covers, which would include grass, just because someone considers it invasive? who wrote the list that was dropped off at your shop? was it some garden writer that lifted the list from some other garden writer in another state? as in all things, good intentioned people can be misled by misinformation or prejudice which hopefully is the case with your letterwriter.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 6:52AM
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I don't take anything passed on in anonymity very seriously. If somebody is passionate enough about such issues to confront a nursery, then they need to have enough self confidence to have a face or a name. How much more effective a courteous letter would have been to the nursery manager. How much more enlighenting an actual conversation would have been.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 8:02AM
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I think it depends entirely on the the plant and exactly what its 'invasive' nature is and on whether or not that plant is listed on your state's invasive species list.

"Invasive" is a term that is used too frequently and too broadly to describe plants which have an agressive spreading nature but pose no serious environmental threat. "Invasive" should be properly restricted to those plants whose growth habits jeopardize natural areas and wetlands and whose rapid spread threaten native species. These are the plants that most often will appear on local invasive species lists and their growth/propagation is often restricted by law. Selling these plants in a nursery situation is both irresponsible and illegal.

OTOH, selling plants which some gardeners may object to because of their propensity to spread aggressively but which are NOT included on an invasive species/noxious weed listing is a business decision. Good customer service may dictate that you inform nursery shoppers that these plants may spread aggressively or rampantly under certain situations, but you are under no obligation other than your own conscience as whether or not sales should be restricted. And let's not forget that the invasiveness of many plants is limited by location and growing conditions - what is listed as an invasive species in California may not even winter over in colder parts of the country. Local laws will apply.

So what was the plant in question and is it listed on your state's invasive species listing?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 10:31AM
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I would have read the note, given it some thought for a moment to consider its point and merits based on my own eco- morals and education, then tossed it .

If I agreed with the anon note writer, then sure why not make a stand and stop selling this ' anon' plant - ( why you find it offensive/ rude/ arrogant that the note writer stayed anonymous but you can't find the strength of your own convictions to name the plant is a odd state of mind )
If you don't agree with the anon note then be like a duck ; say quack quack and let it roll off your back and get back to the real things in life that matter.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 11:49AM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

i work with native areas and my main job is to work with invasives.

ill just like to say that invasive plants are a very bad problem and it seems that its only gonna get worse. certainly one of the worst problems facing our earth and its biodiversity in the near future. its almost as bad as development in the loss of habitat. its so frustrating when u see the damage buckthorn does to any open woodlands yet just down the road they sell buckthorn, saying its sterile. anyone that has been around these plants know that is a false statement.

to me its like the guns issue. some plants are just too dangerous to be sold (i dont have a problem with a .22 or shotguns but i dont think anyone needs a rocketlauncher and/or oozie). i think its up to a regulating agency to inform owners like urself as well as regulate and inforce, if needed. if no one is gonna understand and protect the commons, then i guess we need to make some laws to.

as too the letter. seems like someone was just informing u. tho when i write someone like urself a letter (luckily i wasnt in NY that day), i always leave my card.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 12:11PM
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Jack7b_ny(7b NY)

Follow up-
I purposely did not list the plant because that is not what concerns me specifically. My main focus remains, is any plant that someone somewhere decides is invasive to be immediately forbidden?, should this be discussed person to person, or was it fine to drop off a note?, can a vegetarian leave a note at a deli 'do not sell meat anymore', and be considered to have politely informed the owner of their concerns?
Obviously I do have a scepticism when it comes to authoritative lists, but to ease everyone's conscience, the genus of the plant in question does not begin with L.
Another plant on the list was Norway Maple, should they all be cut down now?
I am not really trying to partake in a controversial debate, but truly I feel that the letter writer caught me unawares,(I had thought the envelope addressed to my nursery would contain a kudo, not a slam.) and the resulting feelings I had were upsetting.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 8:56PM
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The only issue I find upsetting is anonymity. I don't understand it when somebody has enough conviction to pass a judgement. I do volunteer work as a docent, but was asked to file newsletters from other branches of our organisation. Fine. Twice I have rec'd "notes" reminding me to get the filing done. LOL. I do, when I am not busy being a docent. It irritate me, just like that note irritated you I suppose, because I'd have taken the note a lot more seriously if I knew who was so concerned, and why. I had to take INCO courses in university and they kept telling us communication was a two way street. Unsigned notes from customers are craven.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 10:09PM
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Maybe internet forums have made it seem acceptable to comment without revealing your identity, as is being done on this thread.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2004 at 11:27PM
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I'm sure the inet does/has had an influence on how we socially interact, but really the fact we keep the same moniker and some of us have been around for years doesn't really make us anonymous as far as knowing whos opinion came from where. It does allow interaction. Unsigned notes left at businesses don't. That's what I was getting at.

It's not a biggie Jack.......really. Customer feedback is a good thing. You want to know what your customers think and it can't always be something you want to read.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 8:28AM
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There is only one ultimate authority as regards what may or may not be carried in any given state...and that is the laws of that state as they pertain in restricted weeds.

Want something interesting? Keep track of the plants dicsussed on these forums, and what negative comments people have to say about them. And any time someone has a negative comment, stop growing that plant.

You will quickly find your self growing absolutely NOTHING.

Native and exotic is a grossly misunderstood issue. Invasive is the issue, although that is usually classified conveniently according to the side of the argument you are on.

Go back far enough in time, and everything is imported. Everything comes from somewhere else at some point in time, no matter where you are.

In the States, we conveniently use the arrival of the white man as the cut-off point as what is or is not native, the implication being that was happened before that was good and proper, what happened after, impure and unworthy. What else do we want to so consider? Indoor plumbing? Central heating and air?

Exotic plants are not the threat people make them out to be. Work with "invasives" and that will be all you see.

Think all invasive plants are not native? What about cotton wood, boxelder, quaking aspen, and sumac? and last year, articles about red maple in the eastern forests.

Here's one for you...chokeberry, Aronia. Commonly assumed to be native in the States. The specific variety, Viking...developed behind the Iron Curtain as a source of vitamin C when citrus fruits were not commonly available. Kinda muddies the water, don't it?

Think all exotics are damnable weeds? Numerous rhododendron species, japanese maple, Swiss stone pine.

And where do you draw the line at native? There is a movement to restrict all plant sales to seed source within 50 miles. Outside of being logistically impossible, it also means, many vast areas of the country will be without nurseries or the ability to purchase plants.

We get involved in arguments about provenence from time to 1ime, especially about certian species like Taxodium. Sure, we all like bald cypress, but if the natural range of the plant was naturally contracted through no fault of man, do you really want to use the argument of former native range to expand where we are able to grow it?

What happens to our crops? Pumpkins, potatoes, corn, winter wheat? All come from different parts of the world, and some have vast implications as far as employment and economy.

This issue is far from being resolved, with too many vastly competing viewpoints for an easy answer. How long until a nursery in MN that sells barberry or salt cedar will be firebombed like car dealerships have been? Or nurseries in MA that sell Picea pungens?

The only place in the country that will be able to grow Black Hills Spruce is an area of a few hundred square miles in westerrn South Dakota.

And what happens if we outlaw burning bush and use low bush blueberry in it's place? Blueberry has no major problems unless in commercial settings, but start planting it widely across vast areas of the country, and stem and foliage diseases will quickly catch up and condemn the plant to a slow, agonizing death.

I am not saying that there needs to be no controls on what may or may not be sold. The answer lies in the middle ground...

Unforttunately, that is not something we see3ms to be willing to compromise upon and discover where we may be able to achieve mutual satisfaction...we prefer the soundbite, the empathetic argument based on emotion with little care of what the reuslts may be, and to heighten the differences between us. Actually sit down and discuss? Give and take? realizing that what may a serious issue on the high desert of Nevada may not be in the rain forests of coastal Oregon? Or that the frozen tundra of North Dakota may present challenges unheard of in the balmy winter climates of Kansas? Or that Caliufornia has a different set of envirnmental conditions than exist in Virginia?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2004 at 11:01AM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

It was perfectly fine to drop off a note even if I too would rather have face to face discourse. Either give it some consideration or round file it and go about the day as usual.

Have you checked your states weed list lately? The only noxious weed species in your state starts with "L"? Just mentioning it as ours just changed radically and caught many unaware despite notices ti weed managers and local green industry. If you are upset that you expected a compliment and got a nasty note instead then you have to deal just a little with the unexpected in life.

The only other thing that is an issue is whether it's on your states Noxious Weed list. The terms noxious weed and invasive plant or exotic plant are used interchangeably when in fact the term "Noxious Weed" ususally carries a legal definition that is backed by state/county/city laws.

I have found and still find noxious weeds (legally defined and on my state's weed list) for sale at nurseries and inform the owners to their face in a non-threatening way of the problem. All but one have been completely unaware of the status and agreed to pull the plants from their stock. The other was cited by the state.

As for the middle ground that Hepta mentions. Sorry but I wouldn't sell tamarisk (for one) anywhere regardless of supposed climatic/environmental limitations. I personally think it's a rationalization agrument (along with the one that most every plant is an exotic anyway) when in fact nature is much, much more complex that that. They thought Kudzu was just confined to the SE (not) and are now finding that virtually all salt cedar is now genetically contaminated with the most invasive of this species-even the suppossedly less or non-invasive horticultural varieties. Thanks but no thanks.

And yes, I am a noxious weed manager so I guess I see this picture more close up than others and maybe I do see invasives everywhere I go...and I don't like it much as I spend a horrendous amount of time and money-taxpayer money, YOUR money-trying to control/eradicate them.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 9:14AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Every time a cargo ship arrives in port, it brings marine creatures from foreign waters. Wooden crates contain exotic insect larvae. Rodents and other creatures "hitch" rides on ships and airplane cargo holds. Sage brush found its way here as seeds mixed in with imported grain. The red fox (Vulpes fulva), now so common as to be taken for granted, was imported from England and Europe by Brits for foxhunting. Likewise, the ringneck pheasant (Phaseanus colchicus) was imported by Euro-Americans for hunting. It's a Eurasian bird. Ringneck pheasants are now totally naturalized in North America.

When Euros came to the Americas, they inadvertantly brought Norway rats, German cockroaches, and pathogens such as herpes, smallpox, influenza... And themselves, of course.

Well meaning idiots released European starlings and English house sparrow finches in our parks, imported gypsy moths as alternative sources of silk, and brought back every manner of flowering plant for the garden or horticultural research.

The Earth is round (okay, a little elliptical), and, as the cliche goes, "what goes around, comes around." As long as humans and other species are mobile, they will carry -- often inadvertantly -- foreign species with them.

So, when garden plants get imported, while they should be used and cared for responsibly, it's difficult to see how they are going to contribute any more to the degradation of the native habitat than has already been done by 5 centuries of foreign imports.

BTW, pumpkins, tomatoes, corn (maize) and potatoes are all North American in origin, but now they are grown all over the world, and cultures' cuisines have been built on them (e.g. Where would Italy be without the tomato?).

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 1:27PM
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Hi jack
It seems to me that you are a bit to sensitive,which is not a bad thing,like me perhaps you are used to getting compliments about the quality of your plants.If a person came to me and said a plant should not be grown as it is invasive and would gladly discuss with them the problem, but to leave an unsigned note it is not even worth using for toilet paper.
Was it froggy's point about the damage a shub is doing in the wild?and a nursery up the road is selling them.Has He/she spoken to them about it?I could be persuaded with such an reasonable argument,but if I took notice of every Tom, Dick and Harry I would believe for instance that there is only one variety of Campanula,which a person said recently to me.
For instance I stopped selling Cerastium tormentosum (snow in summer] because over here in the UK it is invasive for me,but I have had such a demand for it a started selling it again,I tell people it is invasive ,but some people want an invasive plant to grow were nothing else will.
On alighter note if i started selling snow in summer,and calling it Cerastium my sales would go through the roof

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 2:30PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)


I guess I see a few different issues here. First of all, I wouldn't necessarily decide that the note-writer was rude. Perhaps it's just someone who is shy or somewhat lacking in self-confidence and a personal discourse is too threatening for them. And that writer doesn't demand that you stop selling the plant; the writer says "please" don't keep selling the plant.

Second, I would ask that you objectively look at the latest status of this plant in your locale. It very well may be invasive in other areas but not in yours; if this is the case, you might consider adding some information at your nursery, such as , "Spreadus rapidus has been found to be invasive in states south of us, but due to our shorter growing season, Spreadus does not set berries and become invasive." If the plant has been added to the invasive list in your state, then you really should do the right thing and stop selling it. Yes, this happens in other types of businesses as well: food additives and pharmaceuticals are banned, Corvairs are declared unsafe, super-sizing becomes a nasty word.

Lastly, I regularly bemoan the use of the word "invasive" when it is slapped on any plant that reseeds or spreads to any degree whatsoever. It cheapens the term when it is used so loosely. But as professionals, shouldn't we recognize the tendency of home gardeners to misapply the term but educate ourselves as to the truly problem plants?

As to your follow up comment regarding a note to the deli to not sell meat, please remember that the note writer didn't ask you to stop selling all plant material, just one particular species. I'm assuming you sell a variety of plant material. I'm no vegetarian, but I have to admit that they had a darn good point when they confronted McDonald's about cooking french fries in beef tallow but labelling them as vegetarian.

Please don't let your disappointment in the note's contents let you overlook a possibly valid point.

Peace, V.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 3:08PM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

"BTW, pumpkins, tomatoes, corn (maize) and potatoes are all North American in origin..."

Hardly...All have pre-columbian, south american origins.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 4:58PM
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froggy(z4/5 WI)

the pt isnt that plants move around the world. obviously they do and will continue. great, the more the better.

the pt is that some plants are just too dangerous to all lands (the commons) and need some regulation. thats why the world has come up with noxious weed laws. this isnt just to protect native lands ( or pre white guy as Heptacodium says) but to also prevent loss of ecosystem balances. example is wetland and phragmities. loss of habitat to phragmities is now horrid and it looks to become even worse. notice that i didnt say 'native' habit but just plain ol' fish and wildlife habitat. these places become an ecological desert. water filtration is radically changed. now some may think that is fine but i dont. i dont want my earth with only 8 spp. and dirty. i want 80billion and the web of life strong and thriving. we all know the arguments of biodiversity, so i wont bore u. but what i do know is that some spp. are just too aggressive and harmful to be sold. we need to protect the commons. that includes regulations (and enforcement) on spp that disrupt. sure there is a balance and that is what we need informed regulation and not crazy laws.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 7:01PM
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This issue is really for the next generation. Getting our kids out in the field while still in elementary school. Removing and identifying noxious weeds alongside dedicated environmentalists who are devoted to preserving unique ecosystems. My elementary school had such trips. One was overnight to a place called Comset? I cant remember the name but it was in Long Island And I was in 4th grade. This topic was part of one activity. Since then I am at least aware of the problem from a hands on point of view. Respecting the tax payers dollars needed to remove weeds like Japanese Knotweed. The expense can be huge!

On the same token I wont take food of the table from another business, family or individual person. Hard thing to do face to face without having a face of cement. Maybe that is my upbringing. Respect the way each person earns food and money.

But I would be overjoyed to teach a young person still not in the professional world the merits of not selling or buying plants that are the noxious list and enforced by American Law. Without being didactic or steering that person to be radical. Just a small nudge.

In this sense the letter would be against my morals and ethics as how to treat a professional person working to put food on the table.

The topic has merit. The letter is disrespectful and is not an honorable approach to hand over a correspondence.

The unintended thread created by writing that letter seems to be such a funny almost comical way to get around my stubbornness. I would never talk this subject with professional gardeners or related fields just to be respectful to the way individual people have to make a living and not ever wanting to take that away.

So once again maybe this topic is really meant for our children and the voters booth on election day where at least we are all seen as valuable and respected. I speak from experience being an avid almost radical child supporting such movements of environmental concerns. Writing petitions and looking at Green peace members as my idols. Dreaming to be a green warrior. That ended when I had to realize would I be a good police officer. A police chief offered me a connection to the right people to meet in order to enter the New York State Ranger Police field. The answer to myself was I would never want to be a police officer of any movement because you have to take away the ability of someones way of life. That is when the child in me stopped fighting for environmental causes. So I do a small part. Ever so small. I pull out individual noxious weeds while hiking or working and dispose of them properly. Before they become a colony. And pass on what experiences I learned while looking up to leaders in this field to kids who are interested.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 9:09PM
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Culture and history surely have to have some merrit as well.

Ask someone that has vacationed to the part of the world that I live in what plants they recall. If it is Lowbush Blueberry, Beach Plum, Bayberry, and Tupelo in the woods instead of Nikko Blue Hydrangeas, Rose covered cottages, Beach Rose, and Privet hedges in Hyannisport it would be unusual.

How about some nice Eastern Red Cedars instead of those Japanese Flowering Cherries in D.C.?

I don't want to see the all of the waters choked with purple loose strife, every creek bank covered in Autumn Olive, and all the woods full of Japanese Honeysuckle, but I don't want to look at natives every where either. If it were a black and white issue and I had to choose between all natives (nothing, but natives) or a mix that included some invasives, hmmmm?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2004 at 10:16PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Mexico is part of North America, and maize/teocinte (corn) and tomatoes were part of Mexico's horticultural heritage. However, I shouldn't have lumped potatoes in, as those are South American. Same family as tomatoes, though, and New World -- which was actually my point (a previous poster seemed to be saying that these are Old World plants).

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 11:24AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Oh... and squash/pumpkins were grown in the American Southwest and Mexico as well... North American! :)

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 11:25AM
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Returning the pots was nice. That the note was anonymous is no big deal (as Veronicastrum said, the person may have wanted to avoid a "confrontation". Or has no plans to return as a customer).

Without knowing more about what plants were on the list, it's hard to judge whether this person was being unreasonable. If you're confident that the plants you sell don't pose a significant ecologic threat, then the note shouldn't bother you.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 1:47PM
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as the situation involved no privacy issues, IMO, your customer should have included her/his name as common courtesy. My question is, "why doesn't your customer want to discuss the issue?"

In any event, the link below has some non-anonymous related feedback from J.L.Hudson, Seedsman...

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 3:28PM
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Here's my take on the situation.

The writer may simply be afraid of confrontation and wrote the note in good faith to be helpful thinking perhaps you were not aware the plant was invasive. Or....

the writer assumes that you know the plant is invasive, and that you are selling it anyway, and is in a sense chastizing you for it.

In the first case, you wouldn't think much of it, but it seems that you have assumed the second case, and that is what is making you feel bad, as if you did something wrong and are being corrected. This is very understandable - none of us like to get caught doing something wrong. I probably would have felt the same as you.

As a nursery owner, you are probably more educated about this plant. If the note has spurred some concerns, then you'll have to decide whether to continue selling the plant. Adding a note about the agressiveness of the plant might help ease your conscience. But if it were a real ecological problem and commonly sold in you area, wouldn't it be on the noxious weed list already? Perhaps you could call you local ag dept. and ask their opinion.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2004 at 4:56PM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

Acccording to my refererence books, all crops mentioned originate (not just used in) in pre-columbian South America despite being part of the horticultural heritage of Mexico. New World yes, Southern hermisphere yes, but not north american in origin.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2004 at 8:09AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Eh? If they were being used pre-Columbian in Mexico, then they surely are North American in origin... as well as South American. It's okay in my book to say one or t'other or both, and not be wrong. :) The point being, they weren't old world crops.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2004 at 10:35AM
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tialisa(z5a IL)

Aside from the extremes, "invasive" is in the eye of the beholder. I planted mugwort and pink evening primose and it was the biggest mistake in my Z5 garden. Just last week at the farmers market, I saw some women selling the same pink evening primrose, and I also heard her LIE to another woman who asked if it was "invasive". The seller said no, and I said "like hell it's not!". The would-be-buyer looked at me, and said "I know it is, I just wanted to see if she would tell me the truth".

I don't have a problem seeing invasive plants in nurseries, but please don't lie to the customers about it.

- Lisa

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 1:50PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Tia Lisa,

With all due respect, may I point you to the 5th post in this thread from gardengal? This paragraph is copied from her post:

" "Invasive" is a term that is used too frequently and too broadly to describe plants which have an agressive spreading nature but pose no serious environmental threat. "Invasive" should be properly restricted to those plants whose growth habits jeopardize natural areas and wetlands and whose rapid spread threaten native species. These are the plants that most often will appear on local invasive species lists and their growth/propagation is often restricted by law. Selling these plants in a nursery situation is both irresponsible and illegal."

I agree 100% with what gardengal is saying here, and as I posted further down in the thread, I fear that we are diluting the meaning of the word "invasive" when we apply it to plants that are merely agressive spreaders.

The seller at the farmers market SHOULD have disclosed the tendency of the plant to spread, but she was 100% right NOT to label it invasive.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 2:19PM
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I personally don't like the anonymous note either Jack. But it doesn't sound like the note was mean spirited, so I'd give-up that point. Maybe they didn't want an argument.

You yourself have taken exactly the same path in this thread...the anonymous plant...because you were not looking for a discussion either.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2004 at 12:04PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

I'd second that...seems a bit odd that you don't want to mention the plant.

For my two cents: I think it's a good policy to label agressive plants as agressive (including how they're agressive). For example, if selling a running bamboo, one should include some notes on how it behaves, and how to keep its behavior in check.

The ones that bug me most are the wetland invaders (very difficult to remove by virtue of growing in a wetland), and plants that spread via bird poop. So, while I often use japanese maples (which can and do colonize and dominate adjacent woodlands around here), I wouldn't always sell a wineberry (much as I love the fruit)...unless of course it's already dominated the woodlands in the area (in which case a few more plants aren't going to make much difference).

OTOH, someone earlier mentioned Norway Maple. I'd be all for banning and/or eradicating those things, as well as Tree-of-Heaven, Japanese Honeysuckle, and Mimosa. They're just plain evil!

Sort of an aside question: do people still use Multiflora Rose as a rootstock for hybrid teas? And why isn't that on the fed. list? (It is on the PA list, but if it's a rootstock of a plant which was grafted in another state and the scion dies...)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 10:05AM
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deeproots(8b South Ga)

all of this seems strange, coming from the most invasive species on the planet. (Homo sapien)


    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 11:33AM
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Jack7b_ny(7b NY)

More follow up-
First of all thank you everyone for helping me gain some perspective on the differing viewpoints concerning this event/occurence/issue. I guess it was a slightly disturbing incident to me, but with time seems less important.
Clarifying- I did not include the name of the plant because I did not want the debate to be concerned with the
actual species involved,( I grow about ten pots of this plant, it has not been a big seller, I've been selling it down and hopefully will sell the last of them this year. I only grow it for sentimental reasons, it was featured in the entrance to the greenhouses where I went to college. If anyone wants to , they can e-mail me for the plant info.) but my issue was with the sense of entitlement I have percieved, ie., to an extent, many people seem to feel the right to tell everyone else what to do, based on their own personal agenda.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 9:35PM
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Copied a piece from [Stop The White List],
If a law could do this? And have plant police!!!

"This proposal will ban over 99% of the world's species of plants, animals and micro-organisms. Anything not approved will have to be exterminated, so major herbicide manufacturers are backing this proposal. Under this new system, expensive safety testing will be required for all new plants before they are approved for possession and propagation. Thus, only major corporations will be able to afford to introduce new plants into cultivation."

It is taken out of context so I could make a public view of my fantasy while reading the website.....Let them do it!! I would be the Capone Of Hops, Barley and Corn...Oh yeah Baby..You no it! Bring it on

Finally be the Black Market gardener of my dreams. Change my F350 ford dump V8 Turbo Diesel into the runner vehicle of my dreams. Pimp my ride. Only problem would be getting rid of all the gardeners. To much competition. The logistics. I could see the headlines

Valentines massacre repeat! All over who was driving Miss Daisy to the "Moonshine Flower Nursery" last night. Gardening underworld out of control!!

On a real note. Has anyone felt the long arm of the law while in the Horticultural Field. Narcotics aside :)
Seems like England is perfecting the Legality of Invasive Plants. Ireland too. Japanese Knotweed cost their governments a lot of money. This is a real problem. So far the female is not producing fertile seed.

One ex-customer of mine had a colony a few acres across. If they knew the problems of proper disposal of contaminated soil they would probably look for the black market excavating company to bury a few thousand yards into the hills of some new subdivisions open site.

It just cant be destructed. I would hose off any equipment before leaving that commercial premise. I had learned the hard way. Having the plant show up in one of my moss gardens and luckily in deep shade was no joke. Solving the problem without tearing five years of my heart. Carefully removing the moss carpet in sections to dispose of six wheelbarrows of soil. That cost me one days labor and no one to charge since the problem in my opinion was of my own. Actually I was very ashamed to have brought an invasive unwittingly onto the property of a person I repsect. Gladly dumped it back at the mother colony from where the plant must have attached to my lawn machinery . It spooked me real good.

I am afraid of the stuff. I now charge more money to do work on properties with Japanese Knotweed. Otherwise you keep it contained for free while gardening. Its a monster. Freaking S.O.B. plant.

And for every evil you find good...Japanese Knotweed makes for the most secrative almost rustic mountain passage pathway man could devise. Creating a magical tunnel rivaling Bamboo.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2004 at 11:29PM
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bmurphyfl(z4 VT)

I don't want to be an alarmist but I hope you saved the letter.

Your original post said you had received the note that morning and your post was dated June 12th. Well, the militant environmental extremist group, Earth Liberation Front, had targeted June 12th as a "day of action" and perhaps the anonymous note was part of it.

If you are not familiar with ELF, they are a loosely-knit shadowy group that targets businesses that they believe do damage to the environment. In the past that have burned SUV dealerships and large condominium developments under construction.

Perhaps, someone who sympathizes with the group's cause left the note. The fact that the note arrived on June 12th, was anonymous, targeted a business and expressed concern over an enviromental issue makes it suspicious. The problem would be what he/she/they would do if you didn't stop selling the plant.

Most likely, I'm way off base. But it doesn't take much to save a letter and you never know when it may be needed as evidence.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 11:19AM
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I've never heard that part of the ELF program is to return plastic pots to the nursery for recycling.

Absent any sort of threat, I think Jack had it right in the first place: "I'm sure this was a sincere, nonmalicious suggestion by someone who thought they were helping the earth."

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 7:01PM
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Sorry, but some of you just don't get it, and that's a good thing, because it means no one ever sent you an anonymous letter.

Such things are poison. They are stronger than an internet poster telling you you're full of *&^%$# because they are physical, tactile, and hand-delivered, which makes you feel very creepy because you feel so targeted. You can't stop thinking about how this person knows where you live, knows who you are, and very specifically planned to ruin your day. Add to that they didn't want you to trace the letter back to them (must be they knew this tactic was not an honorable one!), and certainly weren't looking for a discussion, so no signature.

I received such a letter, hand-typed, when I first started planting natives in my yard and apparently deeply offended someone in my neighborhood with too much time on their hands. He/she left a neatly typed sheet of insults folded in an envelope and placed in my mailbox under cover of darkness.

So Jack -- stop trying to explain to people why it's hard to be like a duck and let it roll off when you've still got a pit in your stomach, and your heart. You think you're doing good for the community -- working your bleep off, making friends and winning customers, and then someone reaches out who you think is going to shake hands and they give you a nice little slash with a razor blade across your palm and run off, leaving you thinking -- whoa, just what I needed right now! How kind!

I am opposed to the practice of nurseries selling plants that are listed on invasive lists compiled by state agencies but when I have a problem with that I tell the shop manager. If you stop stocking invasives (we're talking recognized invasives in your region -- not 'aggressive' plants, i.e. groundcovers, that can get out of control in a yard if the gardener doesn't do any maintenance) then you should turn that decision into a marketing strategy and get some profit from it. I guarantee that any nursery in our town which advertised that it did not carry invasives as permanent policy would get business from every Master Gardener in the county.

Unfortunately, the poison pen letter is going to stay with your psyche for a while. Remind yourself that such people are cowards, no matter how reasonable their cause might be, and don't let yourself be influenced by cowardly actions. Do the right thing at your shop because it's the right thing, not because you got your confidence shaken.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2004 at 10:57PM
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"Such things are poison. They are stronger than an internet poster telling you you're full of *&^%$# because they are physical, tactile, and hand-delivered, which makes you feel very creepy because you feel so targeted."

I might agree, if the message in question consisted of a dead Lythrum salicaria nailed to the door, attached to an envelope containing five orange pips.*

Otherwise, I think one can get carried away with the "sinister aspect".

*subtle Conan Doyle reference.size>

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 3:07PM
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Garrickza(South Africa)

Personally I would ignore the letter. If the plant is not a legally listed weed or invader I would continue to sell it. I consider hadera canariensis (ivy) to be a prime candidate for banning but until it is I will sell it as there is a demand for it. A few plants that I really think of as invaders I label as "spreads very vigourously" and will never recommend, but have them in stock. Letting every customer decide according to their own prejudices which plants one should not stock sounds a bit 'potty' to me.
Over here we have lately banned loads of plants, which is progress as we used to ban loads of people prior to democracy becoming fashionable!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 5:56PM
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Jack7b_ny(7b NY)

Of late you seem to be developing a rather mawkish sense of humor.*

*another subtle Conan Doyle reference.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 7:40PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

As in, "You've been in Afghanistan, I perceive"?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 8:12PM
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Maybe what you need is an invasive customer list.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2004 at 11:38PM
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Jack7b_ny(7b NY)

Cady and Eric,

After further research it seems the note was left by a tall woman of French origin carrying a wicker picnic basket and having an allergic reaction to a rare nocturnal moth, there are several other indications but those are the main points to consider, those, and the trained cormorant seen about the area in the days preceeding the incident.


    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 6:53AM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Heh heh. I suspect all this hallucinogenic off-topical has to do with too many people sitting around inhaling Devil's Foot Root.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 10:57AM
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Propaganda Garden Design

Eric OH you made me laugh out loud and totally lose it which is not cool because I am using a computer in a common area of a school and now everyone around thinks I am a loon!

Thanks for the funny post.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2004 at 12:01PM
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Bellingham(z8 WA)

Frankly, your question sounded loaded to me.

Your follow ups certainly seem so: " issue was with the sense of entitlement I have percieved, ie., to an extent, many people seem to feel the right to tell everyone else what to do, based on their own personal agenda."

You recieved a note that asked you to please stop growing a plant. If the note writer had set up a picket line in front of your business, or posted flyers around town about your wanton disregard for the environment, I'd be more sympathetic to the idea that the writer is "telling you what to do...based on...personal agenda." A simple note asking for something, and which includes the word "please" is not exactly eco-terrorism, despite earlier dire warnings in this thread. Also, I think the title you chose for this thread reveals your own assumptions about the writer: S/he is the thought police, Political Correctness run amok.

Basically, it sounds like you made assumptions about the writer's motivation, which is understandable, but not especially worthwhile, or fair. And fairness, if I'm not mistaken is the real issue of your post? That is, you think the writer did something unfair or unreasonable to you?

The other thing that strikes me as significant is that you say, "I've been selling it down and hopefully will sell the last of them this year." It sounds an awful lot like you are saying you think the writer was right to ask you to stop growing this plant?

You sound sincere when you say this...well...hurt your feelings? Is that an accurate way to describe it? You were hoping for a compliment and you got a criticism. Hey, that would put a damper on anyone. I think the real issue of importance, however, is whether this plant is, in fact, a threat.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 3:49AM
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I seem to see a common thought running through this thread:

It's okay to sell non-native invasive plants UNTIL they are made illegal by the feds or your state.

However, anytime a group or agency tries to add a popular nursery plant to the official invasive list, the professional plant associations fight it tooth and nail. In essence, you circle the garden carts as to not threaten your bottom line.

Well, I think you all need to look beyond the official lists and visit the lists of your local Exotic Pest Plant Councils. These are the plants that should be outlawed but many aren't because you are all too concerned with making a buck before being good environmental stewards.

For a list of known non-native invasives for the Eastern U.S. as determined by knowledgeable people (botanists, etc.), go to the web site below. You will note that not all are on the official noxious weed lists, though they should.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 5:31PM
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I like youre follow-up. I am embarrased of my own ignorance and playfull use of forum space. You are a good teacher. Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2004 at 10:20PM
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Unsettled feelings released here and an ensuing forum of aid/discussion. Has it helped? Definitely an interesting read and I can't help but wonder if maybe, Jack, you thought the person who delivered your note may come by your post?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2004 at 8:20AM
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Jack, Quite a few responses here and I am going to add my two cents worth before I read ALL of them. From your original post I see you as an intelligent, concerned person who feels their integrity has been called into question. First, stick to your guns and do not name the plant as that is not the issue here. I am sure the letter writer had good intentions although they may be misguided. I would post this letter to my bulletin board where the public can see it and below I would add my response to it. This will start a discourse where you can have a fair exchange of views. You could also print a statement on your policy towards invasive plants and their various lists and explain that it is a biological fact that plants grow and reproduce but that what may be invasive in one area is not in another and that anyone can make a list but you will honor only those put out by reputable state agencys. Post this on your bulletin board beneath the anonymous letter. I hope this is helpful.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2004 at 9:04AM
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poppa(z5 MA)

One possibility escapes mention.

Jack, have you been sleeping less and, when successful, has it been less than peacful? Do you find yourself tossing and turning through the night? Have you wakened in the morning surrounded by signs that you had been up and about during the night? Is there a history of sleepwalking in your family? Dementia? Do you find crumpled notes around the bedroom in the morning?

I would suggest that selling these plants has built up an intolerable level of guilt and that this suppressed guilt has gathered to a point where your subconscious has caused you to frequent the night, placing these "anonymous" notes THAT YOU YOURSELF HAVE WRITTEN and placed there! Admit it , Sir! Can you prove that you were asleep in your bed on the date in question, June 11th? How convienient indeed that this is a known 'party night'. Do you recall having frequented the tavern the night before? Of course you can't! You can't remember WHAT you did that night! This fact that you can not remember placing the note there yourself proves that! You sir, deserve a sound thrashing.
Burn him! Burrrrrrrrnnnn himmmm!

Another point. Forget the invasive species thing. Mother nature and survival of the fittest and all that. If it survives, it belongs there. Rather than spending all that tax money on trying to eradicate something like japanese honeysuckle (which i love to watch flocks of waxwings feasting on), i suugest we spend those dollars on something useful. Genetic engineering! Think of the good that can come of that!

Take loosestrife... why not create a species that is even more invasive, but make it tasty to deer? Or a species of honey suckle that has watermelon flavored berries? Kudzu with huge orchid flowers that develop bananas? Dammit, make it into a cash crop! Zebra mussels? make 'em larger than cherrystones. I am amazed at how many people relish eating the guts of clams, they probably would love mussels too. Walking catfish? Ok, i am at a loss there. The only way to immprove on those is to glue a little tophat on them... so cute walking down the boulevard, struttin thier stuff.

Worrying about invasive species and non-native species is like worrying about global warming. What enviromental disaster? Think of it more like we are restoring the earth to it's pre-biological decline condition, before all that carbon got locked up in the earth. I want a steak from a cow the size of 7 elephants... bring it on!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2004 at 1:02PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Poppa, are you on vacation this week? You have too much free time. heehee

    Bookmark   July 14, 2004 at 1:18PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

Maybe we could breed not only a deer-tasty loosestrife, but also an elephant sized deer with marbled steaks? Also, breed it to respond to "here bambi!", so we can shoot them more safely?


    Bookmark   July 14, 2004 at 3:26PM
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Onion(z9b/15 Nor Cal)

Just a thought - maybe the person figured they would remain anonymous because they knew you wouldn't know who they were anyway, so why leave some random name? I could see leaving a note to someone that doesn't know me and not including my name without much thought about it.

And from an outsider's perspective, it seems that maybe the anon. person was trying to help by thinking maybe you hadn't heard the species is invasive (a little silly to think a nursery owner wouldn't know, but you never know...). Maybe this is a little 'glass half full' type of reasoning, but maybe they deserve the benefit of the doubt because they were trying to 'help' by leaving the pots in the first place.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2004 at 4:34PM
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Onion(z9b/15 Nor Cal)

Eddie's idea sounds pretty perfect to me.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2004 at 2:23AM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

Jack: looks like your neighboring state is getting hairy on this point:

    Bookmark   July 19, 2004 at 10:00AM
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Are you all aware that the "plant police" have their own post, "Native Plants." Seems they aren't happy to stay there and rant. I see they are over here too. They told me to leave their post and come here; so I did. Now that I've finished reading all the posts, I am certain of what I've felt for a long time. These people are not satisfied with their one little niche - they also want to control where we live, the materials we use to build our buildings, the fuel we use, hunting & fishing, and what we are supposed to eat. Wonder what they think we should eat? Do you get the idea they could be dangerous?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2004 at 11:26PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

Actually, they have a whole forum :).

The tread ds is talking about is actually pretty amusing. I wouldn't consider them dangerous, though they can get pretty uppity when baited (and don't we all?).

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 7:02AM
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Rosa(4ish CO Rockie)

Yes, baited for sure and ds goes a great job of it.
But you missed her the one below.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 8:13AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Gosh, ds, I wasn't aware that it was considered dangerous to be a fan of native plants AND to work in the green industry.

Gotta run now - I'm roasting a little culver's root for my lunch and I don't want to burn it.



    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 11:39AM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

Ooooh, save some for me V!

BTW: notice that suddenly it really is the NPF folks dominating this thread (me included)? Truly prophetic :). Maybe we need a new forum: "the professional gardeners who happen to like native plants forum".

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 5:19PM
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Why not just start your own threads here, NPF folks? We're all here to learn and that requires expanding our boundaries, questioning our prejudices, asking questions and yessss healthy debate.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2004 at 10:06PM
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reinbeaux(z8 WA State)

I sell a LOT of invasives - but none in violation of the Washington State noxious weed list (some of the invasives I grow - Jerusalem artichoke, mints, bamboo, etc.) I ALWAYS tell my customers about the invasiveness of my plants and tell them how they can keep them in control. Sometimes the more I tell them about the invasiveness or spread of the plant, the more they want them (I guess they are figuring they are getting their money's worth)

How I would respond to an anonymous letter would depend on whether it's just a plant that likes to grow or whether it's actually on the state's noxious weed list and I shouldn't be growing it (I make sure all the plants I grow and sell are in compliance with my state's laws)

If you are growing a plant in violation of your state's laws, then the anonymous letter writer was correct --- why would they want to deal with retaliation from someone who obviously doesn't comply or have regards with state law?

If the plants you grow are not on your state's 'do not grow or sell' list, then just shrug it off as someone who has a personal agenda or doesn't know what they are talking about.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 2:10PM
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State lists of "noxious weeds" or prohibited invasives are aimed at plants prone to spread in the wider environment, not those that may overwhelm their neighbors in a garden.

Local invasiveness (i.e. by rhizomatous-type spread, as opposed to seed-borne distribution over longer distances) is a separate issue, but one that fosters confusion among some gardeners, and apparently among some in the nursery industry as well.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 5:04PM
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reinbeaux(z8 WA State)

yeah - and some nurseries propagate and sell plants on the class 'A' noxious weed lists too - either intentionally or ignorantly - they are still prohibited plants and they ARE being sold by "reputable" nurseries who SHOULD know better.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2004 at 6:52PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

Is there any chance the letter-writer is an employee????

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 10:00PM
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hayseedman(z5/6 Ct.)

I've pointed out to three nurseries that they were selling a terribly invasive weed, Porcelain Berry, and I got looks of mind your own business, indifference, and I'll tell my boss.

How do you get the message through?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 1:29PM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

Just have to tell you, hayseedman, that my jaw dropped when I looked at your photo.

Seeing is believing. I'm watching over my shoulder right now...


    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 2:58PM
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Cady(6b/Sunset34 MA)

Yikes. Imagine garden centers in Georgia selling kudzu as garden plants. That's what this reminds me of. I have porcelain berry growing on my fence, alongside a native Concord grape vine. The porcelain berry grows much faster than even the most aggressive grape vine.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2004 at 9:00PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

There was a big article in the Washington Post last weekend about porcelain berry and other vines...I'm suprised anyone actually buys the stuff! OTOH, I saw a variegated one in a garden a couple years ago...I'm guessing the green variety will spring from its seeds soon enough.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 7:48AM
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Jack, I can understand why an anonymous note would make you uncomfortable, and I can also understand why you don't want to name the plant because it's irrelevant to the discussion. However, if it is on your state's noxious list, should you as a responsible citizen continue to offer it for sale? If it is not on the list then there's no issue. Here's what I would do. Print out the "Severe Threat" list for your state from the website Vaccinium provided, post it in a prominent location and post below it your "Company Policy" that your customers will never find one of these plants for sale at your nursery. How many of your customers have actually ever seen that list? And, how many confuse "invasive" with "aggressive spreaders or seeders"? You'll be educating them. If a customer questions the invasiveness of a plant you sell, you can show them the list and explain the difference.

I have never seen and never expect to see Japanese Honeysuckle, Kudzu, Tree of Heaven, Mimosa, Common Privet, or Chinese Privet for sale at any nursery in the South. However, I have purchased Variegated Porcelain Berry and have it growing on an arbor. That plant is not on my state's invasive list, but is on "Watch List B, plants that are severe problems in surrounding states, but have not been reported in Tennessee". I'll watch it.

Interestingly enough on "Watch List A: Exotic plants that naturalize and may become a problem in the future", among others are listed Buddleia, Cosmos, Rose of Sharon, Spearmint, Peppermint, and Grape Hyacinth. All of these are commonly found in every nursery and most gardens.

Where do you draw the line? Do you refuse to sell any plant that is listed on not only the Severe Threat List, but also the lower threat lists the watch lists? That's your decision and your conscience.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2004 at 5:25PM
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I've found here in Florida (where our invasive species list is one of the most extensive, if not THE most extensive, in the country) that most of the invasive species that are banned from propagation and sale somehow damage the environment or property.

Most of the invasives on our "A" list are not banned from propagation or sale, because they are not normally sold in nurseries, and are only damaging to the environments where they are commonly found, and do not spread outside these areas readily without help from humans.

On the other hand, species that are readily spread by birds and other animals, such as the Brazilian Pepper, are prohibited from propagation and sale, however, they are not banned from the landscape if they happen to come up in your yard or are already there. (BTW, I think they should be, but that's too "Big Brother-ish", I guess)

I have a neighbor with two Indian Rosewood trees in his yard. We suspect that their roots are damaging the foundation to my house. These trees have been banned from sale for years. They come up everywhere, even on the opposite side of the house from where they are growing. Their roots grow far above the ground, and I actually have to weed eat around them to keep from damaging my mower.

I asked if I could somehow force him to remove the trees, but was told I couldn't because trees existing in landscapes at the time they were prohibited are not subject to the law. Now how stupid is that? The tree is damaging my property, but I can't have it removed because it's been there damaging the property for 20 years.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2004 at 8:15PM
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cybersal(8 Heart of Tx)

Jack - my opinion is that this comes down to one thing: You have been "shot" by a sniper. A sniper is someone who doesn't want honest face to face conversation because they "know better" than everyone else and don't have to defend their position. High-handed,cowardly, and mostly malicious. You can do 2 things: 1. Fingerprint the pots and track the no-goods down, or 2. PUT THE WHOLE THING OUT OF YOUR MIND. Good luck and grow what people want to buy. (In my yard oaks are invasive.) Sally

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 11:40AM
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anyone knows what plants attract bees?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2004 at 11:04PM
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catherinehc(z5 NcntrlMA)

What say we start a new forum to continue discussion of these issues, and of the plants involved? I just proposed one to the GardenWeb site management; you can add your request by using the link below.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2004 at 6:51PM
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Is it up to the gardeners to keep their plants in check? oh, i get it. it lot easier just blame on the plants for their agressive growth, than get off the couch and go gardening. just a thought, tuanh

    Bookmark   December 4, 2004 at 7:53AM
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Awful lot of heat and not much light. A few interesting comments from both sides, but mostly a lot of people talking past each other once the topic changed.

It is now about six months since Jack recieved his note; I doubt he's losing any sleep over the incident by now (Jack, if you are, seek professional help immediately :-).

I'll withhold my opinion, others have spoken for me.

(isn't that convenient, no one can tell who I was castigating or what side I'm on)


    Bookmark   December 17, 2004 at 3:07PM
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toyon(USDA 9b/Sunset 14 CA. (Sacram)


The problems with 'invasive' plants spreading is seldom due to lazy gardeners. Some seeds are made to float in the air, and in some cases they blow for miles (pampass grass on the Gulf Coast and California Coast). Birds can spread seeds for miles (Himilayan Blackberry). Some seeds are really good at floating their way out of gardens, down storm drains, and into waterways (Acacia in the South, Sesbania in California). Many are hitchhikers (brome grasses in the West). Then there are the plants that survive being chopped up by reproducing from the smallest pieces and are sometimes spread by getting tangled under vehicles and falling off the bottom of the vehicle in the woods and rooting in place (Vinca major).

    Bookmark   December 20, 2004 at 2:09AM
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serenoa(z8b, FL)

This is a great thread - despite a few bits of misinformation and some strong personal biases. Regarding invasive plants, I think that we gardeners have to behave in a responsible manner or the government will step in and legislate what is legal and illegal. Isn't it better if gardeners and horticulture professionals work to control aggressive plants, ourselves?

    Bookmark   December 24, 2004 at 11:03AM
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I know this is out of the blue but I stumbled accross your post while searching for something else.

Each state publishes a noxious weed list. There are some on the list that are illegal to propagate or sell. If your plant is anything other than one of the "most wanted" on your state's list, you have every legal right to grow and sell it.

If you have a nursery, you should be inspected every once in a while for compliance on such things. The inspector will settle the matter for you.


Woodinville, WA

    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 7:22PM
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