WANTED: It's against the law to possess certain plants in Texas
I post on the Texas forum quite a bit, and I am becoming more concerned with so many invasive plants being exchanged, mainly aquatic plants. I am a citizen scientist for the Texas Invasives. You might be interested in reading my post as follows. I know that many of you are aware of which plants are illegal, and I hope not to offend anyone, but rather to help. I have posted this on one forum and got a favorable response, yet on another forum, it was totally ignored and the members are exchanging very invasive plants. And I don't mean to be a downer and burst anyone's love of aquatic plants, but you may not be aware that many aquatic plants are illegal in many states with laws varying from state to state, i.e. what is illegal in one state does not mean it is illegal in another state.
I do know that there are many Illegal and Invasive Plants in Texas including Water Lettuce Pistis stratiotes and Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes. In fact possession of these plants is illegal and can be punishable with fines and/or imprisonment. Read below:
The State of Texas doesn't just frown on the possession of harmful or potentially harmful exotic plants. It is illegal to posses these plants in Texas. Possession of any prohibited plant species is a Class B Parks and Wildlife Code Misdemeanor punishable by
-a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $2000,
-a jail term not to exceed 180 days, or
-both a fine AND imprisonment.
Each individual plant of a prohibited species constitutes a separate violation. The law applies to everyone: aquatic plant producers and distributors, garden centers, pond supply stores, pet stores, and individual pondkeepers. So if Joe Ponder is caught with 10 water hyacinth in his backyard pond, that would be 10 separate violations, with potential fines totaling $20,000.
After checking the Invasive Plants of the Eastern United States compiled by the University of Georgia, there are many illegal plants. The reason they are illegal is because they are so prolific that they are getting into streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and waterways and choking out our native plants which is directly related to our natural habitat. If you are ever get the chance to visit Caddo Lake, you will see first hand just how invasive water hyacinths can be. It is very sad, but they are working on trying eradicate them.
So you might want to check with you local Wildlife Office and make sure that you are in compliance with the laws of your state and when shipping plants across state lines.