Permaculture forum: Native vs Invasive Plants

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Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 25, 2015 8:18 AM CST
The war against Non-native plants. But then, what is a native plant? http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/2...
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Aug 26, 2015 10:10 AM CST
That's a good article. A good debate can definitely be had about what a native plant is or isn't, and about the merits or cons of particular plants, in particular locations. I have mixed feelings about the issue, like I'm sure most people do. The one thought I always end up at is the arrogance of anyone thinking that Europeans were the first to "disturb" a perfectly ecologically pristine North America, and wonder if it's correct to say at any given time that an ecosystem is complete or pristine. The natives who had been there for hundreds/thousands of years definitely had the land and plants manipulated (in a positive sense) into a system, and by methods, that supported and aided their culture and society. Also seems quite arrogant to think that humans can manipulate plants by moving them, to the degree that it somehow endangers the planet, which is always in a state of active change, and that humans could then restore everything back to a different, supposedly exactly defined state/condition from some past point in time.

It seems well documented which plants were moved from Europe to N America during the course of the short history of United States, almost exclusively because of an edible &/or medicinal value, but looking past the revisionist version of history, people from all over the globe had been traveling all over the globe, manipulating and moving plants and animals in whatever ways they could, that they thought would be beneficial to them.

And what about plants moving around on their own, like coconuts floating from island to island? Are they invading the land on which they wash ashore if no other coconut trees already exist, even if it's the same latitude in the same ocean? Could it not be argued that some plants are evolving by convincing humans to move them to new places in which they can thrive? Is it not evolution for plants to offer a value to humans which is repaid by cultivation?

To the issue of conducting chemical warfare about plants deemed invaders, it boggles my mind that anyone would think, should the conclusion be drawn that some plants aren't "good," that chemical warfare is a sane plan of attack. I've heard of volunteers pulling & digging unwanted plants from parks, but had no idea such a large amount of tax dollars were being spent this way. For decades, there are the road maintenance trucks that spray everything in the right-of-way along highways & county roads, but the article mentions some very different & expanded warfare.

Anyone who has investigated Monsanto & their relationship to the FDA and USDA for more than a few minutes won't find any of this surprising though. The last 3 paragraphs are the best part, which unfortunately equates to also being the most nauseating.
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Name: Cindy
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Shadegardener
Aug 26, 2015 10:58 AM CST
I agree I agree I agree

Charter ATP Member
hazelnut
Aug 29, 2015 6:10 PM CST
Well said, Tiffany. From what we know about ecosystems, they are always in a state of flux--I don't think there ever was a pristine state as far as vegetation goes. Just another reason to wage war, when understanding would be more useful.

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