Plant Database forum: Checkbox for invasive plants?

Views: 232, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
Name: Maggie
Calaveras County, CA (Zone 8a)
Region: California Winter Sowing Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
Faerygardener
Mar 24, 2018 2:10 PM CST
A useful addition to the plant Database would be a checkbox / notation for Invasive plant in your state/region. I looked at the "Danger" option and those appear only health related. It'd be most useful if the notation included a comment spot. For instance, Scabiosa atropurpurpea (pin cushion flower) is "Watch list" on CA's invasive plant list - notably for coastal areas. https://plantright.org/watch/s... It is considered invasive in MO and "It is also naturalized in Great Britain, Germany, Belgium (DAISIE) and South America, Australia and New Zealand". http://www.cal-ipc.org/plants/... . Another checkbox for easily reseeds/spreads might help folks who don't know the difference check the correct option.
Remember, it is dangerous to the environment and ILLEGAL in MANY states to mail plants/bulbs/cuttings in. Let’s all practice Do No Harm while we walk this earth and find other ways to connect to one another through gardening.
[Last edited by Faerygardener - Mar 24, 2018 4:12 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1666924 (1)
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
tx_flower_child
Mar 24, 2018 2:19 PM CST
I like the idea of noting invasive plants, especially using a link.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 24, 2018 2:21 PM CST
I think the invasive checkbox has been brought up before. The question seems to be the issue of where a plant might be invasive and where it might not... many plants which are invasive here (Carpobrotus for example) wouldn't last in harsher climates. So that particular variable being hard to pin down, the invasiveness would depend on the location of the database user. Maybe the folks who've been here longer than me can weigh in on the subject, but that's my understanding.

My preference is to leave that sort of information in a comment, which will be attached to the database plant of interest. For example the text below the images on the Carpobrotus:

Hottentot Fig (Carpobrotus edulis)

Or the comment about self-seeding here:

Giant Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya brittonii)

Or check out this very informative recent comment by carlysuko.

Carpet Geranium (Geranium incanum)
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 24, 2018 2:29 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1666946 (3)
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
tx_flower_child
Mar 24, 2018 2:33 PM CST
Agreed that it could get very lengthy too list places where a plant might be invasive, etc. Maybe there already is one, but a general caution somewhere that reminds users to check whether a plant is invasive (or not). Could include a link.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Dragonflies
Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
Bonehead
Mar 24, 2018 8:20 PM CST
I think there is also a huge difference of opinion over what is invasive or not. And it does vary depending on the geographic region. A quick look at some love/hate plants will show that some folks tolerate over-eager plants that others think should be stricken from the face of the planet. I have found it more informative to check out the comment section to see WHERE people are finding a plant has over-stayed its welcome, and also to see who is posting the comment. As you get to 'know' members, you will learn which members will go with the flow and which want to be more regimented. Neither is right or wrong.

I think more accurate information is to state in the comment section what your personal experience has been in your region, and to also include designations of invasive plants on a state by state basis. That would be difficult to do with a check box, although perhaps one that simply states 'May become invasive' or something along those lines.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Mar 24, 2018 8:31 PM CST
I agree. It does seem like a dirty word of sorts, though obviously a useful one at the same time (since "invasive" is by definition a negative). Smiling

A link in the comments to the relevant info on your state's invasive plant page would be a great resource for others who are curious.

The comment area is also a great place to make clear what features of the plant make it particularly invasive. The biological feature or ecological behavior that is key to their success, so to speak. For example some plants make babies at some distance from underground shoots, some might reseed everywhere, some might offset or branch or grow vines or just root everywhere. These features that confer the invasiveness seem more useful to know (for actual gardening) than simply the quality of invasiveness itself.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Mar 24, 2018 8:34 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1667239 (6)
Name: Maggie
Calaveras County, CA (Zone 8a)
Region: California Winter Sowing Vegetable Grower Seed Starter Enjoys or suffers hot summers
Image
Faerygardener
Mar 25, 2018 5:43 PM CST
Perhaps I should have worded it differently. Most states (and some countries noted in the original post) have state/country official invasive /prohibited plant lists. I'd linked the CA ones, I know OR and WA have them.

Did a quick check for the other side of the country and Mass. has one "The Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List prohibits the importation, sale, and trade of plants determined to be invasive in Massachusetts. This ban also covers the purchase and distribution of these plants and related activities, and includes all cultivars, varieties and hybrids of the species listed. The Prohibited Plant List was last updated in February, 2017". https://www.mass.gov/massachus... certain honeysuckle, feather grass, the Bishops Weed being chatted about right now in a "what do you regret planting" thread in Perennials.

Central Texas has one https://www.austintexas.gov/si... They mention this is not a legally binding one unless the plant is also on the TX Dept. of Ag list as well.

There are SO MANY check boxes available - in looking at them I'd just thought this could be so much more useful than some of the existing ones.

It's why I mentioned a DIFFERENT check box for spreads / reseeds easily to separate the dangerously invasive from nuisance / requires work. Perhaps adding a link to Your State Invasive / Prohibited Plant list that includes this specimen would be more telling. This addition could be so informative for folks who don't have a clue.
Remember, it is dangerous to the environment and ILLEGAL in MANY states to mail plants/bulbs/cuttings in. Let’s all practice Do No Harm while we walk this earth and find other ways to connect to one another through gardening.
[Last edited by Faerygardener - Mar 25, 2018 6:02 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1667902 (7)
Denver, CO (Zone 5b)
Region: Colorado Xeriscape
GoCart
Mar 26, 2018 9:14 AM CST
I do see value in compiling invasiveness information with state identifiers that control such lists. However, I'm not so sure the plant database--or even this site--may be the best repository for that information.

I suppose it depends on how useful the powers that be think that information is to inexperienced gardeners using the database, vs the potential for it to "clutter up" the database information. I'm sure it can be annoying responding to a different person in forums every time that planting Saccharum ravennae in CA is not a good idea, but at least that information is targeted to the person that doesn't know otherwise. It's just as likely someone that should know that information would overlook it in Plant Database info. I like the idea of people leaving that information in Comments on the plant page, but when too many are left, the information also gets hard to find.

Ultimately, if it does get added as an information section in the Plant Database, I believe a checkbox with instructions to leave a state abbreviation would be one of the best solutions as these lists are usually put out by states. One shortcoming is how other countries manage lists (if they do).
[Last edited by GoCart - Mar 26, 2018 9:14 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1668291 (8)
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
Region: New Hampshire Vegetable Grower Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tomato Heads
Annuals Hostas Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Spiders! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US
Image
robertduval14
Mar 26, 2018 10:14 AM CST

Plants Admin

This is definitely a sticky problem in that, as others have brought up, a plant may not be considered 'invasive' everywhere.

There IS a checkbox for 'Will Naturalize'. I check this box off for anything that MAY be thuggish, though it is also used for plants that do spread naturally, but are not considered invasive. It's not the most eloquent solution but it's what I use in these situations.
Denver, CO (Zone 5b)
Region: Colorado Xeriscape
GoCart
Mar 26, 2018 11:19 AM CST
Just looked at the plant details submission page again and I saw what you were talking about for 'Will Naturalize.' To me that seems like a very ambiguous term as well. Wouldn't it be regionally specific as to where a plant will naturalize? Or if it simply means that it is possible for the plant to reseed/naturally propagate (as in not a sterile hybrid), wouldn't 'Sterile' be a more accurate description?

FWIW, naturalization vs invasiveness to me is a difference of whether a plant is a native that will propagate instead of an introduced species that aggressively chokes out native species (or more simply, included on some authority's list).

I know Rob already acknowledged the limitations of that current method, but it may be worth bringing up in the overall conversation if changes are being proposed.

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Plant Database forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by GaNinFl and is called "Old Mill Courtyard"