Thursday, September 30, 2010

Can a plant be listed as both Native and Invasive?

Recently I recieved an email with a question we are often asked: I would like to plant non-invasive flowers, shrubs, trees that are self-sustaining in East Texas but I am having some difficulty understanding what is safe.  I find some plants listed on your ‘invasive list’, which is also listed on Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center listing them as ‘native’.  This is confusing, can you help clear this up?
Our answer: A plant can be native in one part of America and an invasive in another. It is a big place. The LBJ Wildflower site is a wonderful place to get information on native plants. They are a good reliable source of information. We work with and partner with them on many projects. Their Mr. Smarty Plants is a great venue for questions about gardening with natives. But while their focus is on native plants, ours is on non-native invasive and pest plants. So, if any state or region in the U.S. lists a plant as invasive, we will have information on it, even if it is actually native to the U.S. or to some part of the U.S.