Monday, June 21, 2010

Invasive plants on the lam



Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii) is a Class B Noxious Weed in the State of Washington.
Notify the authorities if it approaches your garden.
Photo: Bildtankstelle.de



I read up on invasive plants last week and enjoyed the lively descriptions of their behavior. My favorite--"escaping from cultivation."

Don't you love the prison-break-movie sound of that? Some invasives even have prison-style nicknames: Albizia julibrissin goes by "Silk Tree", Pueraria labata "Kudzu", and Perilla frutescens is leader of the chain gang as "Beefsteak".

These invasives deserve their own film about breaking out of a perennial border. Here's a preview of some plant-action-movie sequences:

Plants gathering at night under outdoor lighting to draw diagrams of the garden (with plant marker pencils filched from the potting bench).

Buddleias filing down metal tools when the gardener isn't looking. (That's what happened to your missing trowels).

Invasives coordinating their wristwatches.

Digging tunnels.

And then running wildly across the open land outside the garden fence.

The most exciting horticultural film since Avatar, coming to you in 2011 from Fox Searchlight. Title TBA but may be Cool Hand Loosestrife. Your suggestions?


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20 comments:

Carri said...

I planted a Buddleia yesterday. I tossed and turned about it for a while but decided to go for it. I already have a pit in my stomach that I'm gonna regret it!

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Carri, You're still a solid citizen. Buddleias aren't on the invasive list for CA http://www.cal-ipc.org/ip/inventory/weedlist.php But keep track of your trowels.

CASUDI said...

The Butterfly Bush I inherited did not do much before I yanked it out and replaced it with a Blue Weeping Western Cedar.

However, what is considered invasive in our part of Washington is "broom" introduced from Europe and really absolutely beautiful along the roadsides this time of year. If invasive enhances the landscape should it be allowed to roam?

I really enjoy your your posts. @CASUD

DD said...

I have to say the Buddleia in my garden does look very suspiscious, lurking behind the Acer. If kept in check, however, and pruned to within an inch of it's life in the winter, come the Summer it is a delight to watch the butterflies benifiting from it's bounty!

Bill Bird said...

If invasive plants aren't bad enough -- how about invasive weeds? I've got them coming up in two raised beds now -- and nothing will stop this bindweed -- not even a good shot of Roundup. I should know since I sprayed Roundup on this stuff last year. It knocked it back -- but not out. It's back in the onion bed now. Grrrrr....

Rhonda said...

lol..I tell you I was thinking of the mint, lemon balm and oxeye daisy when i read that..I just know they are simply out to get me.

Debbie/GardenofPossibilities said...

LOL! In honor of my home state, CT, just publishing a list of 25 Japanese barberry cultivars that will be included in a voluntary phase-out, I would like to submit 'Bad Ass Barberry' as a possible title.

Daricia said...

Love those hardened criminal nicknames. Lol. I had no idea buddleia is invasive anywhere. What a shame. I have a light purple, dark purple, pink and white in my garden but haven't noticed reseeding from any of them. They dont sucker do they? I do know they tend to get ugly after a few years, and I prune them way back every winter to neaten them up some. The butterflies truly love them, though, and they take the NC heat really well.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I remember reading earlier this year that the state of Oregon placed a stop sale order on all B. davidii, except for butterfly bushes denoted as 'seedless'. I don't have any here, although I did used to grow it in our last garden. It's seemed to struggle in excessive heat, and perhaps our dry California summers help to keep this plant in check here.

Wicked Gardener said...

Funny post! I haven't seen any buddleia seedlings under the one just killed either. Have you seen "The Ruins"? Now that is invasive!

Kate said...

Interesting how things that are so perfect here can be such notorious noxious weeds elsewhere. I love my butterfly bushes but my garden terrain is so harsh they have no hope of becoming invasive.

susan morrison said...

How about The Green Mile?

You wouldn't even have to rename that one!

rebecca sweet said...

Very funny indeed, DP! Here in my super dry California garden I have never seen an errant butterfly bush seedling (OR a berberis seedling for that matter)! It's always so interesting to me what's considered invasive in some parts of the country versus others. My fear is having Scotch Broom or Pampas Grass sprout up undetected in my garden - now THAT would be a nightmare!!

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

LOL, I can tell I've been hanging around with way too many native plant enthusiasts and natural area preservation volunteers, because I'm so literal about invasives being bad. I do love your humorous take on them, though. Butterfly bush is NOT invasive in MI, btw. :)

Grace Peterson said...

I just wrote about this subject for my [hardcopy] garden column and then felt the need to address it via blog. What bugs me is when nurseries don't tell us which plants tend to "stray." Aegopodium for instance...

Buddleia is getting a bad rap. Here in Oregon it and English Ivy have been banned from sale. Not even the non-invasive hybrids can be sold however, something's fishy because at two separate nurseries I've seen Buddleia x 'Lo and Behold-Blue chip' for sale. I bought mine several months ago fearing I wouldn't be able to get it once the ban to affect. But no more variegated ivies to complement our container compositions. Sucks.

Sorry I can't help with the movie lingo. It's almost midnight and my wit has already checked out for the night. :)

Lydia said...

"Swamp Thing" starring Louisiana Iris.
In honor of my least favorite invasive " A Pepper Tree Ran Through It"

"Guess Who Came to Dinner" starring subversive flock of scrub jays spreading purple lantana. Which when cockroaches inherit the earth- they will live just fine because there is no such thing as "just one" purple lantana.

For those with tamer tastes in flicks-

"My Fair Roses" or

"The Secret Lawn" since the water companies only want to see those in cemetaries or golf courses-(:

Genevieve said...

I'm always interested in what's invasive in other areas, too. I'm delighted that Buddleias are getting a bad rap in my area, even though they aren't actually invasive here. The things give me the most horrible sinus infections after pruning them, from all those fuzzy white hairs on the leaf undersides. Anyone pulling them out is a friend of mine.

And LOL at Debbie's Bad Ass Barberries.

"Daffodil Planter" Charlotte Germane said...

Thanks, you guys!

Each of the proposed movie titles is a scream!

As for the invasives--buddleia lives in my garden but doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Scotch Broom though? Boo, hiss, too flammable and should be pulled out immediately.

Bill and the Bindweed--I think that's not a movie but a 36-part television drama.

Julie Orr Landscape Design said...

This post gave me a giggle. Unfortunately, I am not laughing so much about my Bermuda grass problem in the yard. I am working on an aggressive eradication and do not want to see the sequel any time soon.

sierrafoothillgarden said...

My entry is 'Mexican Standoff' and that's what I have with my Mexican Evening Primrose. I bought two pony paks and thought they'd fill in my front beds nicely. Actually they're bullies, that turn into bare ugly stems when they're not blooming, ...most of the year!

I have seen Buddleia growing along the freeways in Seattle. Guess it wasn't planted by the road crews.