The Invasive Plant Species Assessment Working Group of Indiana has released its downloadable pamphlet, Landscaping with Non-Invasive Plant Species: Making the Right Choice.
The 22-member group, formed in 2001, spent six years analyzing first-hand scientific reports on dozens of plant species, examining how invasive or potentially invasive they are in Indiana. They looked at how these widely available plants escape our landscapes to take root in natural areas, where they displace or overwhelm native species, disrupting the ecology for birds, butterflies and other critters.
The pamphlet helps us make smart choices for our landscape. Armed with this document, we also can ask nursery owners and garden center managers to reconsider the plants they stock.
The three most popular ground covers, such as English ivy (Hedera helix)
, myrtle (Vinca minor)
and winter creeper (Euonymous fortunei)
, made the list of plants to use with caution. Popular shrubs, such as barberry (Berberis thunbergia) and privet (Ligustrum) made the list of "do not buy, sell or plant in Indiana." It also points out how we should not plant or cultivate bush honeysuckles (Lonicera maackii, L. tatarica, L. morrowii, L. x bella)
, which are everywhere. Do Mother Nature a big favor and pull out this shrub
from your landscape.
This list is not the making of tree huggers. Several industry groups, including the Indiana Nursery & Landscape Association, the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and the Indiana Seed Trade Association joined the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society, the Indiana Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, beekeepers and state and federal agencies to develop the list.
I wrote about this at the Hoosier Gardener