Keeping invasives in check

In an effort to prevent the spread of invasive species a new program known as “Plant Right” has taken root in California. It is made up of various horticultural groups who are devising a list of potential invasive plants that should be avoided. The list is not out yet but it will be interesting to see what ends up on it.

Most likely pampas grass, scotch broom, and vinca major will be listed. It looks like what they want is for nurseries to voluntarily avoid selling these plants. We do sell pampas grass but these are sterile types. We can’t sell scotch broom in El Dorado County, even though there are sterile varieties available. Vinca major is a common ground cover and planted all over. I don’t like it as much as Vinca minor which has a less aggressive nature.

There are plenty of alternatives for these plants, but I hope that the sterile and non-aggressive varieties don’t get thrown out with the true pests. I look forward to seeing this list and making sure that true aggressive species are not sold.

This area is covered with the yellow blooms of Scotch Broom during the spring. This plant was brought over in the gold rush and has spread through out the hills. It is aggressive and pops up in disturbed areas along side roads or new construction. The sight of its yellow blooms in spring is spectacular, which I would guess is the reason it spread so much. Another plant brought over in the gold rush was Ailanthus altissima, the Tree of Heaven. I guess it’s a pest all across the country. It shoots up seemingly through concrete.