Friday, September 20, 2013

Invasive vs. Aggressive: plants and animals

Spanish needles (B. alba) is native to Florida,
and so is not invasive

Native plants are NOT invasive. 

They belong here and work well within the natural ecosystems. A pioneer plant like beggars' ticks (Bidens alba) is certainly aggressive and efficient at completely covering a disturbed site, but after a couple of years, it will give way to other plants in Mother Nature's succession parade, which  depends upon where it's found. The plants that take over could include broom sedge (Andropogon spp.), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), which then my be replaced by pines and oaks after a few years.

Definition:
- An invasive exotic plant is a naturalized exotic plant that is expanding its range into natural areas and disrupting naturally occurring native plant communities.     
                         via Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council  (www.fleppc.org)

Invasive plants may not be aggressive

On the other hand, as a gardener just looking at your landscape, you might not be able to determine which plants are invasive and which are not. Some relatively tame landscape plants like heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) and Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) are on the FLEPPC Category I list of invasives, while others like wedelia (Sphagneticola trilobata) are aggressive in the landscape, but are only on the Category II list.

For more details, read the rest of this post over on the Florida Native Plant Society blog...

And speaking of invasive...

My husband caught this brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in the act of molting out on the sego next to the front porch.  It ate its old skin, which provides some extra nutrients--the ultimate in recycling.

This is a lizard native to Cuba and the Bahamas and it has become invasive in Florida. These lizards catch a lot of bugs around our yard.





We've continued work on our expanded edible gardens and will catch you up with that activity soon.

I hope you can catch some amazing wildlife moments in your own yard.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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