Invasive vs. aggressive… Part 1
Even if a plant is not aggressive on your property that doesn't mean that it's not invasive and the reverse is also true. Here in Florida heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) is also on the most invasive list for northern and central Florida, but you could hardly tell by its behavior in your yard. Also if it's native like catbriar (Smilax spp), it is by definition not invasive, even if it's aggressive and you're having a hard time getting rid of it because of those enormous woody tubers. Maybe you could learn to make sarsaparilla: haven't you noticed that spicy smell when you dig them up? It's not called root beer for nothing.
As folks interested in promoting native plant species, aren't we also interested in ridding our wild areas of invasive species that have invaded? And shouldn't we start with our yards and spread the word? Here is a recent discussion on Garden Rant about invasives. While porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata) is not a problem here in Florida, the discussion, including the 28 comments, is quite interesting and educational
The Ixia chapter of FNPS in Jacksonville has created a brochure called "Alter-Natives," which includes a list of native alternatives to commonly planted invasives in northeastern Florida. As alter-natives for Chinese tallow, it suggests Florida sugar maple (Acer floridanum), Chickasaw plum (Prunus angustifolia), and blue beech (Carpinus caroliniana). Here's a link to the front & back and here's the link to the inside. Maybe other chapters could come up with their own regional versions as a "nice" way of spreading the word.
Please chime in on this discussion. More to come ...