Yes, Virginia... There are aliens among us. And, I’m not talking about extraterrestrials or our neighbors from south of the border. I’m talking about alien plants. Insidious. Invasive. These aliens go unrecognized by us for the menace that they truly are everyday. Most likely these plants were brought to our shores by well meaning gardeners, horticulturalists, or the nursery industry because they have a beautiful flower, or shade giving foliage, or provides aesthetic pleasure, or it’s xeric. However they got here, it doesn’t really matter. The fact remains this is a very serious invasion. Invasive alien plants are replacing native plants and its slowly killing our natural world a little bit each year.
I can hear you asking, “So, what’s the difference between a native plant and an alien plant?” It’s pretty simple, actually. Our insect populations evolved eating our native plants, so our bugs can’t eat alien plants. “But that’s good, isn’t it? I don’t want bugs in my garden.” That’s exactly what the pest control industry would like you to think, but consider this, 96% of bird species require insects to feed their young. That means, without bugs there are no birds in your landscape design. Without native plants, there are no insects for birds to eat.
Native plants and bugs are good. Alien plants are bad. It’s that simple.
We've been invaded. There are aliens among us...
Sunday, January 9, 2011