Homeria collina

Michael Mace mikemace@att.net
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 11:01:39 PST
Mary Sue wrote:

>> Some of them are supposed to be toxic to animals and I can't ever
remember if that 
is the reason they are not supposed to be imported to the USA or if 
it is the weed potential or both.

As near as I can tell, the Homeria ban in the US was put in place after a
company made a request to import commercially-grown oats from Australia that
might have been contaminated by seeds (and bulblets?) of Homerias that have
naturalized in the fields there.

I can see the sense in banning large-scale imports of seeds that animal
owners would spread on the ground (and that farm animals might eat & then
excrete all over the fields).  Supposedly that's how star thistle got into

But I have trouble understanding how that translates into a ban on me
sending a corm to that reckless scofflaw Jim in Kansas City, where Homeria
would survive only as a treasured greenhouse plant.  The law appears to be a
very blunt instrument.

By the way, the Homeria ban almost turned into a ban on all Moraeas when the
two genera were merged, but that was diverted by Joyce Fingerut at the North
American Rock Garden Society.  Thanks, Joyce!

San Jose, CA

Here's the reference:


Summary of a Risk Assessment of Cape Tulip Introduction.  Homeria, or cape
tulip, of which there are 30-40 species, are native to South Africa and are
widely propagated as ornamentals. An assessment was initiated by a request
to import oats from Australia that might contain Homeria spp. In Australia,
these species are weeds. They produce glycosides that are poisonous to
livestock and humans. Potential impacts of cape tulips include livestock
poisoning, reduced crop yield, changes in plant community structure, human
poisoning, and increased use of herbicides to control the plants after their

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