Erik Van Lennep
Thu, 15 Feb 2018 00:47:02 PST
This topic is both confused and well as fascinating.
Invasiveness is definitely contextual, and that context is temporal,
situational, ecological and cultural. It's getting more people stirred up
now that human immigration has become such a flash point, and echoes back
to 1930s Germany as the Nazi xenophobia was gathering steam and wishing to
purge anything "foreign", including many plants. We seem doomed to thinking
and acting in cycles...blindly or with amnesia about our histories.

A few years ago, here in Spain, there was a mini stand-off between a local
"eco-Taliban" group and a small, new, botanic garden. The garden was
testing salt tolerance for a range of edible, medicinal and ornamental
species planted in a constructed beach (hence not natural itself). The
defenders of eco-purity based their hysteria on a handful of
self-referencing documents sourced from the national equivalent of the EPA.
On examining the documents, two things were evident: they were based on a
student's desk-top cut & paste work, and the list covered any species
anywhere in the world ever claimed to be invasive in any situation, but
without qualifying the data. There were quite a few species native to the
contested region itself (but at some point claimed to be invasive in
Argentina). This list is still the basis for the national strategy to
identify invasive species in Spain.

Fred Pearce's book,"The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's
Salvation" (2016) makes a very interesting read on the subject of plant
migration, invasiveness, and spotty research entrenched in cultural bias
toward newcomers and immigrants. And just to clarify, my own orientation
has long been staunchly pro-native species only, but in the face of climate
change and in working with novel ecosystems in and around urban and
agricultural areas, I'm doing a lot of rethinking.

Having said all of that, as gardeners, it's our duty to pay attention to
how our plants behave, and probably best to avoid anything locally
identified as invasive (and by intelligent extension, issues reported from
similar habitats and contexts), as well as to yank out introductions that
appear to spread problematically.

​Erik van Lennep
Zone 9B
Barcelona, Spain​

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*“Another world is not only possible, she is already on her way. On quiet
days I can hear her breathing.” * - Arundhati Roy

On 14 February 2018 at 22:54, Jo&Greg <> wrote:

> Re the non-native Nazi attitude. The term "invasive" or "alien invasive"
> have
> very specific definitions. If a person in your climatic region is
> concerned, all
> they need do is go to the State or Provincial invasive plant folks, and
> look at
> their list. In Canada, (BC) the agency is called the "Invasive Species
> Council"
> and, like all these agencies, has the job to educated as well as control
> invasives, be they plants, insects, and other animals. Also remember that
> what
> is rampant -- perhaps even invasive -- is almost always climate specific.
> My
> sister in New Mexico, babies a lovely delicate variegated vine on her
> portale.
> It is English ivy which, in the Northwest actually twines around and kills
> 250-ft cedar trees.
> Jo Canning
> Zone 6b, Coastal British Columbia (50 degrees Lat.)
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