Ornamental plants: our future invaders? This seemingly simple question is the focus of my PhD, and I’m asking gardeners to help me answer it. Most of the invasive plants we have in the British Isles originally escaped from gardens (Stace and Crawley, 2015) and that’s why gardeners have an important role to play. The challenge is to identify which ornamental plants – not currently problematic – have the potential to become invasive in a changing climate.
So far, over 800 gardeners have reported plants that are invading or taking over their garden. The ‘top three’ plants so far have been: Japanese anemone (Anemone × hybrida), lady’s mantle (Alchemilla mollis) and montbretia (Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora).
This is interesting because these plants are at different stages of the invasion process. Although montbretia can be invasive, neither Japanese anemone nor lady’s mantle are currently invasive in the British Isles. Could they be our future invaders?
You can help me reach 1,000 responses by completing the survey here. It’s open to all gardeners across the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland until December 31st.
Stace, C.A. & Crawley, M.L. (2015). Alien Plants. Harper Collins, London.