If you’re an avid gardener, you must have had a diverse set of experiences with different plant species. Some grow several feet tall way too soon, while some take a long sweet time to reach their mature length. Some plants are prone to diseases, while some don’t. And with time, as you grow more and more plants, you develop an understanding of the growth pattern of different species. This knowledge helps you identify the requirement of each plant so that you can alter or modify its treatment likewise.
However, there are some plants that we have no control over. They grow uncontrollably and way too fast, majorly because they do not belong in a certain ecosystem. They are quite tricky to be around and need special care. And the most important part is that you must always be aware of them. Otherwise, you may have them in your house, and they will grow undesirably, leaving you worried sick. This is why we are here to help you through this guide to become aware of some of the most commonly found invasive plants. Let’s get started!
What Do We Mean By The Term “Invasive Plants”?
Before we try to know about the names, appearances, and behavior of commonly found invasive plants, let’s understand what the term actually means.
Well, in the simplest words, invasive plants are like alien plants because of their presence in ecosystems that they don’t belong in. In other ways, any plant that is not native to a particular region and causes harm to other beings becomes an invasive species for that region. Due to the unsuitability of the environment, as well as some internal factors, these plants grow in a very unlikely and uncontrollable way.
They tend to be quite aggressive in nature, as they grow at a tremendous speed and density. Besides, they can also be a threat to the neighboring native plants in many ways. It is almost impossible to manage such plants, and therefore, it is usually advised not to have such plants inside the house. In fact, it is recommended not to touch such species at all because some of them can also be poisonous and create an issue in the body.
Now, to help you identify and become aware of such plants, let’s look at how they appear in nature.
The Japanese honeysuckle, which is an invasive and non-native climbing vine and is usually found along highways. The reason behind such a precise location is that Japanese honeysuckle has the potential to prevent or slow down corrosion. So they are planted near bridges and highways so that the metal elements do not corrode soon, and it ensures longevity. However, as much as these plants can help the infrastructure, they can totally crush the life of native plants. This is because they can suck all the sunlight and water from the neighboring native plants. Besides, since they grow so fast, they can tend to displace native plants in very little time.
English ivies species are invasive in nature and quite destructive. These grow dangerously fast and quickly take over other native plants. This particular plant species is a creeper runner, and it proves to be mildly toxic when consumed or touched by humans. Some people experience skin reactions by touching the leaves of this plant.
Besides, if children consume them by any chance, they may experience vomiting, diarrhea as well as neurological issues. English ivy is a quickly growing creeper with dull green leaves and small, dark-colored fruits that look like berries. This plant causes major damage to other plants and even the structure of the building if they grow around one.
Black-eyed Susan is a type of wildflower, which has a dark-brown center and bright yellow petals around it. It looks quite similar to sunflowers but with very different properties. The texture of the leaves is quite rough, and they are longer than regular flower petals. They grow approximately 4 to 6 feet tall and demand full sunlight. Although the flower arrangement of black-eyed Susan looks quite pretty, they can be super destructive to other beings. In fact, they are so dangerous that they can cause mild poisoning to animals. For example, if any stray cattle tends to be around it or tries to chew on it, they can be seriously poisoned. They are also a major threat to household pets like dogs and cats.
Calla Lily is a native to South Africa, and in other parts of the world, it can be quite a dangerous and aggressive invader. This plant can bear flowers in a variety of colors such as yellow, pink, lavender, maroon, orange, etc. They are quite easy to grow, which is why they can be found anywhere.
But it is important to stop them from growing; otherwise, they can cause serious damage. In fact, they contain poisonous properties, and touching this plant can cause irritation to your fingers. And in case your fingers touch your mouth, and you unknowingly consume it, the poison can even spread into your body which can prove dangerous. This is why it is best to get rid of calla lily as soon as you spot it.
Gerbera daisies look absolutely beautiful. The flowers grow big and pretty. They can be 3 to 4 inches huge and can be seen in various colors such as pink, yellow, white, red, lavender, orange, and so on. They always look fresh and bright, which is why they are found in many houses too. However, this plant is native to South Africa and proves to be invasive in the USA.
This plant is living proof that even the most beautiful-looking being can prove dangerous and harmful if they are in the wrong place and don’t receive the treatment they deserve. Gerbera Daisy can spread out very quickly and take over the entire garden in just a few days, which is why they should always be avoided in non-native places.
Prickly pear is also known as Opuntia stricta, is native to the western hemisphere, and thrives in arid conditions. However, it can prove invasive in several other regions like Australia. In fact, Australian biodiversity suffered greatly in the past due to the extensive and ridiculously speedy spread of prickly pear. It became extremely challenging to control the expansion of these invasive species.
But somehow, it was controlled by using the cactoblastis moth, and this solution has gained popularity all over the world. Prickly pear caused serious harm to the people of Australia, as well as the native animals and birds. This is why people are always aware of this dangerous species.
These were some of the most commonly found invasive plants, which should be avoided as far as possible. Additionally, you may also want to keep a distance from the following few plants:
- Norway Maple
- Purple Loosestrife
- Butterfly Bush
- Japanese Barberry
- Black Locust, etc.
All in all, a basic overview of invasive plants is necessary, especially if you are someone who instantly gets curious about new plant species. Having knowledge about which plants to touch and which to avoid can be a lifesaver in many cases, especially when you live in a region that has several invasive plant species. So make sure you always keep yourself updated about different plants and their tendencies for the sake of your own safety.