An intriguing TEDx Talk in Sydney earlier this year, Invasive Species Have Gone Native, focused on invasive plant species and their 'naturalisation' process. Ecologist Angela Moles reasonably pointed out that in a country the size of Australia, the likelihood of invasives being completely eradicated was virtually nil. As that is the case, why not look upon them in a more sympathetic light?
To me, this was out of the box thinking given Bermuda's determined push to eliminate invasive plant species from our shores. The publication, Indigenous and Invasive Plants of Bermuda, by the Bermuda Department of Conservation Services places these pernicious interlopers in two categories.
Category I plants are those that germinate easily, grow fast, recover well from storms and dominate or monopolize habitats. Plants such as Mexican Pepper and Morning Glory are included on this list, along with, to my surprise, Australian Umbrella Tree and Mother-In-Laws Tongue.
Category II invasives are not yet altering plant communities so we can live with them a little longer. These include Nasturtium, Ice Plant, Surinam Cherry and Night Blooming Cereus, among many other seemingly ordinary plants.
The publication is well worth a read and you might look at your garden differently now. In the meantime, click here or the link above and enjoy the TEDx Talk by Angela Moles.