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Plants for a Livable Delaware

Invasive species have made a lot of news in recent years. What are invasive species? And do we have problems here in Delaware?

An "invasive species" is one that is not native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm – or harm to human health. Invasive species can be plants, animals, and other organisms (e.g., microbes). Human actions are the primary means by which invasive species are introduced.

Image: Plants for a Livable Delaware bookletAnd yes, invasive plant species are here, too. The Delaware Center for Horticulture – in cooperation with partners at the Delaware Department of Agriculture, the Delaware Invasive Species Council, the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, and the University of Delaware – have started a campaign to help you avoid planting non-native and invasive plants in our state.

"Plants for a Livable Delaware" is the name of the campaign, and of a booklet you can pick up for free at participating nurseries and garden centers in the First State.

According to a news story from the Center for Horticulture, they "entered a partnership in an exciting new program to take action on the dangers of invasive plants, particularly those still sold in nurseries. Plants for a Livable Delaware is a campaign to identify and promote superior alternative plants that thrive without becoming invasive. A Livable Delaware plant must satisfy the criteria of posing no potential threat as an invasive plant, having no serious disease or insect problems, and possessing adaptable characteristics to landscape situations in Delaware."

The booklet, Plants for a Livable Delaware, lists ten plant species that are a problem and should not be planted or grown in Delaware. The campaign says these are some of "the worst invasive plant still sold in Delaware."; and for each of the plants, the booklet recommends alternative plants that are not invasive and which are hardy in the Delaware environment.

The 10 invasive species you should not plant are:

  • Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
  • Butterfly bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Winged burning bush (Euonymus alatus)
  • Privet (Ligustrum)
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
  • Japanese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
  • Periwinkle (Vinca minor)
  • English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Pick up your copy of Plants for a Livable Delaware at cooperating garden centers and nurseries displaying the campaign logo.

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This page was last updated on November 5, 2004.