As Florida residents, it is our responsibility to help stop the spread of invasive plant species that can displace native plant life. Exotic plants have been introduced from locations all over the globe, and for a variety of different reasons; one of them being landscaping. When plants lack the natural environmental factors that helped control their population in their natural habitat, the result can be unchecked growth at the expense of Florida’s indigenous plants. Here are just a few examples of the invasive plant species that have plagued our state:
- Old World Climbing Fern, or lygodium japonicum, consists of dense leafs that can stem and continue growing from virtually any location on the plant. Native to Australia, this invasive weed can cover entire trees, killing them by stealing their sunlight. Old world climbing fern also poses a fire danger, because they can allow ground fires to spread to the tree tops.
- Mexican Petunia, or ruellia tweediana, has been introduced for landscaping purposes, and its sellers often claim it provides nectar to butterflies, despite the absence of scientific evidence. This purple flower is very aggressive, and has been found in natural areas throughout the state.
- Brazilian Pepper Tree, or schinus terebinthifolius, was brought to Florida as a decorative plant in the 1800s, and has since spread to almost a million acres. Today a serious nuisance, this shrub forms dense, tangled thickets. Its berries are eaten and spread by birds, and its sap is a skin irritant that produces effects similar to its relative poison ivy. Burning the wood also produces poisonous smoke.
As Davie’s expert landscapers, Brightstar Lawn & Landscape can help you identify Florida’s native plants to use in your yard while avoiding the use of invasive species. Contact us today, and let us help you promote the natural beauty of our state’s native plants in your yard.