A reader named Jess posted this comment on the Invasive Plants topic:
I think some clarification is needed:
The concern is with invasive non-native plants. These are plants that are both non-native AND invasive. These plants are not native to California (i.e. they came from South Africa, the Mediterranean, etc.) and are invasive, meaning they grow rapidly and overtake areas. It is very MISLEADING to just talk about ‘non-native plants’ - because this includes everything from petunias to basil to jacaranda trees. Most non-native plants are not a problem- they stay in their planted areas. But the invasive non-native ones spread by roots, underground stems, and seeds and aggressively take over. Why is this bad? Invasive non-native plants can, they cause fire hazards and flood hazards, displace native plants (and thus native wildlife), they can make areas inaccessible for recreation, and they cost the city, state and private property owners when they cause problems, such as becoming fire hazards.
People have twisted the intent of the proposed committee to investigate invasive non-native plant use in the City. I was at the City Council meeting when this was discussed. My understanding is that the City is considering not allowing the use of the most problematic invasive non-native plants on City properties and on new developments. We are talking about is a list of about 10 plants that they do not want new devlopments to plant. These are plants you don't want in your yard anyway. They are NOT going to create a 'plant police' that will tell people with established gardens that you they can’t have such and such a plant in their yard. Come on. Little old ladies being told to rip out their plants. That’s ridiculous. It is frustrating to see this issue get sensationalized. For the City to have a more comprehensive policy on invasive non-native plants on their properties and on new developments would be a great thing. Invasive plants are real problem and they seriously degrade our natural areas and cause fire and flood hazards. The cost of dealing with invasive non-native plant infestations once they have established is huge. The idea is to prevent these plants from ever getting established.
Go to www.plantright.org and www.cal-ipc.org for more info. Plantright.org lists the most problematic species in different parts of California (only 9 species for our area) and suggested alternatives.
California south coast invasive plants list (with alternative plants).
Bonus: Logan Jenkins witty take on this matter click here.