Not really. There are native or indigenous plant species and there are non-native or exotic plant species, some of which are invasive and causing huge problems. Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla), shown at left, is a native perennial wildflower in the eastern U.S. It emerges in the spring and then dies back except for its roots. Its flowers are important to pollinators and its seeds are dispersed by ants. Twinleaf and other spring ephemeral wildflowers are being pushed out by garlic mustard, fig buttercup, English ivy and other invasive plant species. In the Weeds is working to turn the tide against destructive invasive plants, insects, wildlife and microorganisms.
More than 300 invasive plant species have been identified as a threat to native ecosystems in the mid-Atlantic region (e.g., Oriental bittersweet, shown at right, introduced for its attractive fruits). The Mid Atlantic Early Detection Network (MAEDN) smart-phone app, was developed to facilitate field identification and reporting of invasive plants, animals and pathogens in the mid-Atlantic region. It is based on the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health's Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS), released in 2010. Download the MAEDN app today (www.maedn.org) and start reporting invasive plants, insects, wildlife, plant pathogens and more!
Since 1989, I have been working to help the public understand the invasive species issue and assist with identification, control and prevention strategies, and mapping in the mid-Atlantic region and nationally (USA). My goal is to help restore native species and habitats using integrated pest management and applying the most appropriate methods for each species, site and situation. Please contact me at: [jilswearingen(at)gmail.com].
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