Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Impulse buy (never again)

Last week, we bought two pretty plants at a Home Depot. The bees were buzzing all around them, which impressed us. However, we couldn't find an I.D. We asked the sales assistant for help, and she couldn't figure them out either. Since we knew the name of the wholesale nursery, I figured I could contact them and get the name. We went ahead and bought two.

However, we held off planting them because we weren't sure exactly where they needed to go.

Long story short, I emailed this photo to a lady at the nursery, and she sent me the name: Purple loosestrife (Lythrum virgatum 'Morden's Pink'). After reading up on this species, we've decided not to plant it. That's because most states ban the sale of loosestrife. According to Texas Invasives, even "sterile" cultivars of Lythrum salicaria (which we have) are "actually highly fertile and able to cross freely with purple loosestrife and with other native Lythrum species. Therefore, outside of its native range, purple loosestrife of any form should be avoided."

That said, we cannot in good conscience plant these two in our Wildscape, even though they're very pretty and attract bees.


Pam/Digging said...

Thanks for posting about this. While many exotics can be enjoyed in the garden without fear of them escaping into the wild, purple loosestrife is one of the bad boys. You've made a responsible decision not to plant it.

Sheryl Smith-Rodgers said...

As you know, I also emailed the nursery and told them that we've decided not to plant them and the reasons why. No reply back from the woman.

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