Invasive, Aggressive, Enthusiastic? We hear the terms used interchangeably these days, but do they mean different things. We've been talking about bamboo, wildflowers and weeds and someone asked me if there is a definitive definition for invasive. Yes, there is, but it's kind of vague.
The major difference between invasive and aggressive seems to be the plant's ability to establish itself in the wild and disrupt the native ecosystem. To make matters worse, plants that are aggressive, or even invasive, in one area are well-behaved in another. And some plants get a bad rap just because they were planted in the wrong spot, then neglected and allowed to take over.
The regulation also defines an invasive as "...an alien species...", yet pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), pictured here, is a native plant in my area and is now listed as an invasive. So just what makes a plant deserve to be called invasive?
Photo: of © Marie Iannotti