LWI: Invasive Species!

I didn’t know that Texas had an invasive species page online – but there it is, and it’s worth a look. You never know what you might find.  I was just looking at a page about Bermudagrass.  The “Description” section got my attention with these two warnings:

“Contact with plants can cause dermatitis in sensitive individuals, and the pollen is a common allergen. Mature bermudagrass pastures have occasionally been implicated in livestock photosensitization or neurological syndromes, especially in late fall or early winter. “

“Toxic symptoms may be due to molds or fungi sometimes associated with Bermuda-grass. Bermudagrass utilizes the C4 photosynthetic pathway.”

I’m curious as to why we aren’t treating this little “problem” with the judicious use of high-quality flamethrowers.

Another plant on the most-wanted list is Bastard Cabbage. Yes, that’s really the name. Now I desperately want to acquire this criminal plant and root it in my front yard, if only for the shock value of the nicely-lettered sign to accompany it.

I wonder if there’s an Unwed Mother Rutabaga that I could plant beside it?  Then the Baby’s Breath would be perfect to finish up this disturbing social commentary in my garden.  Who names these plants, anyway?

Sadly, one of my favorite plants, English Ivy, is also listed as an invasive species. Really?  How do they determine if a plant is invasive?  I’m old – practically ancient – and English Ivy has been a part of gardens almost everywhere I’ve lived since I was a child. (Since I was born in the late part of the Jurassic, that means that the plant species I’m familiar with are almost as old as I am.) Oh, no. Elephant Ears, my other favorite, is on the list, as well.  Dammit!

I suggest that the true invasive party here is civilization.  It keeps spreading, unchecked, destroying more natural habitat and contributing to species extinction. It is our species that we must learn to control.

With the exception of my one (much beloved) antique climbing yellow rosebush I received for Mother’s Day several decades ago, invasive species are the only things that survive under my care. I wonder if I could convince the state to issue a Special Circumstances Permit for me. There’s no real danger. It’s not as if anything I’ve tried to grow (said rosebush excepted) has ever survived for very long. With no invasion imminent, the world can sleep safely tonight.




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