While Page 1 listed vine-type exotic plants known to be invasives in North America, it is primarily shrubby plants that are featured on the present page.
The barberries have assaulted North America from two sides. One, Berberis thunbergii, from the Far East; the other, Berberis vulgaris, from Europe. These invaders have come armed to the teeth, bristling with the thorns that have made them so useful in many a hedge.
Read article: Barberry
In autumn, burning bush puts on a show for the ages, bearing red or pinkish-red leaves. Colorful reddish-orange berries accompany the striking foliage. So why is burning bush one of the most hated exotic plants among gardeners "in the know?" This piece sheds some light on why burning bush generates so much heat.
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Here in New England, our idea of "Florida landscaping" is often a hanging basket of lantana dangling over a patio. But folks who actually live in Florida know better. This exotic plant is a shrub that can easily get out of control and "take over" in warm climates. Indeed, lantana, that darling little hanging plant in New England, is one of Florida's worst invasives.
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Butterfly bush is among the worst invasives in the Pacific Northwest. An alternative plant to grow for attracting butterflies is butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa). While butterfly bush attract humans, too, another demerit against this exotic plant, besides its invasiveness, is that its flowers have a truly miserable smell!
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As with barberry, a privet hedge is a familiar sight. That very familiarity may make it difficult to see such exotic plants as invasives. Privet responds well to pruning and tolerates the pollution that typically plagues plants in urban settings. Privet shrubs are also fast growers -- too fast, in fact, as these invasives have escaped the bounds of cultivation in some regions.
Read article: Privet
As I stated on Page 1, Japanese knotweed is not, in my opinion, one of the more seductive invasives. About the most that can be said for its appearance is that it produces a fluffy-looking flower in early autumn (thus one of its alternate common names, "fleece flower"). The opinions of 19th-century plant collectors notwithstanding, I think most 21st-century Westerners agree with me on this one: Japanese knotweed is an ugly nuisance.
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Tansy, unlike the exotic plants considered above on this invasives list, is an herb -- albeit a poisonous one. Tansy's toxicity belies a rich tradition of medicinal and culinary usage. But there's more to worry about than just its toxicity: tansy plants are invasives that spread via both seeds and rhizomes.
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