Landscape alternatives for invasive plants of the Midwest

This free mobile app defines invasive plants of the Midwest and suggests alternatives for planting.

The Bugwood organization has branched out into mobile applications for both iPhone and Android phones. This free application, Landscape Alternatives for Invasive Plants of Midwest, focuses on ornamental plant species that have become invasive in at least part of the Midwest. Cultivars or hybrids produced from these species may or may not be invasive. In the few published cultivar evaluation studies, some cultivars prove to be more invasive than the parent species, others less or not invasive. We lack research about cultivar invasiveness for many of these species. When we have good evidence about a problematic or relatively benign cultivar, we list those specifically.

People have introduced invasive species both accidentally and deliberately. Everybody loves a beautiful garden. Gardeners love plants that are adaptable, tough and fast-growing. Traits that may increase attractiveness to gardeners, such as showy fruits that attract birds or self-seeding annuals, can also increase the likelihood that a plant jumps the garden fence and invades natural areas. Invasive plants threaten the environment and economy. They pose an enormous threat to our native plants, animals, and ecosystems, and they cost the United States approximately $35 billion per year, according to the National Invasive Species Council.

In the information presented in the mobile app, suggested alternatives for planting include both native species and non-native species that currently show no signs of becoming invasive. Go to Landscape Alternatives for Invasive Plants of Midwest to be directed to download the free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad or Android.

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