En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 03, 2006

From: England, Other
Region: Other
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Inadvisability of importing plants from one region to another
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I wonder if you could help me. I want to send my friends some conifer trees from England to Florida USA. I went on the Department of Agriculture site and they recommended your site for questions. Thankyou.

ANSWER:

Your inquiry raises some important issues concerning the advisability of importing a plant from one continent or region into another.

If the plant is a non-native species, it may not be adaptable to its new environment and may not survive. Unless it is to be grown in a controlled indoor environment of some sort, it is unlikely that a cold-temperate, English species of conifer would survive in subtropical to tropical Florida.

If, however, it does survive and comes to thrive, it may do so well that it displaces native Florida plants and becomes a damaging, invasive species, which would reduce habitat not only for native plants but also for native animals.

If you are wanting to import from England a species of conifer native to Florida, such as Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) or Southern Red Cedar (Juniperus silicicola or Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola), it is still risky to do so because of possible disease contamination, for which plants are regulated by both federal and state governments in the U.S. You can read the specifics on federal and Florida state plant importation regulations.

Two well-known communicable conditions transmitted by junipers are cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae) and cedar blight, (Phomopsis juniperovora). Cedar-apple rust can spread to apples, hawthorns, and other members of the rose family and can thus damage important food crops. Cedar blight can spread to other conifers.

For these reasons, it is generally inadvisable to import plants from one region into another, which is why the practice is stringently regulated.
 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Most invasive, noxious plant in U.S. from New York City.
November 26, 2012 - I was wondering, what is the most invasive/ noxious plant in the U.S? Thanks in advance.
view the full question and answer

Control methods for Cenchrus spinifex, Coastal sandbur
September 22, 2006 - I have some of the nicest, thickest, greenest grassburs in the county of Erath. What is the best and quickest way to get rid of them? I have heard of a product called cornmeal gluten. Any info appreci...
view the full question and answer

Flashing barrier to Bermuda in tree bed
September 16, 2007 - I'm building a 6-ft-diameter planting bed on a gentle slope on blackland clay, at the center of which I plan to install a cedar elm. I'm using the wedge-shaped stones from the home-improvement stor...
view the full question and answer

Is Gooseneck native from Cleveland Heights OH
July 20, 2012 - I live in Cleveland Heights, OH, and have an abundance of gooseneck in my yard. Is it a native plant? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Removing non-native plants appearing in Austin in early spring
March 14, 2012 - In order to know which plants to keep and which to remove, is there a source to look up and identify common non-native plants that are seen in Austin about this time of the year (late winter, early Sp...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center