California Alliance Aiming To Eliminate Invasives

California Alliance Aiming To Eliminate Invasives

PlantRight, an alliance of California nurseries, retailers and others that’s on a mission to stop the spread of invasive plants through horticulture, is inviting leaders of California’s greenhouse and nursery industry to help develop a program that certifies ornamental plants as invasive free.

PlantRight’s goals are to prevent damaging and costly introductions of invasive plants across California. Additionally, a program could also help the industry tap into the growing sustainability market by attracting a growing number of consumers seeking beautiful, environmentally friendly ornamentals for their gardens.

Those who participate in the program will join a panel of nursery experts in an attempt to accomplish the following:

–Develop design standards for testing the invasiveness of new plant varieties
–Develop the framework for a certification program
–Explore market-based incentives, such as labeling programs for screened plants, to build awareness and consumer interest in non-invasive plants
–Develop a process for how information about new invasive plants will be shared among members of the state’s nursery industry to prevent the accidental growing or selling of known invasives

The nursery industry has introduced thousands of ornamental plants to California, but about 1 percent of them have become invasive, according to PlantRight. Invasives destroy productive agricultural lands, consume valuable water, increase wildfires and flooding, and damage sensitive California habitats. PlantRight intends to ensure nurseries and arboreta are developing new, attractive ornamentals for California that won’t behave like weeds.

Learn more about PlantRight at PlantRight.org. To participate in the program or learn more about it, contact Christiana Conser, program manager, at 415-977-0380 x312. Or, e-mail Conser at cconser@suscon.org.

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