EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2018 Num. article: 2018/110

Working with gardeners to identify invasive ornamental garden plants

The ornamental plant trade is one of main pathways for plant invasions globally. However, private gardens are often overlooked in any research programme as these gardens are often inaccessible to researchers.  Gardeners work to achieve the best growing conditions for their cultivated plants and work to control and contain planted species that dominate flower beds. Using an online survey, gardeners in the United Kingdom were asked to report ornamental plants that were spreading and difficult to control in their gardens. In total, 56 respondents completed the questionnaire recording 120 spreading species in their gardens. Of these, 32 species were reported by more than one gardener and Anemone scabiosa, Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora, Hyacinthoides hispanica and Lamium galeobdolon subsp. argentatum were the most frequently reported.  Eight species (Anemone sylvestris, Arctotheca prostrata, Asclepias speciosa, Carex trifida, Geranium cinereum, Libertia peregrinans, Moraea huttonii and Tetrapanax papyrifer) have not been recorded outside of cultivation in the UK. The results of this study show that gardeners’ knowledge can help identify potentially problematic species in the early stage of the invasion process.


Dehnen-Schmutz, Conroy J (2018) Working with gardeners to identify invasive ornamental garden plants: testing a citizen science approach. Biological Invasions. DOI: doi.org/10.1007/s10530-018-1759-3