Alternatives to Invasive Plants

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Since October 2019 the Not Wanted Drummer column has profiled seven damaging invasive plants in Granby, describing how to identify and control them over time. Now it’s the peak of the planting season, and this month’s column lists Wanted plants—good alternatives to invasives.

Alternatives usually grow in similar habitats as the invasives they replace. While they are often native species that grow well without a lot of human support once established, their growth is not unchecked like that of invasives: they grow in balance with other plants and animals. Most can be easily propagated by seed, division or cuttings and are readily available from nurseries and friendly neighbor gardeners. 

Purple Loosestrife alternatives:

Blue Vervain  Verbena hastata

Cardinal Flower  Lobelia cardinalis

Fireweed  Epilobium angustifolium

Purple Coneflower  Echinacea purpurea

Japanese Barberry alternatives:

Northern Bayberry  Myrica pensylvanica

Inkberry  Ilex glabra

Winterberry  Ilex verticillata

Arrowwood  Viburnum dentatum

Mountain Laurel  Kalmia latifolia

Multiflora Rose alternatives:

Arrowwood  Viburnum dentatum

Inkberry  Ilex glabra

Highbush Blueberry  Vaccinium corymbosum

Oriental Bittersweet alternatives:

American Bittersweet  Celastrus scandens

Trumpet Honeysuckle  Lonicera semperivirens

Garlic Mustard alternatives:

Rue Anemone  Thalictrum thalictroides

Cutleaf Toothwort  Cardamine concatenata

Bloodroot  Sanguinaria canadensis

Wild Ginger  Asarum Canadense

Japanese Knotweed alternatives:

New England Aster  Aster novae-angliae

Joe Pye-weed  Eupatorium pupureum

Autumn Olive alternatives

Red Chokeberry  Aronia arbutifolia

Winterberry  Ilex verticillata

Silky Dogwood  Cornus amomom

For more information on invasive plants, events and the Not Wanted campaign, drop us a note on the Granby Conservation Commission webpage.