A Redditor recently gained attention after posting an angry diatribe aimed at home improvement giant Lowe’s for incorrectly labeling plants in its nursery. The Redditor, in a post titled “PSA: Garden Center Lies,” posted a series of photos, each with a caption pointing out exactly what Lowe’s got wrong.
“Any Floridians reading this,” the Redditor wrote, “do not plant this garbage.”
The poster also pointed out that she’s seen porterweed labeled as jamaicensis when it was “obviously” cayennensis. Jamaicensis and cayennensis are both a type of porterweed that may be indistinguishable to the untrained eye.
About that particular mix-up, the Redditor said, “That’s a problem because, again, a problematic species is being deliberately sold as a native to people who are trying to do the right thing and it makes my blood boil.”
In their statement, the Redditor pointed out the importance of using plants native to where you live when deciding what to plant in your garden or yard. Using native plants is crucial to wildlife, including bugs, birds, and other animals, as well as vitally important to other plant life.
A caption on one of the photos reads, “Several heaping racks of curassavica sold as tuberosa. They’re pulling a fast one on the public and hurting monarchs too.”
The difference here is very important. While both are a kind of milkweed, the curassavica, otherwise known as tropical milkweed, can be incredibly harmful to monarch butterflies. Tuberosa, on the other hand, are a popular source of nectar for the monarch.
The Redditor also included a “bonus,” showing a pic and stating that Lowe’s “ … is still selling English ivy and many other invasive species (like Mexican petunia and lantana camara).”
One commenter was duped by the same mislabeling, saying, “I once bought a milkweed plant which I distinctly remember being labeled A. tuberosa and it ended up being tropical milkweed.” (The full name of a tuberosa is Asclepias tuberosa.)
Another commenter agreed with the post, saying, “I don’t see where it indicates ‘Native’ species, but if the tag label is [in]correctly identifying the plant, that is an issue.”
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