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Gardener raises concerns about plant found at local nursery: 'I'm very disappointed'

"If the marketer says they only sell native plants, then giving you [vervain] is fraud."

"If the marketer says they only sell native plants, then giving you [vervain] is fraud."

Photo Credit: iStock

A gardener shopping at their local farmer's market bought a plant advertised as a native species, only to find out that it was not native and actually invasive.

They took to the subreddit r/NativePlantGardening to ask for advice on dealing with the plant, which turned out to be Brazilian vervain.

"I didn't look closely at the tag because [it was a] native plant nursery at a farmer's market," they wrote. "I'm very disappointed that what I thought was a trusted source sold this."

"If the marketer says they only sell native plants, then giving you [vervain] is fraud," one commenter said

The OP continued: "According to the agricultural extension website this is 'weedy' and 'considered invasive by some sources.' Does anyone have personal experience with this plant?"

Commenters offered a range of thoughts.

"It does self sow here but not as much as my native plants. … I leave a few where it pops up. I pull excess seedlings or ones that end up in awkward places," one wrote.

"It is a great butterfly magnet, but in your area it should probably be dead-headed. Normally it won't survive my zone 6 winters but lately it has been, and after 2 mild winters I need to start pulling the seedlings up," another advised.

"I planted it on purpose and am now on year four of trying to get rid of it," one person lamented.

πŸ—£οΈ How often will you be gardening this summer?

πŸ”˜ Every day πŸ₯—

πŸ”˜ At least once a week πŸ₯•

πŸ”˜ At least once a month 🌱

πŸ”˜ I don't garden 🚫

πŸ—³οΈ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

Even for savvy gardeners such as this one, it can be tricky to accurately identify every plant, especially when they're labeled with misleading terms or displayed next to native species. And the dangers of planting invasive species cannot be overstated.

A common trait among invasives is that they grow exponentially faster than local natives, often dominating yards or even entire forests in a short span of time. Often, they grow across property lines, and occasionally they even grow through walls.

And not only are they annoying, but they're also expensive. Roughly 3,500 geographically invasive species cost the world economy $423 billion each year. That's not to mention the time and effort it takes to maintain garden beds, as in the OP's situation.

One way to keep invasives out of your yard is to use the National Wildlife Federation's native plants finder, which lists native species to grow if you want to rewild your yard.

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