Botanic gardens spread plant invaders

Botanic gardens are generally well-tended parks displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names. They may contain specialist plant collections such as cacti and succulent plants, herb gardens and plants from all around the world.

Unfortunately, it turns out that more than half of the world’s most invasive plant species spread into new habitats from botanic gardens, an analysis of historic “alien” escapes has concluded. Although most cases analysed happened between the 1800s and the mid-1900s, there are reports of more recent releases which merit a tightening up of biosecurity, researchers warn.

Plant species can escape from specialist gardens through waterways, wind dispersal and animal transportation. Once in the wild they can invade and take over native habitats. Read more here.

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