­ While learning about native plants, one quickly finds the need to learn more about alien species. Upon looking, you see them every day. Aliens can encroach on native plantings, prairies, roadsides, and disturbed places. Sometimes this leads people to believe the plants they pass by daily are naturally native. INTRODUCED, ADAPTED, ALIENS Become aware of the terms “introduced”, "indigenized", “adapted” or “improved” varieties of plants, flowers and grasses. These words are often used to describe alien plants that may be suited, persist, or thrive in our environment. These plants may have no local or natural predators in their new homes. They may not serve much, if any, beneficial purpose in the ecological food web. This point is important, especially on the lower trophic levels where the insects reside. All songbirds feed their young insects. But insects are highly selective about their host plants and have no use for most alien plants. The aliens may have potential to spread out of control. Mandated by Legislative House Bill 338, the Texas Dept of Agriculture was assigned as the state’s authority to classify plant species as noxious or invasive. According to US Federal Executive Order 13112 of Feb. 03, 1999, “ Invasive species means an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” Perennial warm season grasses are widely used in livestock forage production. The majority of native grasslands around and east of the 98th - to the 100th meridian (east of I 35) has been converted to alien introductions of improved pastures of alien grasses. These aliens generate billions of dollars of economic “benefit” for farmers & ranchers, mostly in the food production of beef and dairy cattle. Coastal bermuda (an African grass) and it’s many varieties, johnsongrass, kleingrass, bahiagrass, buffelgrass and oldworld bluestems are some of the most wide spread. Bermuda forage grasses are estimated to cover 8.7 million acres in Texas, not including all the lawns, city parks & ball fields, school & corporate campuses and all the roadsides. Production potential is valued by Tx A&M Univ. at $120 per acre, or a total $10.44 billion statewide. Native bluestems are valued at $10 per acre covering 10.8 million acres for $108 million; or 10 times less than alien bermudagrass. Many costs such as impacts to wildlife and pollution from runoff are being externalized in these values. Bermudagrass and many other alien pastures have limited value to Texas wildlife. 3 grandmas ago, COMMON ALIEN SPECIES St Augustine African Daisy Kleingrass Tocalote Wilman Lovegrass Weeping Lovegrass Bahiagrass Bermudagrass Asian Jasmine Foxtail Millet King Ranch Bluestem St Augustine Blue Panicum Corn Poppy Crimson Clover Cornflower Bastard Cabbage Johnsongrass Dame's Rocket Buffelgrass Zoysia EXPLORE THE FULL PALLET OF NATIVES... SEEDS OFFERED IN THIS CATALOG ARE GROWN, HARVESTED AND 100% NATIVE TO OUR LOCAL ECOREGIONS 100% native Cosmos 82 St Augustine CAN YOU IDENTIFY COMMON ALIENS? Let’s work together to prevent their spread REFERENCES Invasive species legislation: search "HB338 TX"; "Texas Agriculture Noxious and Invasive Plants" origin of alien-species: plants.usda.gov negative impacts: texasinvasives.org land fragmentation in Texas: txaglandtrust.org