Great article here http://www.rodale.com/invasive-plants on native vrs. non-native shrubs and perennials, and how the ability of some non-native plants to profusely re-seed is wrecking havoc on ecosystems, displacing important native plants that are a source of food to good insects and wildlife. While there are enough good native plants for me to stay away from many of these invasive foreigners, I have a hard time resisting Butterfly Bush (which is actually banned from being sold in the Pacific northwest due to it’s ability to easily re-seed and pop up everywhere). On a warm, breezy summer afternoon, I find myself drawn to the fragrance and sight of those long purple-red blooms, humming with butterflies drinking up the nectar. I believe I’ve alluded to this situation in one of my first posts to this blog. I do confess to having a number of non-native shrubs in my garden, but I haven’t really encountered much of an issue with them getting out of control. In fact, just to see if I could (having had no luck with propagating plants from cuttings) I grew some Nandina from seeds, and have allowed my Buddleia to spring up where seeds fell last fall.
Of course, being an avid lover of wildlife, I’ve balanced these with natives like Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirons, and Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia).