Driving down the California coast, beautiful patches of yellow blooms against ocean blues and mountain backdrops may seem like a harmonious sight. But, what onlookers may not realize is that the state of California spends millions of dollars to fight these and similar types of plants each year.
That’s because this yellow beauty—Scotch Broom—is an invasive species in areas of California. This plant and others identified as invasive in California were introduced to the environment from other areas of the country and world, often due to their good looks and easy maintenance. Invasive plants spread rapidly and cause major ecological problems by crowding out the natural plants in an environment and impacting the way an entire ecosystem functions.
Due to the threat to the state’s landscape and resources, Home Depot stores in California teamed up withPlantRight, an organization focused on ending new introductions of invasive plants in California, to ensure these plants are not sold in our stores in the state.
“We’re always trying to do what’s right for the community and the environment, said Brian Parker, senior merchant of live goods for Home Depot’s western division. “By working with PlantRight, we were able to identify that we only had one type of invasive plant on our shelves. Once we understood the impact, it was a simple decision to relocate our existing inventory and commit to keeping invasive species out of our California stores.”
The good news for California gardeners who enjoy the beauty of these attractive, yet invasive species is that some hybridized, sterile and non-harmful varieties of these plants are available in our stores. Sweet Broom, for example, is a non-threatening plant that looks similar to the invasive Scotch Broom. Additionally, The Home Depot California team has worked closely with local growers to supply easy-to-grow and water-conscious alternatives to gardeners and landscapers across the state.
For more information on invasive plants in California, visit plantright.org.
*Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cohen