This week is National Invasive Species Awareness Week. Herring Run Nursery will be focusing each day on one invasive plant and a native alternative.
Don’t Plant: Nandina
Nandina (Nandina domestica) is such a common landscaping shrub that you might have thought it was a native plant. Actually, Nandina was brought to North America as an ornamental shrub from Eastern Asia in the 1800s. Although Nandina is nice to look at, the bright red berries are easily spread by birds, and the shade tolerant shrub invades forest edges and interiors.
Native Alternative: Winterberry
If you’re looking for beautiful red berries, Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) is your best choice. This deciduous shrub produces plentiful berries in late summer that last all through the winter– excellent for your garden’s winter interest. At least one male plant must be planted near a female for the shrub to bear fruit. Winterberry will also greatly increase the wildlife benefit of your garden– providing year-round food for birds, as a host for pollinator species, and providing special value to honey bees.