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Re: native North American aroids


Pistia stratiodes is a prohibited aquatic invasive under regulation by the 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Water Hyacinth 
(Echhornia spp.) is also prohibited by the DEP. It is illegal (punishable as 
a 2nd degree misdemeanor) to cultivate, *collect* (watch out Les), possess, 
transport, sell or import these species, or any others prohibited by DEP, 
within the state of Florida unless you have a special permit issued by the 
DEP. Unlike water hyacinth, which is a Class I prohibited plant, Pista is 
Class II prohibited, and can be legally propagated by nurseries within the 
state of Florida and transported out of state for sale if the nursery is 
regulated by the FL Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. Non-commercial 
(homeowner) cultivation is prohibited...you can't get a permit to grow this 
in your fish pond at home in Florida, folks. Therefore, nurseries in other 
regions can obtain Florida grown Pistia legally if the nursery in FL is 
permitted to handle this plant. I don't know if these species are regulated 
at the national level as noxious weeds (someone could check the USDA web site 
and report back to aroid-l). Individual states in zones where these plants 
are causing trouble may have their own laws that might be more stringent than 
the Federal laws.

Maybe I have this all wrong, but I think I am looking at the most recent DEP 
rules. Someone please correct me if I am wrong. Of course, its entirely 
possible that the USDA rules contradict the FL DEP.

This whole issue gets really complex once you realize that one must sort 
through many different lists that carry the weight of law compiled by the 
various government authorities at the the international, national, state and 
local level.  Each branch of government has its own set of criteria for 
determining the status of potential invasives, and some of these lists 
contradict each other once you start getting into it. Lists are also revised 
periodically, meaning you have to stay on top of all this mess. Makes things 
difficult to comprehend, much less comply with.

The whole issue of invasives is a difficult one. I'm sure someone could spend 
a lifetime trying to unravel all the government issued regulations and make 
some sense of it all. Invasive plants will continue to reproduce and spread 
faster than our ability to regulate them.

Donna Atwood
Selby Gardens

In a message dated 99-12-13 09:43:51 EST, you write:

<< Are you sure that the law applies in areas where it can't possibly survive 
over the winter?  It's not just one place that sells it - it's almost all 
places that sell pond plants -- at least it was widely available 2 summers 
ago.   This past summer I never looked so can't guarantee it was around.  
Large plants sold for even more than the previously quoted $3-$5!
 Are water hyacinths on that list too?  Those too are available for sale here 
yet I know they clog southern waterways.

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