Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ is looking so hot this winter with its amazingly striped canes. This clumping bamboo is usually grown as a die-back perennial here in Zone 7b, since it goes to the ground when temperatures drop below 10 degrees F. Because we’ve had three mild winters, we are once again able to enjoy the amazing striping of the canes. I did get a chuckle last year, when I saw Bambusa multiplex show up on an invasive species list for North Carolina. As I explained in my letter to the group, Bambusa multiplex is first and foremost, a clumping species. Secondly, all truly invasive species (which invade functioning natural ecosystems, displacing natives and causing economic harm once population equilibrium has been reached) must be able to spread by seed, and bamboo clones only flower once in 100 years, and then die. It’s these emotionally driven lists, without any basis in facts or real science, that makes so many of the invasive lists a farce, and sadly untrustworthy.
Many people do not understand the difference between aggressive and invasive. I correct people frequently.
So vinca minor is not invasive?
Vinca minor is aggressive in a garden, but most of the papers we’ve read along with our field studies indicates that it is usually only found in disturbed areas at the edge of intact forests. These escapes are usually from an old home site, and not from seeding. Having seen it in the wild in the Balkans, it actually doesn’t grow thick enough to disturb nearby flora like epimediums, hellebores, etc. We would have a hard time imagining Vinca minor displacing natives in a functioning natural ecosystem causing economic harm once population equilibrium has been reached. That said, the species is not a plant we would recommend growing if you live near a natural area.