BDN interviews Jackson about invasive flowers

The Bangor Daily News spoke with Tori Jackson, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension associate professor of agriculture and natural resources, for an article about invasive flowers in Maine. Yellow iris, ornamental jewelweed and black swallow-wort may be pretty, but they can smother the state’s native flora and provide less-nutritious food for native fauna, according to Jackson. “This beauty comes at a steep price,” she wrote in the May edition of Maine Home Garden News, a monthly newsletter published by UMaine Extension. The three plants were singled out by the Maine Natural Areas Program as priority species this year, with the hope that more awareness of them by Mainers will lead to early detection and eradication, the article states. “They’re new enough that a lot of gardeners may not have seen them yet,” Jackson said. “All home gardeners and homeowners and people who care for landscapes are really the first line of defense when it comes to invasive species. Keeping an eye out will be a great public service that home gardeners can do.” According to Jackson, the best thing to do as soon as a homeowner notices a plant they’ve never seen before is to get it identified. If they can’t do so on their own, they can head to their local UMaine Extension office to consult with the horticulturists there, the BDN reported.