A couple of years ago, I attended a garden tour in the Twin Cities. Sponsored by a garden club, the tour ended with a sale of plants. This yellow flag iris was among the plants on sale. “You will love it,” the club member said as I stood in the rain looking over the selections from gardeners’ yards. I do not believe the usual code words for invasive—vigorous, hardy, fills in well, spreads beautifully—were used.
I planted it in my back garden and it did not do much last year. This year, it bloomed and I was about to write a post praising this lovely yellow iris. But a little research found that yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacoris) is a “regulated invasive” in Minnesota, which means that while it is legal to possess, sell and buy it, the plant cannot be introduced into public areas, particularly public waters. (These iris are quite invasive in water and bogs.)
Since I live within about 100 yards of two drainage ponds (not exactly Lake Superior, but lovely in their own way), I will be removing the iris shortly — and disposing of it. I’ll also be a bit more wary next time I see lots of one plant type at a plant sale.
What plants that are illegal (or should be) have you bought?