You have perhaps guessed this is not the kind of invasion that H.G. Wells was talking about. It is about so-called ‘alien plants’ which manage to enter and invade, often as seeds, ‘territories’ where they not wanted and where they create havoc in the native plant communities.
Unidentified or wrongly identified seed species are often the cause; species sold as ornamentals and not assessed for their invasive potential; even souvenirs brought back from travels or gifts…
The latter is the reason of this post, which got to me second hand, from someone who received a gift card and pouch of ‘seeds’ of Orchis italica – brought from La Rambla, a touristy market area in Barcelona, Spain. Note that there is the sign indicating – ‘airplane allowed’ (click on images to open the gallery).
This orchid species is endangered in some European countries, but seeds of cultivated origins are not prohibited. Opening the seed envelope came with a big surprise and even a moment of confusion. I knew in a way those were not orchid seeds, but I had a hard time accepting such blatant fake (yes, I still believe in honesty…).
After questions, guided links from SRGC forum, everything clearly pointed to fraud, and after more research, I can say most certainly that the seeds belong to a Persicaria species.
Which one? Who knows, there are many species and quite a few of them are invasive, noxious weeds of the ‘alien’ kind. Luckily that many will only keep these sort of cards as keepsake.
The BiCON regulation of the Australian and NZ governments, the no-no list of US and Canada, and other such systems put in place to deter such aliens, are highly justified.
If, and how well they work, this is another question!!!
So, everyone beware of the aliens invasion! You can fight it too by ‘propagating’ this post through social media.