Amenity plants on banned list

Several common amenity plants, including Rosa rugosa, Rhododendron luteum and five species of Cotoneaster, have been added to Defra's list of species that cannot be released in the wild.

In all, 35 plants have been added to schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, after a two-year consultation.

According to a Defra representative: "The schedule 9 message is very much about deterring irresponsible disposal and poor management of the listed species to prevent their deliberate or accidental introduction to the wild."

Among those consulted was the HTA. Business development director Tim Briercliffe said: "The danger is that by putting some plants on the schedule, they are then perceived as bad plants. We have to make sure that people know what (their being listed) means — we do not want it to be misconstrued."

Johnsons of Whixley managing director and former HTA president Andrew Richardson added: "Banning release of these plants could have serious consequences for growers. A lot of these plants are staples and people may now avoid them."

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