Help! Why can’t I find Burning Bush?

One of the showiest fall plants is Burning Bush. Ask anyone on the street if they have ever heard of Burning Bush and they will probably know what you mean. They may know it as “Fire Bush.” But once you get past that, they will know what you mean. More than that, a lot of people would like to have one.

And if you are one of the people who want a Burning Bush, you are likely having trouble finding them. This might strike you as odd. One only has to drive into an older development to see how popular they once were. And yet they are now hard to find.

But why is this? The reason is Burning Bush easily becomes invasive. Though it is not a banned plant in PA–at least just yet–it is listed as an invasive plant in PA. This does not mean that it is not allowed to be sold in PA, but many nurseries have chosen willingly to drop them.

If there is any silver lining to this, it is that there will be sterile varieties of Burning Bush coming out. The trouble is, however, that it may take some time for these plants to come out. And further, it will take time for the legislation that has been passed to be overturned or amended to accommodate this reality.

In the meantime, we are left with the reality that Burning Bush is an invasive plant. And though it is not formally controlled in PA, we should note that Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and New Hampshire have already banned Burning Bush. In other words, it is not out of the question that they would be banned in PA in the future.

What is the concern?

Having found out Burning Bush is invasive should lead us to ask a question. What is this question? It is, “So what? So what that Burning Bush is invasive?”

One of the things we often do when we find out that something is invasive–or even just not native–is to dismiss it as bad outright. But we should realize that this is incorrect. We must first think it through and study the facts.

An example of this is a lot of people want native plants for pollinators particularly, Honey Bees. But what most people do not realize is that Honey Bees are not native. But this does not mean that Honey Bees are bad. One merely has to look at the headlines to find out how import they are to the ecosystem and let alone the economy. But if they were not only beneficial but also necessary, they would be considered invasive. But this being said, we must consider Burning Bush.

So what about Burning Bush? The dilemma is that it spreads and takes over, particularly in woodlands through birds eating the seeds. These push out the more edible plants. And when these are pushed out, it makes it harder for wild animals to find food. For this reason, it is important that the spread of Burning Bush is controlled. The good news, however, is that there is several other plants that can be used as a replacement. Click here for a list of some alternatives.

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Have you been looking for Burning Bush? Do you have one? Comment below!