Innocuous garden plants primed for escape
Lantana camara is considered one of the most invasive species in the world. It has invaded more than 60 countries, causing major economic losses in many. In Europe it is still considered an attractive ornamental plant. Its range in countries like Australia and South Africa is expected to increase under predicted climate change scenarios. Only a few ornamental plants escape the garden to establish themselves in the countryside (naturalise), and even fewer go on to negatively affect native biodiversity (invasive). However, in Britain in particular, non-native garden plants represent a huge pool of potential future invaders and a warming climate increases the overlap between current cultivation areas of ornamental plants and their naturally suitable climatic conditions. Species such as Oenothera speciosa (a pink Evening Primrose species) and Lupinus polyphyllus (Garden Lupin) are amongst many on a watch list of potential garden plants primed for escape.