Embrace urban botanical biodiversity by looking at functional exotic pest species as “cosmopolitan urban vegetation” rather than approaching non-native vegetation as an all or nothing proposition.
(2014) Dr. Peter del Tredici, Harvard Graduate School of Design and author of Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide writes about the emergent ecosystems of cities on the site Places. Climatic conditions like higher temperatures, limited soil volume, continual environmental disturbance.
Plants that grow in harsh urban environments perform services…even Phragmites australis, highly invasive, is helping to clean up the Meadowlands in New Jersey by absorbing excess nitrogen and phosphorus on highly contaminated former landfill sites.
Cosmopolitan urban meadows can be just as easily dominated by European grassland plants like Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) and Rumex crispus (dock) as native species.
He suggests the term “cosmopolitan urban vegetation” to celebrate urban botanical biodiversity and learning to manage spontaneous vegetation by removing problem plants like Celastrus orbiculatus (bittersweet), Ampelopsis brevidunculata (porcelain berry) and Asian Wisteria spp. rather than thinking it’s an all or nothing proposition.