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Old 03-14-2013, 12:58 PM   #1
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Default Sterile Butterfly Bush Coming This Spring

Sterile Butterfly Bush Coming This Spring
Oregon Invasive Species

Oregon Invasive Species: Sterile Butterfly Bush Coming This Spring
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Ten new varieties of sterile butterfly bush have been tested and approved. They’ll be available in garden centers in Oregon this spring. I’m going to buy some. They are handsome plants with long flowering periods, and they produce little or no seed. Plant breeders have succeeded in enhancing the desirable features of butterfly bush while eliminating it’s potential to be a noxious weed. Hallelujah!

I suspect gardeners are going to flock to these new varieties like butterflies to the flowers. The pictures are gorgeous, and the plants are more compact with shorter stems and bigger flower clusters.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) developed a process in which nurseries can have their varieties evaluated. A 98 percent reduction in fertility is required for approval. The table below shows data for the most recent batch evaluated for Ball Ornamentals. The varieties in bold meet Oregon’s sterility standard. All of the approved varieties are...
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:57 PM   #2
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Default Developing Sterile Butterfly Bushes for the Nursery Industry

Developing Sterile Butterfly Bushes for the Nursery Industry
John M. Ruter
Department of Horticulture - Tifton University of Georgia

http://www.canr.org/Ruter-ButterflyBushes%20%20F-05.pdf
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Nature of Work: People want things that are new. New and unique plants continue to fuel the growth of the nursery industry. New plants are also economically viable since they often have higher profit margins. In 2003, 566 nurseries responded to a NMPRO poll regarding numbers ofnew plants which would be in their 2004 catalogs. Ninety percent of the nur series would be growing1 to 5 new plants where as more than a third would be offering 15 or more new items. According to a NMPRO poll in February of 2005 regarding the plant categories in which growers were producing themost new varieties, trees came in at 19.4%, followed by shrubs at 22.6% and perennials with 54.4%. Clearly thereis a demand for new woody and herbaceous nursery crops and research on the development of new crops is an endless project. Mutation breeding is applicable to seed-grown and vegetatively propagated plants. The use of mutagens is an attractive approach for modifying one or two traits without…
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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Still a non-native plant so I won't be growing it.
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:40 PM   #4
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Still a non-native plant so I won't be growing it.
Me either.

I'm guessing there are a lot of us in this crowd who don't want it.
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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This is a pristine example of why terminology matters so much and why we should always be on our toes when something doesn’t seem quite right…. I mean…. our country is riddled with butterfly bushes and here we see the word sterile getting tossed out as if it’ll be “safe” planting all their new and improved “sterile” cultivars well….. they’re not “safe” because…. liberties were taken with the definition of sterile and neither 1 of these articles even touched on the vitiation of the definition which IMNSHO (in my not so humble opinion)…. goes well beyond being misleading. The un-adulterated definition of sterile according to Sterile | Define Sterile at Dictionary.com,
ster·ile
[ster-il or, esp. British, -ahyl]
adjective
1. free from living germs or microorganisms; aseptic: sterile surgical instruments.
2. incapable of producing offspring; not producing offspring.
3. barren; not producing vegetation: sterile soil.
4.Botany.
a. noting a plant in which reproductive structures fail to develop.
b. bearing no stamens or pistils.
5. not productive of results, ideas, etc.; fruitless.
--
So…. everyone reading either 1 of those articles or….. the countless ads BigHort inundates us with….. is being led to believe their “sterile” cultivars are “safe”…. they’re totally harmless so we should all feel free to “indulge” ourselves and…. this couldn’t be any farther from the truth. These “novel” butterfly bushes are “almost” sterile…. by that they mean….. ~90% sterile. Surprise surprise…. this is a repeat of what happened with Lythrum salicaria, Pyrus calleryana, Lantana camara, and Nandina domestica just to name a few extremely popular plants BigHort foisted on our wilds making a buck. BigHort’s “novel” Buddleja cultivars…. that they’re using our tax $$$s to create and “trial”…. if you want to call the trials conducted by their “partners” actual trials…. don’t have to be 100% sterile….. sterility only needs to be “generally stable and consistent”. Catch that..... sterility ONLY needs to be "GENERALLY STABLE AND CONSISTENT". I dunno who this guy is but I’m thinking he picked up on what’s going on with all the “alleged” sterile butterfly bushes being pumped out to meet the demand for these ornamentals created by none other than…. BigHort, Kentucky Native Plant and Wildlife: Is Butterfly Bush Invasive? Should we plant it in urban areas?, “The next argument is that there are now sterile cultivars of this plant available that will not reproduce. My question is, how did they make it sterile? By breeding or by genetic manipulation? We know that some plants, mostly annuals, can be genetically manipulated to suppress reproduction but it is often much more difficult in a perennial plant. For example, paper companies are attempting to develop a genetically sterile cultivar of eastern cottonwood trees such that they can apply herbicides over the top of them and reduce growing costs. They have only been at these more 20 or more years and they just can’t get them completely sterile. We have been down this road before. I remember not that long ago when folks begged and pleaded with the Kentucky Nursery and Landsacpe Association to stop selling purple loosestrife. They said it was a very desirable plant and they would continue to sell it because the new “sterile” hybrids did not escape. How’s that working out for us? This plant is now a serious problem in Kentucky, and I mean serious. One day coming out of the mountains into a drainage of the Red River in Powell County I was greeted with an entire field of at least 40 acres in size of purple loosestrife. It has escaped out of Louisville and has moved down the Ohio River and is beginning to threaten our native wetlands. The audacity of some who continue to contend it just isn’t so is amazing. In one case, there were plants growing in a stream immediately adjacent to the plantsman’s business and have moved down Hickman Creek and in one pond in town the entire shallow area was inundated with purple loosestrife from this release in just TWO YEARS. The ironic thing is the plantsman denied they came from their plants! Or how about those sterile cultivars of callary pears we were sold? How’s that working out for you as you drive by ornamental pear forests now? You get the point. The ultimate goal of all plants is to make new plants.”
--
Spread the word about these “safe” cultivars…. “almost sterile” isn’t sterile…. new hybrids ARE capable of reproducing.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
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Buddleia is a four letter word in many parts of the world but a marketing genius stuck us in the US with the name butterfly bush. Real tough to fight good marketing.

Because of all the press monarchs are getting right now, it seems like a new monarch page is popping up on the internet everyday. One of the new Facebook pages started last month is done by a well known monarch expert. She makes it known from the outset that no anti-butterfly bush comments are allowed. I discussed things with her on one of the other new monarch pages. She acknowledges the Kentucky problem but says there is a lack of fall nectar for migrating monarchs (and other insects) so butterfly bushes are necessary.I'm sure people more knowledgeable than me have already argued with her so I did not press my argument very far. BTW, she was also pushing the drought tolerant angle mentioned in the linked Kentucky Native blog.

I'd like to visit one of these butterfly bush monocultures in September and see whether monarchs even stop. When I used to grow butterfly bushes, I don't remember them having many flowers in September unless I was deadheading the bushes.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #7
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... One of the new Facebook pages started last month is done by a well known monarch expert. She makes it known from the outset that no anti-butterfly bush comments are allowed. ...
I really think that is the core of these kinds of situations. It's not that there is a lack of good information sources, or scientific support for not using invasive species, or a lack of intellect; it really boils down to a determination to ignore reality. It's less pleasant for the person (the butterfly is just a tool in the argument) therefore they refuse to acknowledge that contrary information exists. Simple logic is also rejected; e.g., the butterflies did fine for thousands of years before butterfly bushes were introduced so there must be some native plant that supplied nectar if it was required.
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Old 04-13-2013, 09:40 AM   #8
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One of the new Facebook pages started last month is done by a well known monarch expert. She makes it known from the outset that no anti-butterfly bush comments are allowed. .
I belong to the Monarch Teacher Network and do training for them in the summer. They also have a FB page. I got in a heated argument with a woman on there a few days ago about butterfly bush. She kept writing stuff about these 'native plant enthusiasts' and used many stronger words like vile, fanatical, etc. I asked her in a polite way to stop demonizing those of us who chose to plant only natives and she got offended! She said that the native plant people where she live are rude and arrogant and tell people to tear out their butterfly bush. She thinks that planting an invasive species to benefit monarchs is to be encouraged if we are going to save the monarchs and their migration. When I suggested native alternatives that bloom during the fall, her answer was that people won't plant them. It is as if many monarch people are brain washed into thinking butterfly bush is okay! Argghh!
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Well I guess we can go around and around with any Monarch Migration Pages at Face book but I'm waiting for eggs and cats on my common milkweeds so I can post those photos on Face book. That and a few sentences should take care of that.

There's lots of zinnias that bloom till frost and even after if protected along with cosmos and sedum.

It's strange but on the face book pages that are local Audubon sites you get the argument that feral cats deserve the freedom to stalk birds in the neighborhood

So it's just the nature of face book to be argumentative
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:10 PM   #10
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What about asters? That's where I find late monarchs and who can argue about that?
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