I haven’t personally counted them, but over 400,000 species of plant exist in the world, which are known by somewhere around 1.5 million scientific names.
At Lay of the Land we regularly get asked for plants which are native to the UK. Well apparently only about 47 are considered so, but hundreds more ‘garden’ plants have now also established themselves in the wild. A few of them, Japanese Knotweed being the most infamous example, are considered overly invasive, causing harm to our eco systems.
It’s a situation under constant review but not really a new one. Plant migration has been going on for thousands of years. Even those now considered native are only so designated through being here before the last ice age, and before the last land bridges to Europe disappeared.
Two thoughts on this subject.
If you are unlucky enough to have an invasive non native in your garden, and decide to dispose of it by chucking it over the fence, be aware this will soon be a criminal offence with a likely maximum fine of £40,000!
100 or so of all plant species are roses, divided into more than 1300 individual varieties. Next time you ask the man at the garden centre if he knows the name of a climbing rose with pink flowers don’t think too badly of him if he can’t immediately identify it! Most of them are definitely not native either, but what sort of England would this be without roses?