Why plant introduced species?

Written by Thary Gazi Goh

Photo by Dr Saw Leng Guan (CC BY-NC-SA)

To be fair, here is why you should plant introduced plants, or rather when it is appropriate to plant introduced species.

  1. Often they are tough and easier to handle. Many commercial species are chosen because they are tough enough to be bred for hostile environments like cities. In some places native species might not be able to survive, but introduced plants can do fine.
  2. They have useful ecological functions. Just because a plant is not native doesn’t mean that wildlife can’t use it. Flowers will attract pollinators whether they are native or introduced. Oil palm is an introduced species, but often it supports fruit eating birds and mammals in the city.
  3. Easier to obtain. Many introduced species can be bought from nurseries, which is easier than looking for native plants which may be in forests and hard to identify. If you need plants fast, then it may be a feasible option.