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Gunnera to be banned from UK gardens

P1440153 John Masseys Gdn Ashwood Nurseries


Can you spot the now illegal Gunnera in the image above of John Massey's garden at Ashwood Nurseries? It has just been deemed to be an invasive thug masquerading under a wrong name by a bunch of scientists with nothing better to do! They have DNA tested the plants we thought were Gunnera manicata and have decided that the species had hybridised with another that was already deemed illegal, with the original Gunnera manicata thought to no longer be in cultivation. Have they tested every Gunnera in the country? I very much doubt it.

The implications are that with one parent being deemed invasive then all our so-called hybrids are a result of crossing with the illegal species, what a strange chance bit of sex! I doubt if there are any other Gunneras with a couple of miles of John's planting.

This is surely a total waste of time and must come under Wokeism! Does John's patch look invasive? Has it spread all over his famous garden? No!

Would the time of these botanists not be better spent in ensuring that we have food security for our country. Would they not be better employed finding crops that can provide food in our changing climate situation?

It has long been believed that the giant Gunnera plants in Britain are one of two species, Gunnera manicata or Gunnera tinctoria. The former is a benign and beautiful plant originating in Brazil and Chile, while the latter is highly invasive, spreading rapidly and choking native flora. It has been illegal to sell or cultivate G tinctoria since 2017, while G manicata (or plants believed to be G manicata) has been widely available and celebrated for its exotic look.

Now the DNA work has revealed it is a hybrid between the two and should be called Gunnera × cryptica and because of the relationship with Gunnera tinctoria should be banned. Look! Is it invasive, no! Calm down Howard, it's only those with nothing better to do meddling in our great passion of gardening. Let's ban them instead.

P1440148 John Masseys Gdn Ashwood Nurseries

Does it look invasive to you on the far bank of John Massey's Garden? No, I doubt it very much. This is the same organisation that has already banned some species of Cotoneaster from our gardens and likens the Gunnera to Japanese knotweed!

Image is designed and maintained by Darren Hodson © 2022, The Drurys