An assessment of the native and invasive horticultural plants sold in the mid-Atlantic region.
In 2017, Mt. Cuba Center completed a survey that assessed the diversity of plants grown by mid-Atlantic wholesale nurseries. The main objectives were to quantify the proportion of taxa (named entities) native to the Eastern Temperate Forest Eco-region (those generally marketed as native in the regional horticulture industry), as well as the number of taxa considered invasive in the mid-Atlantic. Results indicated that 25% of the total 6885 taxa are either species native to the Eastern Temperate Forest or cultivars and hybrids of those species. The vast majority of that group (77%) belong to the latter categories of cultivars and hybrids. The taxa sold through these regional nurseries represent 1368 species. Of those, 458 (33%) represent species native to the Eastern Temperate Forest. Taxa considered invasive in the mid-Atlantic region represented 4% of the total diversity. This assessment represents the first of its kind in the mid-Atlantic and will serve to inform interested parties about the current state of native and invasive plants in this region.