Scotch Broom at Home Depot

I was by Home Despot today and noticed two full pallets of "Sweet Broom" for sale. I got a little alarmed that looked the same as the invasive pest plant Scotch Broom, but after some friendly conversation with the Los Angeles County Ag Dept determined that apparently it is not. Sweet Broom is a hybrid that is sold by Morovia (Cytisus x spachianus) and apparently not invasive, so far as we know at this time ("Great for dry hillside plantings and naturalizing" says the ad copy).

Although we don't know what the Broom labeled as Azaleas in this blog post really was, one can hope that it's a similar hybrid.

However, while browsing the online literature about invasive plants in LA County, I came across this one, which calls out the Castor Bean plant as highly undesirable due to toxicity and invasiveness. This is the plant that recently made news in connection with an aborted terror incident in Nevada, I think. The toxic agent Ricin can be made from the seed, but some gardeners like the distinctive look of the plant in spite of its drawbacks.

Coincidentally, I had seen uncommonly many seed packets for sale at my regular garden center only the other day. I called them and alerted them to what was on their seed rack and they said they would take them right off. I think they responded with alacrity due to the toxicity issue, mostly, but it was nice that they were so responsive. The seed rack is not stocked by them - the seed distributor does it, so they didn't know what was on it.

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