I have never seen this plant growing in the wild, but I can believe it capable of growing so thickly it excludes all other plants. When I found it in the Slope Garden, it was one of several plants that had taken over. Every bare spot in the once-cultivated area had either garden heliotrope, evening primrose, some sort of monarda, or columbine growing in it. Clearly these had all been introduced by the previous gardener as ornamental plants and had spread far beyond their intended limits. I’m still editing this bed, wanting to keep a bit of each of these plants, but not nearly as many as are currently growing here. Garden heliotrope spreads by stolons and sets seed borne by the wind. It is easy to pull out where it is not wanted, however, so I have never considered it invasive. Apparently, under the right conditions, it is.
As the authors of Minnesota Wildflowers remark, ” Population expansion is cryptic to casual observers until it suddenly becomes exponential and it starts showing up everywhere.” Meaning, the plant in questions seems perfectly innocent until it reaches critical mass, and you suddenly realize you have a problem. I haven’t seen valerian jump the fence. But when I first started gardening over twenty years ago, I never saw either garlic mustard or wild parsnip. Now they are both scourges. So I am going to keep my eye on this sweet smelling plant. I already had plans to thin it drastically, and I think I will religiously deadhead what little I permit to bloom each year.
Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogasphere. “It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!”