Hello all. I wanted to post some information about invasive plant species because I think it's very important. I own a consulting firm that has been involved with eradication of invasive species for more than 12 years and have a lot of experience working with these and many other species. I see lots of folks are using Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and/or common reed (Phragmites australis) for mason bee nesting materials. I think it is very important to note that both of these species are aggressive invasive plants. Invasive plants are plants that outcompete native species and destroy the complexity of our natural ecosystems. Once established these species can be quite difficult to eradicate.
While there in nothing wrong with using either of these species for nesting material you can take some simple steps to keep these species from spreading.
1. Never throw plant fragments/clippings/leaves from either of these plants in your compost bin, in the woods etc. Both of these species can spread from any fragment of the
plant and will establish themselves quickly. Common reed can spread from fragments but seeds are the most typical form of spread. Make sure you do not spread the seed heads.
2. Dispose of clippings in your trash in a sealed plastic bag.
For more information about invasive plants in your state do a Google search for your state name and “invasive plant species list”. Or if you want more information please contact me and I will do what I can to help you out! If you send pictures I can most likely ID the plant. For specific information on these species you can go here:
Japanese knotweed: http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/p...knotweed.shtml
Common reed: http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/a...mmonreed.shtml
You are all helping the environment with you mason bee work. Don’t offset those positive benefits by spreading invasive plants!