Invasion potential of herbaceous ornamental perennials in northern climate conditions
We studied invasion potential of perennial herbaceous ornamental plants in Finland by using their reproduction success as an indicator. Altogether, 220 clones from 166 species were included in the studies. In common gardens, 50% of the species were found to produce seedlings and 75% rhizomes, respectively. Twelve of the clones produced neither seedlings nor rhizomes. Rankings of the invasion potential based on the two reproduction modes did not correlate. The species known for their invasion potential in temperate or cool climates were among the highest ranking seedling producers in the common gardens. In the field experiment, the highest seedling production (73%) was found in the semi-dry moisture regime, followed by the dry (40%) and the moist (27%) regimes. In the greenhouse experiment, 83% of the studied clones and 84% of the species emerged. Temperature sum required for the production of viable seeds for one third of the studied species is reached at least every second year in latitudes 62–63°N. Several perennial herbaceous ornamentals have potential for northward range expansion.