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Go-ahead given for plucking Baby’s-breath

2016-07-26

Due to their nice appearance and pleasant smell, some invasive plants are very much favoured by people. Thus the latter forget about the damage caused by invasive species. Some of the plants included in the List of Invasive Species in Lithuania seem to be ours as they have grown here for many years and sometimes are even specially planted in our flower gardens. However, environmentalists are warning that invasive plants are harmful to the Lithuanian biodiversity and oust local flora species.

Baby’s-breath is included in the List of Invasive Species in Lithuania, so exterminating this plant is encouraged. Do not be mistaken as several decades ago this plant was under protection indeed. The root system of Baby’s-breath is very large, reaching even up to 15 square metres, which explains the previous attempts to plant it for fortifying the dunes. Baby’s-breath has expanded so much on the Lithuanian coast that now its plantations are damaging to other plant species. The plant is causing particularly great damage to sea milkwort only found on the coast in very small quantities.

Baby’s-breath has been noticed to form growths not only on the coast but also in other places. People are urged to pluck its flowers as this reduces the plant’s spread with seeds. The List of Invasive Species states that this plant can grow in urban areas, but selling Baby’s-breath or distributing it otherwise is prohibited.

During the Soviet times, Lithuania saw the arrival not only of Baby’s-breath but also of numerous other invasive species such as Sosnowsky’s hogweed planned to be cultivated as a crop. However, on discovering the particular danger of this plant, it had already spread throughout Lithuania. The Ministry of Environment is calling on the public to contribute to the extermination of invasive species and thus protect Lithuania’s biodiversity.

Communication Division
26/07/2016

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas