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More from Polly

Someone off list forwarded me a copy of an email he got from the same Polly
of the USDA in response to asking her about importing Hydrocotle vulgaris,
(pennywort) Let me ask if anyone here thinks the USDA is going over their
boundaries here...notice the reference to a proposed regulation of the USDA
considering EVERY non naitive aquatic plant for importing into the USA as a
noxious weed... (didnt Tom Barr say Hydrocotyle was a USA naitive plant?)

>Hydrocotyle vulgaris is not on any prohibited list for import.  (Except
Puerto Rico, which >lists all species of the genus as noxious weeds.) You
would need a general nursery >stock import permit to bring it in, and a
phytosanitary certificate from the exporting >country.  The shipment
would be subject to inspection upon arrival in the US.
>That said, I see warning signs that this species has potential to be an
invasive >species in the United States if it escapes from cultivation.
One web site warns "(H. >vulgaris) Plants can be very invasive" and  I
find  several species of Hydrocotyle in my >references on weeds of the
world.   Many non-native aquatic plants have caused >environmental damage
in the US, especially in Florida, after people emptied aquaria >into
lakes & rivers or animals moved fragments from backyard ponds.
>You may be aware that APHIS is under pressure to move from the current
"innocent >until proven guilty" approach for nursery stock to requiring
risk assessment for any >new species proposed for importation.  If this
were in effect now, Hydrocotyle vulgaris >would not likely pass the
weediness screening.  Some importers are voluntarily >refraining from
importing new species that have proven invasive elsewhere.  If you
>decide to import H. vulgaris anyway,  we ask you to exercise great care
to make sure >this plant is not released into the environment.
>Polly Lehtonen

Robert Paul H