The Commission has recently submitted draft implementing acts to the European Parliament containing the list of species to be defined as invasive and banned from sale or ownership under Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014.
This list contains two aquatic plant species, Eichhornia crassipes major (Water Hyacinth) and Lagarosiphon major (Elodea crispa), which are widely sold at garden centres in the UK and are extremely popular with British gardeners.
Eichhornia crassipes major is a non-hardy floating aquatic plant native to the Amazon Basin, its minimum growth temperature is 12 degrees Celsius and it is killed by frost. It has been sold in the UK for over 50 years and it has been recognised that it cannot be invasive in the UK, due to our climate, hence its recent removal from the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Schedule 9.
Lagarosiphon major is an excellent aquatic oxygenating plant native to Southern Africa. It also has been sold in the UK for over 50 years with very little detrimental effect.
Would the Commission agree that these two species do not meet the criteria to be classified as invasive species and their banning would have a detrimental impact on gardening consumers in the UK?