Pretty much everything in your garden can be an invasive plant

Updated: Apr 25

Over 600 plant species, including marijuana, are considered potential threats to Guam's ecosystem


Portulaca, a genus of herbaceous plant that bears yellow, orange or fuchsia dainty flowers, was among the bestsellers at Tropical Blooms and Greens in Dededo. But the nursery had to stop selling portulaca because, according to the Department of Agriculture, that beauty is a beast.

“I had to pull them out of the shelves,” said Noemi Pitts, a horticulturist and owner of Tropical Blooms, which also supplies plants to Home Depot Guam. “I couldn’t imagine portulaca being an invasive plant when I don’t see them thrive in neglect around the island. If anybody throws them out in the ground without watering them, they will not survive. They will dry out and die.”

But agriculture authorities say otherwise.

​Portulaca grandiflora and Portulaca oleracea, both also known as bodulagas, botdolagas or donkulu, are among the more than 600 plant species on Guam that are listed as “invasive” or “potentially invasive” based on the Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk project’s (PIER) profiling.