Invasive plants murder neighbors by poison

If it wasn’t bad enough that your plants were talking about you, now the little devils are poisoning each other.

…Scientists at the University of Delaware have uncovered a hidden weapon that one of the most invasive wetland plants in the United States uses to silently and efficiently bump off its neighbors.

The invasive strain of Phragmites australis, or common reed, believed to have originated in Eurasia, exudes from its roots an acid so toxic that the substance literally disintegrates the structural protein in the roots of neighboring plants, thus toppling the competition.

Phragmites is taking over the marsh world, said UD plant biologist Harsh Bais. It’s a horticultural disaster. . . .

[ read more UD plant biologists uncover top wetland plant’s hidden weapon ]

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Plants have a social life too