Plant Pono seeks to recognize exemplary nurseries who voluntarily act to protect their nursery and their community from the threat of invasive species. Endorsed nurseries follow a code of conduct to ensure plants are coqui and Little Fire Ant (LFA) free. They promote non-invasive and native plants as an alternative to invasive landscaping plants and don’t sell confirmed or potentially invasive species.
Most plants are non-invasive, but a small percentage of imported plants could become costly invasive weeds. Invasive plants can spread where planted and harm agriculture, human health or the environment. To avoid planting a potential pest, nurseries can use a tool called the Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA) to evaluate plants before importing any new species to our islands.
Hawaii-Pacific Weed Risk Assessment (HPWRA)
The HPWRA is like a background check for plants. It is 95% accurate in detecting potential invasives. Professional botanists use published information to answer 49 questions about a plant, to predict whether it is at a low-risk or high-risk of becoming invasive in Hawai‘i.