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Pre-filed bill would ban the sale and distribution of 5 invasive plant species in Missouri

Japanese honeysuckle
Missouri Department of Conservation
Japanese honeysuckle

The bill was filed by Representative Bruce Sassmann.

A bill pre-filed in the Missouri Legislature would halt the sale and intentional distribution of some invasive plant species in Missouri.

The bill would affect these five invasive plant species: Burning bush, Callery pear and its cultivars – including Bradford and Chanticleer, wintercreeper, Japanese honeysuckle and sericea lespedeza.

Bruce Sassmann, who represents parts of central Missouri in the state House, filed the bill on December 1 – the first day of pre-filing.

Under the bill, the Missouri Department of Agriculture is expected to be the agency tasked with enforcing the legislation if it’s approved.

The Missouri Invasive Plant Council (MoIP) said in a news release that, because of the investment nursery owners and other plant seller must make before many shrubs and trees are large enough to sell, burning bush and Callery pear plants acquired by a licensed Missouri wholesale or retail plant nursery before January 1, 2025, would be exempt from enforcement until January 1, 2028.

The legislation would also create a Missouri Department of Agriculture “Invasive Plant Watchlist,” comprised of more than 70 species, which, if sold, must be labeled as invasive.

MoIP said there are 142 invasive plants in Missouri, and many of them continue to be sold in the state.

The group has been working to determine support for such legislation since 2021. Over the summer, its Vice Chair Matt Arndt and a subgroup of MoIP members analyzed stakeholder input, MoIP assessment data and sales availability. It then generated a tiered list of species proposed for inclusion in potential legislation and provided the list to Rep. Sassmann at his request, the news release stated.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.