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Hanging Gardens: About Exotic Invasives

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Australian Pine | Melaleuca | Burma Reed | Air Potato | Brazilian Pepper

At times with the best of intentions, exotic invasive species have historically been introduced into native ecosystems across our nation.  For instance, in the past century, Australian Pine and Melaleuca were planted in South Florida wetlands to help "drain the swamps.”  Since then, these trees traveled beyond the wetlands slated for urban development, out-competed the native species and created monocultures in their place. Brazilian Pepper, imported for commercial reasons, soon over took huge swaths of the Florida Everglades.  Likewise. Burma reed readily colonized marginal habitats and Air Potato rapidly climbed tree canopies and engulfed native vegetation. There is nothing in the host environment to keep the invading species in check, except for maybe humans who introduced them in the first place.

To learn more about exotic invasives, please visit The University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants at

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FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.


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