As spring hits its stride, Massachusetts residents are hitting the garden centers — but there are three plants you may no longer see available this growing season.

The state's Department of Agricultural Resources late last year updated its long list of plants that are prohibited in Massachusetts.

Starting this season, commercial and home gardeners are asked to phase out growing, planting, propagating, or selling Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), Weeping Lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula), and Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii).

Weeping Lovegrass
Weeping lovegrass. Photo by Forest & Kim Starr (CC4)
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No sales of weeping lovegrass will be allowed after Dec. 31 this year, while scotch broom sales will be banned after the end of 2024.

Scotch broom
Scotch broom. Photo by Willow (CC2.5)

Japanese black pine trees will no longer be allowed to be sold after 2025.

MassDAR made the decision to ban the plants, which are invasive in Massachusetts, in November 2022, after a public hearing in July.

Japanese Black Pine, photo by Nikita/Creative Commons 2.0
Japanese Black Pine. Photo by Nikita (CC2)

The department has asked nurseries and plant sellers to stop buying the plants and to sell off all their remaining stock.

The last plants to be added to the state's prohibited plant list — which has more than 140 invasive plant species on it — were the flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) and the large gray or rusty willow (Salix cinerea/atrocinerea), which were added in 2017.


These Common Plants Are Illegal in Massachusetts

Massachusetts plant lovers, beware! Many of our most recognizable flora are actually common because they are super successful invaders, and are taking out our native plants.

The state has made it illegal to sell, grow, spread or propagate them — trust us, they don't need any help. Here's a list of some of the most widely known plants that actually don't belong here.

Massachusetts Wildlife You Can Legally Take Home as Pets

Massachusetts has such diverse wildlife, but also strict limitations on what you can bring home and cuddle. In fact, there are only certain reptiles and amphibians you can keep as pets (so no raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, etc.) and you are only allowed two of each. The state also says "you cannot sell, barter, or exchange them." Also, keep in mind, these are wildlife, so it's probably best to just leave them be and maybe visit a reptile shop instead to get your next pet.

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