What are invasive plants?

These non-native plant species are overachievers. Once established in natural areas, they out compete native species. Invasive plants cause profound environmental and economic damage, and are a major threat to native habitats worldwide. Some invasives have escaped from our home gardens and public plantings into natural areas. Each state has different problematic plants.

Here are 20 offenders of invasive plants: for a complete list visit www.newenglandwildflower.org

INVASIVE COMMON NAME INVASIVE BOTANICAL NAME SUBSTITUTE PLANT
Norway maple
Acer platanoides
Red maple, Sugar maple
Bishop’s weed
Aegopodium podagraria
Garlic mustard
Alliaria petiolata
Japanese barberry

Many cultivars of this invasive species have dark red foliage. Red berries in October and winter are eaten by birds, contributing to its spread. Used as a hedge or barrier. Tolerant of drought and urban conditions

Berberis thunbergii
Bayberry – Myrica pensylvanica, Virginia sweetspire (Itea vifginica, Highbush blueberry – Vaccinium corymbosum, Chokeberry – Aronia arbutifolia, Winterberry – Ilex verticillata
Oriental bittersweet
Celastrus orbiculatus
Swallowworts
Cynanchum nigrum and C. rossicum
Autumn olive – This invasive plant was originally planted for its silvery-white, fragrant flowers, drought tolerance and ability to grow under low fertility. Its abundant red fruit in September – October is eaten by birds, contributing to its undesirable spread into natural habitats.
Elaeagnus umbellata
Bayberry – Myrica pensylvanica (Morella pensylvanica), Winterberry – Ilex verticillata, Fothergilla (Fothergilla gardenia, F. major – Choke berry – Aronia arbutifolia
Burning bush
Euonymus alatus
Bayberry, Summersweet (Sweet pepper bush) – Clethra alnifolia, Highbush blueberry, Chokeberry, Fothergilla (large or small)
Glossy buckthorn
Frangula alnus
Yellow flag iris
Iris pseudacorus
Blunt – leaved privet
Ligustrum obtusifolium
Shrub-like honeysuckles
Lonicera morrowii, L. x bella, L. maackii, L. tatarica
Japanese honeysuckle
Lonicera japonica
Purple loosestrife
Lythrum salicaria
Beebalm – Monarda dydyma, Joe-pye weed – Eupatorium dubium – Purple coneflower – Echinacea purpurea, Swamp milkweed – Asclepias incarnata, Blue giant hyssop – Agastache foeniculum
Water-milfoils
Myriophyllum, aquaticum, M. heterophyllum, M. spicatum
Common reed
Phragmites australis
Japanese knotweed
Polygonum cuspidatum (Fallopia japonica)
Common buckthorn
Rhamnus cathartica
Multiflora rose
Rosa multiflora
Water chestnut
Trapa natans