Pest Plants

Pest plants are plants that have been introduced and have been found to be invasive. These plants are so successful because they produce large numbers of seeds, thrive in disturbed areas, can have aggressive growth habits, emit toxic chemicals to prevent competition or have no natural predators to keep populations in check. Invasive plants cost Tennessee taxpayers 2.6 million per year.

Tennessee Department of Agriculture regulates the transport and sale of 13 plant species of 9 different genus. These plants include: Purple Loosestrife, Tropical Soda Apple, Chinese Privet, European Privet, Cogongrass, Amur Honeysuckle, Bush Honeysuckle, Bell’s Honeysuckle, Multiflora Rose, Autumn Olive, Thorny Olive, Giant Salvinia and Tropical Spiderwort. A link to this regulation can be found here: Ellington Agricultural Center is working to remove these plants from around the property as an example of land stewardship. Invasive plants can out complete native species and disrupt native habitat

The Federal Noxious Weed List has 112 aquatic, parasitic or terrestrial plants.

Many invasive plants have been introduced accidentally or by nursery trade. The Tennessee Invasive Plant Council (TNIPC) has an extensive list of plants to watch out for.

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TDA receives more complaints about invasive bamboo than any other plant. Some types of Bamboo send out runners that spread profusely. These roots are so strong they can damage foundations, driveways and even swimming pools.

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Tree of Heaven is a double whammy threat. Not only is it extremely invasive establishing itself in almost any disturbed area but it also serves as a host for the invasive insect Spotted Lanternfly.

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Many states have regulations. Lists of state noxious weed lists can be found on the National Plant Board webpage under rules and regulations: