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Invasive Plants


Cogongrass

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica), also known as Japanese bloodgrass or by the popular cultivar "Red Baron" is often labeled one of the top ten worst invasive plants in the word. It rapidly colonizes disturbed areas spreading by seed and underground stems.

Kudzu

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is an invasive vine often seen along right of ways dominating the ground cover and overtopping trees. Kudzu can be identified by its trifoliate leaves, clustered purple flowers, and pea like seed pods.

Ailanthus

Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is an aggressive clonal, invasive species with compound leaves and a foul burnt peanut butter smell. Common in urban areas, Tree of Heaven roots often cause damage to sewage lines and other structures.

Paulownia

Princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa) has large heart shape leaves, showy purple flowers in spring, and rounded woody seed pods. This invasive tree was once thought to be of potential economic benefit as a timber product in the United States however it has had detrimental consequences to native habitat.

Bush Honeysuckle

Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) is a common invasive shrub both along forest edges and under the forest canopy. It is primarily spread by birds foraging on its showy red berries.

Japanese Stiltgrass

Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) also known as Nepalese browntop grows well in full sun and shade and spreads rapidly along creek banks. Lumping thatches of dead material are characteristic and persist throughout the winter.

Bittersweet

Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is an invasive woody vine which smothers out other herbaceous plants as wells as trees and shrubs. The vines reddish orange berries persist into winter and are commonly spread by foraging birds.

Honeysuckle Vine

Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is identifiable by its opposite oval shaped leaves, white tubular flowers, and red berries. It is a very aggressive and common invasive species across the state.

Privet

All species of privet (Ligustrum sp.) are nonnative to the United State and several are common invasive species such as Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and common privet (Ligustrum vulgare). Privet is still commonly sold as an ornamental hedge for its quick growth and for the winter color of its blue berries however seeds are rapidly disbursed into the wild.