Non-Native Invasive Plants of Concern on the Eastern Shore and Regional Native Alternatives 

Some non-native plants can be highly invasive or aggressive  and crowd out Eastern Shore natives. These invasive species can result in the degradation of the Shore’s natural communities and lead to the disruption of the local ecosystem. They are a potential threat to the Shore’s natural areas, parks and other protected habitats. Staff of the Virginia Department of Conservation Division of Natural Heritage Eastern Shore Office have identified the following invasive non-native species on the market to be of particular concern on the Shore:  

Ailanthus altissima – Tree of Heaven
Cynodon dactylon – Bermuda Grass
Eleagnus angustifolia – Russian Olive
Eleagnus umbellata – Autumn Olive
Festuca elatior – Tall Fescue
Hedera helix – English Ivy
Ligustrum sinense – Chinese Privet ** 
Lonicera japonica – Japanese honeysuckle
Melia azedarach – China Berry  
Morus alba – White Mulberry  
Pawlonia tomentosa – Princess Tree
Rosa multiflora – Multiflora Rose  
Vinca minor – Common Periwinkle Vine  
Vitex rotundifolia – Beach Vitex
Wisteria sinensis – Chinese Wisteria
Please do not plant these species! Although they may attract songbirds, they can disrupt the natural ecosystem!

See Native Plants for Accomack and Northampton for for native plant alternatives to these species.

For more information, including a downloadable fact sheet, about these and other invasive non-native species in Virginia, visit

** Please note that all privet species are potentially invasive.