Invasive Non-Native Plants of Particular Concern in Virginia
Invasive plants are introduced species that cause health, economic or ecological damage in their new range. Fifty-seven percent of plant species listed as threatened or endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are directly threatened by invasive species. More than 30,000 species of plants have been introduced to the United States since the time of Columbus. Of these, fewer than 3,000 have naturalized and become established in the U.S. landscape outside cultivation. About 1,000 naturalized plant species have become invasive pests that interfere with agriculture, forestry, transportation and utility infrastructure, lawn and garden maintenance, and natural ecosystem processes.
Of the 3,200 plant species in Virginia, more than 600, or 18 percent, have been introduced since the founding of Jamestown. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation currently lists 90 species as invasive.
Learn More About Invasive Plants and How You Can Help
Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage: www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/invspinfo
USDA National Invasive Species Information Center: www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health: www.invasive.org/species/weeds.cfm
Mistaken Identity–Invasive Plants and Their Native Look-Alikes (pub): ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/DE/publications/Mistaken_Identity_Final.pdf
Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas (pub): www.nps.gov/plants/alien/pubs/midatlantic/
Regional Native Alternatives to Non-Native Invasive Species
The Regional Native Plant Campaigns identify non-native invasive plants that are of particular concern in the area. For each of these plants, the campaigns provide a list of regionally native alternatives.
Click on the links below for a list of non-native invasive and native plant species by region.