Non-Native Invasive Plants of Concern on the Northern Neck and Regional Native Alternatives

Some non-native plants can be highly invasive or aggressive and crowd out Northern Neck natives. These non-native invasive plants may have been introduced intentionally (as landscape ornamentals, for example) or non-intentionally (e.g., in ship ballasts or packing materials). In any case, they multiply rapidly and are difficult to eradicate. They can displace native plant species, reduce wildlife habitat, and alter ecosystem processes. Unfortunately, many of these invasive plants are available for purchase. Please avoid planting non-native invasive plants. Use the list below to find Northern Neck native plants, highlighted in green, that serve as excellent alternatives for invasive plants.

Invasive:  Ailanthus altissima, Tree of Heaven
NNK Native Alternatives:
Cercis canadensis, Eastern Redbud

Invasive: Albizia julibrissin, Mimosa Tree
NNK Native Alternative:
Cercis canadensis, Eastern Redbud

Invasive: Berberis thunbergii, Barberry
NNK Native Alternatives:
Clethra alnifolia, Sweet Pepperbush
Euonymus americanus, Heart’s-a-bustin’

Invasive: Elaeagnus angustifolia, Russian Olive
NNK Native Alternatives:
Hamamelis virginiana, Witch Hazel
Lindera benzoin, Spicebush

Invasive: Elaeagnus umbellata, Autumn Olive
NNK Native Alternative:
Baccharis halimifolia, High-tide Bush

Invasive: Hedera helix, English Ivy
NNK Native Alternatives:
Bignonia capreolata, Cross-vine
Gelsemium sempervirens, Yellow Jessamine
Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Virginia-creeper
Lonicera sempervirens, Coral Honeysuckle

Invasive: Hemerocallis fulva, Orange Daylily
NNK Native Alternative:
Lilium superbum, Turk’s-cap Lily

Invasive: Ligustrum sinense, Chinese Privet
NNK Native Alternatives:
Ilex glabra, Inkberry
Lindera benzoin, Spicebush
Morella cerifera, Wax Myrtle
Viburnum prunifolium, Blackhaw

Invasive: Lonicera japonica, Japanese Honeysuckle
NNK Native Alternatives:
Gelsemium sempervirens, Yellow Jessamine
Lonicera sempervirens, Coral Huneysuckle
Passiflora incarnata, Maypop

Invasive: Lythrum salicaria, Purple Loosestrife
NNK Native Alternative:
Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed

Invasive: Melia azedarach, China Berry
NNK Native Alternative:
Morella cerifera, Wax Myrtle

Invasive: Morus alba, White Mulberry
NNK Native Alternative:
Morus rubra, Red Mulberry

Invasive: Paulownia tomentosa, Princess Tree
NNK Native Alternatives:
Oxydendrum arboreum, Sourwood
Tilia americana, American Basswood

Invasive: Polygonum cuspidatum, Japanese Knotweed
NNK Native Alternative:
Clethra alnifolia, Sweet Pepperbush

Invasive: Rosa multiflora, Multiflora Rose
NNK Native Alternative:
Rosa palustris, Swamp-rose

Invasive: Vinca major/ Vinca minor, Periwinkle Vine
NNK Native Alternatives:
Mitchella repens, Partridge-berry
Epigaea repens, Trailing Arbutus

Invasive: Wisteria sinensis, Chinese Wisteria
NNK Native Alternative:
Wisteria frutescens, American Wisteria