Invasive Species List/Terrestrial Plants

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This page contains information on terrestrial plant species on the Invasive Species List. For more general information about the event, see Invasive Species.

Contents

Terrestrial Plants

Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Monocots; Order-Dioscoreales; Family-Dioscoreaceae; Genus-Dioscorea; Species-D. bulbifera

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Heart shaped;
  • Flowers: Small and fragrant;
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Sprouting vines, more than 60ft; all leaf veins arising from leaf base
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Originally cultivated as a possible food crop and ornamental in the 1800s; first observed in the U.S. in Alabama in the 1770s; first introduced to Florida in 1905
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Asexual; reproduce through aerial tubers (bulbils)
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Tropical Asia

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pull, dig up roots, cut stem; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Dense vines smother native plants and trees

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Rosales; Family-Elaeagnaceae; Genus-Elaeagnus; Species-E. umbellata

Identification Tips: Distinctive silvery scaly undersides of leaves

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: alternate and elliptically shaped with a slightly wavy margin (5-10 cm in length)
  • Flowers: 4 petalled cream to pale yellow flowers bloom in early spring; found in clusters of 1-8
  • Fruit: Abundance of pink to red berries dotted with scales
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Root nodules fix atmospheric nitrogen; can harm native plants adapted to low nutrient levels
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: 1830 as ornamental; promoted in 1950s as a good way to provide wildlife habitat and erosion control;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: China, Japan, Korea

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat: Moderately shade tolerant; spreads rapidly in old fields, open woods, forest edges, roadsides, dunes

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Mechanical removal

Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Lamiales; Family-Lamiaceae; Subfamily-Viticoideae; Genus-Vitex; Species-V. rotundifolia

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves:
  • Flowers:
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when:
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness:
  • Damage (why it’s a problem):

Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolius)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Sapindales; Family-Anacardiaceae; Genus-Schinus; Species-S. terebinthifolia

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Alternately arranged with 1-2 inch long elliptic, finely tuned leaflets;
  • Flowers: White, 5 petals and 2-3 inches long clusters with similar looking male and female flowers; Sep-Nov
  • Fruit: Clusters initially green and become bright red when ripe; usually mature by December
  • Seeds: Dark brown, 0.3 mm in diameter; viable up to 2 months
  • Misc/General: Reaches over 30 feet in height; short trunk hidden in branches;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; sometimes around 1842-49 in Florida
  • How spread: Birds; flowing water;

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Bromacil, diuron, and hexazinone are root absorbed, but act slowest and have most residual effects, and oaks, maples, and other hardwoods can be damaged; mechanically removing roots; glyphosate/triclopyr
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Shades out other plants
  • Images

Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Cirsium; Species-C. arvense

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Lance-shaped; irregular lobes with spiny/toothed margins; single and alternate
  • Flowers: Rose-purple, lavender, white; June-October; rounded umbrella shaped clusters
  • Fruit: Small; dry; single-seed; called ACHENES; have feathery structure attached to seed base; 1-1 ½ inches long
  • Seeds: Bristly plumed; germinate within a year;
  • Misc/General: Has fibrous taproot;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Contamination of crop seeds;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: Regenerates from tiny bits of root;

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat: Barrens, glades, meadows, prairies, fields, pastures, waste places; disturbed upland areas; wet areas with fluctuating water levels like streambank sedge meadows and wet prairies

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand cutting; mowing; controlled burning; glyphosate;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Reduces grazing for livestock; reduces area for crops
  • Images

Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Malpighiales; Family:-Euphorbiaceae; Subfamily-Euphorbioideae; Tribe-Hippomaneae; Subtribe-Hippomaninae; Genus-Triadica; Species-T. sebifera

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Oval; pointed
  • Flowers: Yellow;
  • Fruit: Nearly round 3-lobed brown capsules, 1/2 inch in diameter, when mature the outer part splits revealing 3 white waxy seeds, matures in late summer to early fall, earning it common name popcorn tree
  • Seeds: An average of 100,000 seeds; spread by birds and water
  • Misc/General: Bark light reddish-brown to gray-brown, fissured with flat-topped ridges
  • Adaptive anatomy: Leaves and fruit contain toxic sap

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Brought from China by Ben Franklin; tallow on top used to make soap and candles; ornamental (colorful fall foliage)
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: Can reach reproductive age at 3 years; can produce 100,000 seeds annually

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: China and Japan

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Triclopyr; using in soaps, candles, etc.
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Replacing native vegetation; leaves and fruit are toxic

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Monocots; (Unranked)-Commelinids; Order-Poales; Family-Poaceae; Genus-Imperata; Species-I. cylindrica

Identification Tips: Whitish midrib on leaf that is off-center; no apparent stem; a lot of thatch around base; spread out; leaves appear to grow right from ground;

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Up to 6 feet long; about 1 inch wide; off-center midrib; yellowish-green
  • Flowers: Cylindrical; silvery-white; late March to mid June; can also flower after disturbances such as frost, fire, mowing and tillage
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Silver/whitish hairs attached to seeds;
  • Misc/General: Produces several underground rhizomes, which can root at each node and produce a separate stem
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Planted for pastures and erosion control; Mobile, Alabama;
  • How spread: Wind dispersal

Life Cycle:

  • Seed: Will begin to produce rhizomes 4 weeks after emergence
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: Extensive, dense rhizome systems underground

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat: Non cultivated areas such as pastures, orchards;

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Glyphosate; mowing and burning;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species

Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Rosales; Family-Rhamnaceae; Genus-Rhamnus; Subgenus-Rhamnus; Species-R. cathartica

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Simple, dark green leaves, toothed margins, 3-4 pairs of upcurved veins
  • Flowers: Small, green/yellow four petaled flowers clustered in 2-6 along stem; May/June
  • Fruit: Abundant small, round fruits that ripen from green to purplish black; only produced on female plants
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; 1880;
  • How spread: Widely dispersed by animals;

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Dioecious; produces only either male or female flowers (never both)
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: Fruits possess laxative-like properties, promoting spread through animals such as birds and mice

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Mechanical methods;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Dense thickets crowd out native shrubs

Common Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Dipsacales; Family-Caprifoliaceae; Genus-Dipsacus; Species-D. fullonum

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves:
  • Flowers: Flowers are light purple to white and tend to grow in bands or rings on large, egg-shaped, spiny heads
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Seeds are small and are dispersed by the wind after the seed-head has dried
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: 1700s;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Mechanical methods
  • Damage (why it’s a problem):

Dalmatian Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Lamiales; Family-Plantaginaceae; Genus-Linaria; Species-L. dalmatica

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Barely any; waxy and heart shaped; blueish green
  • Flowers: Yellow with orange markings and elongate spurs; occur in simple racemes on the stems; look like snapdragon
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Seed capsules are ½-inch long pods and bear an average of 140 to 250 small black to brown seeds with wings
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat: Dry, coarse soil;

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness:
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Outcompetes native species

Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Centaurea; Species-C. diffusa

Identification Tips: Terminal spine; diffusely branched above ground; ball-shaped;

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Small; reduced in size near flowerheads;
  • Flowers: Mostly white; sometimes pink-purple; urn-shaped; bracts enclose flowerhead and are divided like comb teeth, tipped with distinct slender spine
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Viable up to 8 years;
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Accidentally, through contaminated seed of alfalfa; 1880s
  • How spread: Seeds stick to vehicles; travel as tumbleweeds

Life Cycle:

  • Seed: Produce up to 18,000 seeds a year
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Eastern Mediterranean

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Do not drive through knapweed so tires won’t pick up seeds; hand-pulling; burning; glyphosate; picloram
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowd out native plants; will become dominant in wasteland and vacant area; affects wild animals

Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Monocots; (Unranked)-Commelinids; Order-Poales; Family-Poaceae; Genus-Bromus; Species-B. tectorum

Identification Tips: Fine haired; droopy; yellowish-green;

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Flat and pubescent
  • Flowers: During spring;
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Packing materials; ship ballast; contaminant of crop seed; Denver, Colorado, 1800s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Mediterranean region

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Rabbits; mice; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out vegetation; spikes injure animals

Fig Buttercup (Ficaria verna)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; Order-Ranunculales; Family-Ranunculaceae; Genus-Ficaria; Species-F. verna

Identification Tips: Low growing, mounded basal rosettes; dense vegetation; forming carpets

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Fleshy; shiny dark green; stem leaves smaller; tender, succulent, stalked kidney- to heart-shaped
  • Flowers: Yellow flower with darker center; 3-4 pouch-like sepals; 7-26 petals, but typically 8-12
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Tiny cream colored bulblets are produced in stem axils and become apparent later in the flowering period; fingerlike tubers are visible when pulled up
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: As ornamental; 1867;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Europe; Northern Africa

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat): Northeastern US; Pacific NW

  • Characteristics of new habitat: Open woods, floodplains, meadows and waste places, occurs most commonly on moist soil and other wet areas

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Glyphosate; digging up
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species; forms a solid green blanket that native species are unable to penetrate

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Brassicales; Family-Brassicaceae; Genus-Alliaria; Species-A. petiolata

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Dark green; kidney shaped with scalloped margins
  • Flowers: Tiny white flowers with 4 petals; occur only on second year plants
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Flowers develop into seed pods called siliques; are at first green but turn tan then ripened; each contains one row of oblong dark brown to black seeds
  • Misc/General: Crushed leaves smell like garlic; tap roots are white and slender; top typically as an S shaped bend as it emerges from ground
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Long Island, 1868; use in medicine;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle: 2 years

  • Seed: ~500 seeds per plant
  • Adult First-year plants form low rosettes of 4-8 leaves at ground level. Second-years are erect-stemmed, from a few inches to 4 feet tall, and often are multiple-stemmed

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Apiales; Family-Apiaceae; Genus-Heracleum; Species-H. mantegazzianum

Identification Tips: 8 - 14 ft tall; umbrella shaped heads

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Sharp and unevenly lobed, 3 leaflets. Shiny leaves make it distinguishable from cow parsnip. Leaves can reach up to 5 ft in width
  • Flowers:
  • Fruit: Large elliptical dry fruits marked with brown swollen resin canals, up to 1 mm in diameter
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Stems have purple streaks, blotches, or spots, with stiff hairs
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when:
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness:
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Outcompetes desirable native species; contains sap that makes skin sensitive to UV light, causing blisters, burns

Hairy Whitetop (Lepidium appelianum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Brassicales; Family-Brassicaceae; Genus-Lepidium; Species-L. appelianum

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Alternate; long and slender; covered with short, white hairs
  • Flowers: Numerous; densely packed clusters; April-July; 4 petals
  • Fruit: Globe-shaped;
  • Seeds: Ovoid; reddish brown; viable up to 3 years; 4 per pod
  • Misc/General: Deep taproots;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Accidentally with contaminated alfalfa seed; 1919
  • How spread: Wind; water; animals; root fragments

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Pulling out by hands; flooding; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species and crop; low quality forage

Houndstongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-(unplaced); Family-Boraginaceae; Genus-Cynoglossum; Species-C. officinale

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Rough, hairy; up to 12 inches long, 3 inches wide
  • Flowers: Reddish-purple; sometimes white; five petals; early summer, droop slightly along long coiled stems
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: 2000 seeds; viable up to 3 years; seed pods covered with hooked spines to aid in dispersal on fur and clothing
  • Misc/General: Can grow up to 4 ft tall, entire plant covered in short hairs, rough in texture
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Contaminated seeds; 1893;
  • How spread: Dispersing on fur, clothes;

Life Cycle: Biennial

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Eurasia

  • Characteristics of said habitat: Gravelly, alkaline soil

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand-pulling; metsulfuron; root-mining flea beetle Longitarsus quadriguttatus and Mogulones cruciger, glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Has pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are toxic to livestock

Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium japonicum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; Division-Pteridophyta; Class-Polypodiopsida/Pteridopsida (disputed); Order-Schizaeales; Family-Lygodiaceae; Genus-Lygodium; Species-L. japonicum

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Fronds: Fern fronds opposite; triangular; hair on lower surface;
  • Flowers:
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Thin, wiry, green, orange, or black stem;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; Florida ~1932;
  • How spread: Spores and rhizomes; wind; water

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Japan; Eastern Asia; tropical Australia

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat: Southern US (Gulf Coast)

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Displaces native species; fire fuel;

Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Dipsacales; Family-Caprifoliaceae; Genus-Lonicera; Species-L. japonica

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Oblong to oval; short stalks; pairs
  • Flowers: Tubular; five fused petals; white to pink; yellow with age; fragrant; pairs along leaf junctures on stem; late April through July
  • Fruit: Autumn; 2-3 seeds
  • Seeds: Oblong; dark brown; about ¼ inch across
  • Misc/General: Perennial, grows by twisting around vertical structures such as tree trunks
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: As ornamental; erosion control; wildlife cover; early to mid 1800s
  • How spread: Birds

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Japan, Korea

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Blocks sunlight; suffocates plants it coils around

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Core eudicots; Order-Caryophyllales; Family-Polygonaceae; Genus-Fallopia; Species-F. japonica

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Simple; alternate; broad; 15 cm long; 12 cm wide; pointed tip; flat base;
  • Flowers: Numerous; small, creamy white to pink flowers; in spikes near end of arching stems; bloom in late summer
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Dark; glossy; not all fertile; triangular
  • Misc/General: Perennial; stalks resemble bamboo;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental;
  • How spread: Wind; water; birds;

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Reproduces through both seeds and rhizomes; underground rhizomes remain viable through winter
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat: Moist soil; stream banks, springs, roadsides;

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Imazapyr; glyphosate kills foliage but not root system;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native vegetation; increases erosion

Japanese Spiraea (Spiraea japonica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Rosales; Family-Rosaceae; Genus-Spiraea; Species-S. japonica

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Egg-shaped; 1-3 inches long; toothed margins; alternating
  • Flowers: Rosy pink; tips of branches
  • Fruit: Small brown follicles about 1/8 inch borne in flat-top terminal clusters;
  • Seeds: 1/10 inches long; in small lustrous capsules
  • Misc/General: Stems brown to reddish-brown; sometimes hairy; perennial
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental landscape plant; Northeastern states around 1870
  • How spread: Through water and dirt transportation;

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Japan, Korea, China

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Glyphosate and triclopyr
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Outcompetes native species; takes over disturbed areas

Japanese Stilt Grass (Microstegium vimineum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Monocots; (Unranked)-Commelinids; Order-Poales; Family-Poaceae; Subfamily-Panicoideae; Tribe-Andropogoneae; Genus-Microstegium; Species-M. vimineum

Identification Tips: Resembles small, delicate bamboo, distinctive silver stripe on leaves

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Narrow; lance shaped; pale, silvery stripe of reflective hair on upper side;
  • Flowers: Flowering spikes form at stem tips in late Aug-early Oct
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Viable in soil for over 5 years; small, red or yellow
  • Misc/General: Shallow roots;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Accidentally, as packing for porcelain; Tennessee 1919
  • How spread: Water; contaminated hay, soil, mud; footwear

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; mowing; grass-herbicide quizalofop; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species; inhibits tree survival;

Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Monocots; (Unranked)-Commelinids; Order-Poales; Family-Poaceae; Genus-Sorghum; Species-S. halepense

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Wide leaves with whitish midrib;
  • Flowers: Open panicle with thousands of spikelets; June to September
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: As forage grass; 1800s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Seeds and rhizomes
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Mediterranean

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Can be toxic to livestock, because causes cyanide poisoning, occurs after stress like cutting or frost; reduce corn, soy, sorghum, cotton crop yields;

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Fabales; Family-Fabaceae; Subfamily-Faboideae; Tribe-Phaseoleae; Genus-Pueraria; Species-P. montana; Variety-P. m. lobata

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: 3 leaflets; up to 8 inches long; large; dark; green; deciduous; alternate
  • Flowers: Pea like flowers; reddish purple; very fragrant; mid to late summer
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Pods are flat, hairy; contain 3-10 small kidney shaped seeds;
  • Misc/General: Stems are woody; fleshy taproot can be 7 inches wide, 6-12 feet long, and weigh 200-300 lbs; usually does not flower until 3 years old; Younger stems are yellow-green and covered with golden/bronze bristly hairs, while older stems are woody, hairless and gray/brown in color
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: As ornamental; erosion control; 1876, at Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia
  • How spread: Underground rhizomes; birds; water; mammals;

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: Can grow a foot per day; vines touching ground will set down new roots at leaf nodes

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat): Southeastern US

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Burning; glyphosate; grazing; roots are edible; leaves can be eaten in salad or or cooked; vines used for baskets and paper making
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Smother and shade other plants; can host soybean rust

Leafy Spurge (Euphorbia esula)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Malpighiales; Family-Euphorbiaceae; Genus-Euphorbia;Species-E. esula
  • Habit: perennial herb. Range in height from 6 to 36 in. Have a taproot that can extend up to 15 ft deep and the root system can extend up to 33 ft deep.
  • Appearance:
    • Stems: hairless, blueish-green, and clustered. Are somewhat woody, drying at the end of the season and persisting into the next summer.
    • Leaves: simple, alternate, linear (long and narrow), smooth margins. Are hairless and 1 to 4 inches long. Also occur as heart-shaped bracts that form a cup-like structure near the flowers.
    • Flowers: yellowish-green and arranged in numerous small clusters, subtended by paired, heart-shaped yellow-green bracts. Each flower develops a capsule containing 3 seeds that are 2-2.5 mm in diameter.
  • Habitat: pastures, grasslands, prairies, roadsides, streams, ditches, and waste areas. It grows in full to part sun in a wide range of soil types, from dry to moist. Prefers dry, well-drained soils.
  • Native range: Caucasus region of western Asia.
  • Introduction: The first collection of leafy spurge in the U.S. was in 1827 in Newbury, Massachusetts and was believed to have been introduced by a ballast dump.
  • Reproduction/life cycle:
    • By seed: flowers May-July, though it may occur until frost. Each flower develops a capsule containing 3 seeds. These capsules open explosively when it is hot and capsules are dry, dispersing seed 15-20 feet. A large plant can produce up to 130,000 seeds that remain viable in the soil 7 to 10 years with adequate moisture. Seeds have notably high germination rates (up to 60-80%).
      • Seeds can be transported by water, wildlife, livestock, vehicles and agriculture and construction equipment. Seeds are also dispersed to new sites in mud on boots and impure materials like mulch, forage and feed grains, crop and grass seed, top soil, and gravel.
    • Vegetatively: also can reproduce from crown and adventitious root buds that over-winter under the soil surface. Can spread outwards at several feet per year this way. Pieces of roots on equipment may spread leafy spurge to new sites.
    • Pollination: Leafy spurge is protogynous, and self-fertilization is limited. Because leafy spurge produces sticky pollen, wind pollination of flowers is unlikely. Insects are important to pollination of leafy spurge flowers.
    • Is one of the earliest plants to emerge in the spring and one of the last to enter dormancy in the fall. This early- and late-season growth makes leafy spurge more competitive over native plants.
    • Seedlings have high mortality, but soon become much more competitive with native vegetation (usually by 4 months). Rarely flower the first year. New shoots from roots systems have the advantage of the nutrient reserves of the already-established root systems.
  • Impact:
    • Infestations reduce desirable forage in rangelands (reducing productivity) and crowd out native species. Infestations also limit the ability to move hay, since if it is grown in an infested field it shouldn’t be moved to non-infested areas.
    • Produces milky sap that irritates the mouth and digestive tract of cattle and some wildlife, though it is palatable to goats and sheep. This sap can cause a rash or blistering in humans. It is suspected that leafy spurge also produces allelopathic chemicals.
  • Control:
    • Prevention: clean equipment thoroughly before moving it to an uninfested site. Do not move hay from infested lands.
    • Manual: young, individual seedlings may be hand-pulled before they develop an extensive root system. Gloves should be worn to avoid dermatitis from the sap.
    • Mechanical: mowing and burning is most effective when used several weeks before herbicide application. Other times this is largely ineffective since leafy spurge just resprouts with the aid of an extensive root system.
    • Cultural: maintain native vegetation. If reseeding after control of infestation, choose competitive early-season grasses that can outcompete the spurge before it becomes well-established.
    • Grazing: avoid improper grazing management. When controlling infestations, sheep and goats find leafy spurge palatable. Cattle avoid it, and the sap is a digestive irritant and results in lesions around the eyes and mouth. Seeds may pass through the digestive systems of sheep and goats, so they should be held at the location for long enough for seed to pass through their digestive system.
    • Biological: The U.S. Department of Agriculture has shown success using six natural enemies of leafy spurge imported from Europe. These include a stem and rootboring beetle (Oberea erythrocephala), four root-mining flea beetles (Aphthona spp.) and a shoot-tip gall midge (Spurgia esulae).
    • Chemical: must be treated multiple times each year for several years to be effective. Cost becomes a problem for large infestations. Also may be coordinated with mowing or burning to increase effectiveness of the treatment.
  • Other:
    • The genetic diversity of leafy spurge in North America has led many experts to believe it is a hybrid between two or more Old World spurges. This extreme plasticity results in quick adaptation to local growing conditions and often-inconsistent responses to management.
    • Hybrids: only the tetraploid cypress spurge type is known to hybridize with leafy spurge, resulting in Euphorbia × pseudoesula. This hybrid has been found in several Canadian territories.

Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Monocots; (Unranked)-Commelinids; Order-Poales; Family-Poaceae; Genus-Taeniatherum; Species-T. caput-medusae

Identification Tips: Wiry and slender stems; long awned spike; over time becomes twisted

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Narrow and rolled in stalk;
  • Flowers:
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Heads do not break apart;
  • Misc/General: Fibrous root system;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Seed contaminant; 1887
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Mediterranean

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; metsulfuron; glyphosate;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Spikes can cause puncture wounds; very competitive;

Mile-A-Minute Weed (Persicaria perfoliata)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Core eudicots; Order-Caryophyllales; Family-Polygonaceae; Genus-Persicaria; Species-P. perfoliata

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Recurved barbs; light green; like equilateral triangle; alternate; cup shaped structures called ocreae surround stem at node
  • Flowers: Emerge from ocreae; small, white;
  • Fruit: Deep blue; clustered at terminals; one seed inside
  • Seeds: Glossy; black or reddish-black; called achene; viable up to 6 years
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Through contaminated holly seeds; Portland, Oregon 1890; 1930s to nursery site in York County, Pennsylvania;
  • How spread: Water; birds; along utilities like power lines

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Self-pollinating;
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Small weevil (Rhinoncomimus latipes); triclopyr; glyphosate; hand pulling; mowing
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Blocks light from other species; smothers tree saplings so it's dangerous in Christmas tree farms

Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Rosales; Family-Rosaceae; Genus-Rosa; Species-R. multiflora

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Divided into 5-11 leaflets; sharply toothed;
  • Flowers: Fragrant; white to pinkish; appear during May
  • Fruit: Bright red; small; called rose hips
  • Seeds: Viable up to 20 years
  • Misc/General: Multistemmed; recurved thorns;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Eastern US in 1866 as rootstock for ornamental roses;
  • How spread: Promoted as erosion control, “living fences” for livestock, wildlife cover; spread through birds;

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: Can produce up to 1,000,000 seeds a year

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Japan; Korea; Eastern China

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Rose-rosette disease spread by small mite impedes stem growth; European rose chalcid is a seed-infesting wasp;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Disrupts grazing;

Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Carduus; Species-C. nutans

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Dark green; coarsely lobed; smooth waxy surface; yellowish-white spine at tip;
  • Flowers: Showy; red-purple; large and disk shaped flower heads; hundreds of tiny individual flowers; tips of stems; droop to 90 degree angle when mature
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Straw colored; plume-like bristles; viable up to 10 years
  • Misc/General: ½-6 ft tall; multi branched stems
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: 1852;
  • How spread: Wind;

Life Cycle: Biennial;

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?: May produce up to 120,000 seeds;

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; weevils; glyphosate;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Degrades meadows; wildlife/livestock don’t eat it;

Old World Climbing Fern (Lygodium microphyllum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; Division-Pteridophyta; Class-Polypodiopsida / Pteridopsida (disputed); Order-Schizaeales; Family-Lygodiaceae; Genus-Lygodium; Species-L. microphyllum

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Fern fronds opposite; singly compound; unlobed leaflets; glabrous underside
  • Fruit: None;
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Thin, wiry, green stem;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; as a ground cover; 1960s in Florida;
  • How spread: Rhizomes and spores; wind; water; animals;

Life Cycle:

  • Spores: Many tiny spores that have high germination rate;
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Africa; Southeast Asia; Australia;

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Defoliating moths; mites; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Smothers native species; spreads fires through vines into tree;

Princess Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Lamiales; Family-Paulowniaceae; Genus-Paulownia; Species-P. tomentosa

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Large; broadly oval-heart shaped; hairy on lower leaf surfaces; pairs
  • Flowers: Upright; pale violet; fragrant; bloom during Spring;
  • Fruit: Dry, brown capsule; four compartments;
  • Seeds: Several thousand tiny, winged seeds;
  • Misc/General: Olive-dark brown stems, hairy and markedly flat stems at nodes; 30-60 ft; rough, gray-brown, shiny/smooth bark;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; landscape; 1840
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: China

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; glyphosate; fire
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Displaces native species

Purple Star Thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Centaurea; Species-C. calcitrapa

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Fine, cobwebby hairs when young; 5-8 inches long; dots of resin on surface
  • Flowers: Purple; spine-tipped bracts; 25-40 florets; June-November
  • Fruit: Achene (dry fruit with single seed that does not open at maturity eg. sunflower); white and streaked with brown;
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Highly branched stems
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Late 1800s;
  • How spread: Vehicles; clinging to things (fur, shoes);

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Mediterranean

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out forage on rangelands

Russian Knapweed (Rhaponticum repens)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Rhaponticum; Species-R. repens

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Alternate; oblong-lance shaped; lower leaves lobed; upper get smaller and attached directly to stem with toothed/smooth margins
  • Flowers: Urn shaped; pink-purple; end of stems; straw colored at maturity
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Oval; flat; grey-ivory; long white bristles at the tip when young
  • Misc/General: Young stems covered with soft, short, gray hairs;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Accidentally as seed contaminant; early 1900s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat: Does well in clay soil;

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Aminopyralid; Russian knapweed gall nematode (Subanguina picridis); glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species; toxic to horses

Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Rosales; Family-Elaeagnaceae; Genus-Elaeagnus; Species-E. angustifolia

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Alternate; willow-like; narrow; lance-shaped
  • Flowers: 4 petaled; silvery white to yellow; late Spring; spicy fragrance
  • Fruit: Dry; yellow or reddish-brown; dense covering of silvery scales; like an olive
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Thin, grey bark; silvery and scaly twigs;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Horticultural plant; Central and Western US by early 1900s;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Mowing; verticillium wilt; phomopsis canker; triclopyr; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species;

Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Core eudicots; Order-Caryophyllales; Family-Tamaricaceae; Genus-Tamarix

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Gray-green; scale-like; overlapping; usually encrusted with salt
  • Flowers: Pink to white; dense masses on 2 inch spikes;
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Tiny (1/25-inch diameter) seeds that are contained in a small capsule usually adorned with a tuft of hair that aids in wind dispersal
  • Misc/General: Slender branches; long tap roots intercept deep water; bark on young branches is smooth and reddish brown; older branches become brownish purple, ridged, and furrowed
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; early 1800s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Spreads vegetatively, by adventitious roots or submerged stems, and sexually
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Hand pulling; glyphosate; triclopyr; imazapyr; Diorhabda elonga;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Absorbs large amount of water and creates large amount of salt

St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Malpighiales; Family-Hypericaceae; Genus-Hypericum; Species-H. perforatum

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Stalkless; oblong-linear; pale green to yellow green; scattered translucent dots making leaf look perforated when held to light;
  • Flowers: 25-100 per stem; symmetrical around central point; yellow to bright yellow-orange; petal have black dots around edges
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Sticky; 3 sectioned capsule; small; round; dark; resinous smell like turpentine
  • Misc/General: Long stems growing at or just below ground; aggressive rhizomes; reddish woody stems;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental and medicinal; 1700s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Chrysolina hyperici; C. quadrigemina; Isoxaben; glyphosate;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Contains hypericin, which can cause photosensitivity, blisters, blindness, etc. in livestock; crowds out native species

Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Fabales; Family-Fabaceae; Genus-Cytisus; Species-C. scoparius

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Lower leaves have 3 leaflets; upper are single
  • Flowers: Small; yellow; along entire stem; pea-like; can be tinged with red or purple; April-June
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Pods black or brown and hairy on edges; hard coated; oval
  • Misc/General: Dark green, woody stems; stems are waxy and ridged; branched taproot
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; livestock fodder; 1880s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat: Europe, North Africa

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Twig mining moth Leucoptera spartifoliella; seed weevil Apion fuscirostre; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Dense stands crowd out native species and destroy the native habitat;

Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Subfamily-Carduoideae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Onopordum; Species-O. acanthium

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Large; grayish-green; spiny; covered with fine dense hair giving woolly appearance; distinct midrib; alternate; sharp yellow spikes
  • Flowers: Violet to reddish; 70-100 a plant; surrounded by spine tipped bracts; flower mid June-September; globe shaped
  • Fruit: Achenes (a small, dry, one-seeded fruit that does not open to release the seed); achenes remain viable in soil for 7-39 years
  • Seeds: Smooth; slender; plumed; contain water soluble germination inhibitor; over 80% of seeds display innate dormancy at maturity
  • Misc/General: Large, fleshy taproot
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: 1800s; as an ornamental
  • How spread:

Life Cycle: Biennial

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Reproduces by seeds only; one plant can produce 8,400-40,000 seeds
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Mowing; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out forage; is a physical barrier

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Centaurea; Species-C. stoebe
  • Appearance:
    • Leaves: rosette leaves are up to about 8 inches long, deeply and alternately lobed. Leaves on the stem are alternate, unstalked, and often hairy, giving them a silvery-gray color. They may be slightly lobed, but are usually unlobed and linear, rarely growing over 3 inches.
    • Flowers: occur in groups of around 25-35 ray flowers in a flower head, usually being pink or purple, and rarely white. Flower heads are up to roughly 0.5 inches in height. Bloom June to October. Bracts of flower heads have short hairs and dark tips, giving a spotted appearance.
  • Impacts:
    • Forms dense monocultures, crowding out native species. May infest rangelands, where it replaces more desirable forage.
    • Decreases infiltration of water into the soil, increasing erosion, and in turn increasing stream sedimentation.

Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Sapindales; Family-Simaroubaceae; Genus-Ailanthus; Species-A. altissima

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Pinnately compound; smooth margins;
  • Flowers: Yellowish
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Single winged; papery; called samaras
  • Misc/General: When crushed, leaves and other plant parts have rancid smell like cat urine or burnt peanut butter;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Philadelphia, 1784;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Triclopyr; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Produces chemicals in roots; can cause damage to building foundations

Tropical Soda Apple (Solanum viarum)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Solanales; Family-Solanaceae; Genus-Solanum; Species-S. viarum

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Oak-leaf-shaped;
  • Flowers: White with yellow stamens
  • Fruit: Glabrous; globular; yellow when mature; immature are pale with dark green veins and resemble immature watermelon;
  • Seeds: Light red-brown; contained in mucilaginous layer that contains glyco-alkaloid called solasodine
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: 1988;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction: Reproduces primarily through seeds, but can also spread through roots
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Triclopyr; glyphosate
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species and forage; hosts viruses

Whitetop (Lepidium draba)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Rosids; Order-Brassicales; Family-Brassicaceae; Genus-Lepidium; Species-L. draba

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Blue green; lance shaped; covered in soft, white hairs;
  • Flowers: Many white flowers; four petals; white flat-topped appearance;
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: For ornamental use; 1800s
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness:
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species and reduces crops; contains glucosinolates that are toxic to livestock in high levels

Witchweed (Striga asiatica)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Lamiales; Family-Orobanchaceae; Genus-Striga; Species-S. asiatica

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves:
  • Flowers: Small; in or on loose spikes; white to yellow, red, purple;
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General: Hairy green stems;
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: North Carolina, 1956
  • How spread: Wind

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness:
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Parasitic plant that attacks crops like corn, sorghum, cane, rice;

Yellow Star Thistle (Centaurea solstitialis)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Asterales; Family-Asteraceae; Tribe-Cynareae; Genus-Centaurea; Species-C. solstitialis

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves:
  • Flowers: Bright yellow flowers
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds:
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Contaminated alfalfa seed; mid 1800s;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Bangasternus orientalis, Eustenopus villosus, Urophora jaculata, Urophora sirunaseva, Larinus curtus, and Chaetorellia australis are biologic insect control; clopyralid; picloram; mowing; sheep; goat; cattle;
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Can cause chewing disease in horses, which affects horses’ nervous systems and is usually fatal;

Yellow Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris)

  • Taxonomy: Kingdom-Plantae; (Unranked)-Angiosperms; (Unranked)-Eudicots; (Unranked)-Asterids; Order-Lamiales; Family-Plantaginaceae; Genus-Linaria; Species-L. vulgaris

Identification Tips:

Anatomy:

  • Leaves: Light green; linear; bad smell; narrow, lance-shaped, soft;
  • Flowers: Yellow, snapdragon-like with orange throats; crowded at top of stem;
  • Fruit:
  • Seeds: Black to brown seeds with a papery wing;
  • Misc/General:
  • Adaptive anatomy:

Introduction:

  • How introduced: Where/when: Ornamental; late 1600s;
  • How spread:

Life Cycle:

  • Seed:
  • Adult

Reproduction:

  • General Reproduction:
  • What makes it so good at reproducing?:

Ecology:

  • Behavior:
  • Niche:
  • Trophic Level:

Native habitat:

  • Characteristics of said habitat:

Where it’s a problem (“new” habitat):

  • Characteristics of new habitat:

Preventative measures:

  • Laws and effectiveness:
  • Control measures and effectiveness: Picloram; flower-feeding beetle; seed capsule weevil
  • Damage (why it’s a problem): Crowds out native species;