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Introduced, Invasive, and Noxious Plants


About the Weeds of the U.S.

This list was compiled to help our users avoid potentially harmful plants while selecting species for conservation purposes such as creating buffers, improving pastures or wildlife habitat, or restoring degraded landscapes. It was compiled verbatim from sources around the country to provide a comprehensive look at potential problem plants in the U.S. Because this list contains both native and introduced species with diverse characteristics, some plants on it may be suitable for one use and not another depending on the location and other circumstances. This list does not endorse or proscribe the use of any of these species in a particular situation or location, but many have caused serious problems in this country in the past. Therefore, when selecting a species for conservation practices, please consult with your local NRCS office, state or county extension specialists, and others for current and detailed information for your area.

Plants on this list are weedy or invasive, or have the potential to become weedy or invasive, in all or part of their U.S. range. A few do not occur in the U.S., but occur on state or federal noxious weed lists to emphasize their potential to invade and degrade our landscapes. Most are introduced to the United States, while others such as Rocky Mountain iris (Iris missouriensis) and dodder (Cuscuta spp.) are native, but invade managed habitats such as rangelands or agricultural fields. Still others are natives in parts of the country and serious pests in others. For example, smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is critical for wetland restoration in the southeast U.S., but is considered highly invasive and destructive in the Bay Area of California, where it is introduced. And many valuable plants are native to the continental U.S., but serious pests in Hawaii.

The USDA NRCS National Plant Data Team compiled this list from several sources (see below). Most of these weedy or invasive plants are on the Federal Noxious Weed List or the noxious weed lists of individual states. Others are found on state resource department invasive plant lists, state Exotic Plant Pest Council lists, or have been identified by university noxious weed specialists. If we have erred in recapitulating any of the source lists, or if you can suggest additional authoritative sources, please contact the National Plant Data Team.

U.S.        Plant Protection and Quarantine. 2006. Federal noxious weed list (24 May 2006). USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Washington, DC. 2pp.
       USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine. 2005. Federal domestic quarantines (24 May 2006). USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine. Washington, DC.
STATE        Assorted authors. State noxious weed lists for 46 states. State agriculture or natural resource departments.
Cal-IPC        California Invasive Plant Council. 2006. California Invasive Plant Inventory. Cal-IPC Publication 2006-02 (February 2007). California Invasive Plant Council. Berkeley, California.
FLEPPC        Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. 1999. Invasive plant list (19 October 1999). Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council. Florida.
HEAR        USDI, Geological Survey. 1999. Information index for selected alien plants in Hawaii (20 October 2003). Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project, Biological Resources Division, Haleakala Field Station. Makawao, Hawaii.
KY        Haragan, P.D. 1991. Weeds of Kentucky and adjacent states: a field guide. The University Press of Kentucky. Lexington, Kentucky. 278pp.
N'EAST        Uva, R.H., J.C. Neal, & J.M. DiTomaso. 1997. Weeds of the Northeast. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, New York. 397pp.
NE&GP        Stubbendieck, J., G.Y. Friisoe, & M.R. Bolick. 1994. Weeds of Nebraska and the Great Plains. Nebraska Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant Industry. Lincoln, Nebraska. 589pp.
SEEPPC        Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council. 1996. Invasive exotic pest plants in Tennessee (19 October 1999). Research Committee of the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council. Tennessee.
SWSS        Southern Weed Science Society. 1998. Weeds of the United States and Canada. CD-ROM. Southern Weed Science Society. Champaign, Illinois.
WI        Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns (eds.). 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
WSWS        Whitson, T.D. (ed.) et al. 1996. Weeds of the West. Western Society of Weed Science in cooperation with Cooperative Extension Services, University of Wyoming. Laramie, Wyoming. 630pp.