Invasive Plants

What are invasive plants? and Why do we care about removing invasives and planting more natives?

Great Books

  • A Guide to Invasive Plants in Massachusetts
    Paul Somers, Rachel Kramer, and Bill Brumback. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 2006.
    This great and inexpensive guidebook will help you identiify and manage 66 of some of the most invasive plant species in Massachusetts. At only $5 (and less in bulk), if you don't have this guide, you should.
  • Field Manual of Invasive Plants for the Northeast
    Bayard Ewing & Christopher Mattrick. New England Wild Flower Society.
    Available only from the NEWFS bookstore-- contact them to purchase. Fully laminated so it will not dissolve in the rain, with close-ups and photographs of entire plants, making it useful for field identification. Includes many, but not all species.

Essential Information

  • Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List
    Between January 1, 2006 and 2009, it became illegal for the more than 140 species of plants to be imported, sold, or propagated anywhere in the state. Regulated by the Department of Agriculture, this list includes many plants running rampant in our gardens and taking over in our woodlands, state parks, and other areas. Controlling these plants is essential to preventing their continued spread and to further loss of biodiversity.

Key Organizations & Web Sites

  • Weeds Gone Wild
    This is a great site on invasive plants with very detailed information, including recommeded methods for managing and controlling infestations. It's only drawback is that there are not yet fact sheets for all invasive species in Massachusetts or the United States.
  • for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
    This site lists over 1,500 species of plants that have been listed as invasive or noxious in North America. It has information on each species’ invasive characteristics and lists locations where it has been classified as noxious or invasive, referencing all sources. For many species, the site is also full of useful photographs to aid in identification.
  • IPANE: Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
    This database gives us comprehensive information about the spread of invasive plants in New England— relying on professionals and trained volunteers throughout the region to supply information to the project. It has images, descriptions, and distribution maps of species listed, with articles and general information on the subject.
  • MIPAG: Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group
    This webiste summarizes the work of this voluntary collaborative of professionals that evaluates plants characterized as invasive, also making recommedations for the strategic management and early detection of invasives.
  • USDA Plants Database—Invasive and Noxious Weeds
    The USDA Plants database is very useful site for looking up detailed information about the origin and characteristics of most plants in the United States. This particular portion of the site takes you directly to information about invasive plants and noxious weeds on a state by state basis.