Kudzu and bamboo and privet! Oh my! New list identifies invasive plants in Virginia
DCR Natural Heritage scientists used a risk-assessment protocol to determine an invasiveness rank for each species listed. Species were assigned a high, medium or low level of invasiveness in Virginia.
While the list is helpful to land managers and conservationists, home gardeners can use it to make wise decisions about landscaping. The list is for educational purposes only and has no regulatory authority.
“Planting anything on this list could affect adjacent natural areas,” said Kevin Heffernan, DCR Natural Heritage stewardship biologist. “Gardeners should think twice about planting anything that might be aggressive in their yard, especially if they live near a park or a forest.”
Invasive plants can displace native plant species, reduce wildlife habitat and alter ecosystems. They threaten natural areas, parks and forests. In the United States, they cost an estimated $34 billion annually in economic loss.
Invasive, non-native plant species typically:
• Grow and mature rapidly.
• Produce seed prolifically.
• Are highly successful at germination and colonization.
• Outcompete native species.
• Are expensive to remove or control. [from press release text]