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WindStar Wildlife Institute
Control of Invasive
Non-Native Plants
In the next century, the greatest threat
to our native plants and the wildlife species that
depend upon them
may well come from other plants.
A Guide For Gardeners
and Homeowners in the
Mid-Atlantic Region
T
housands of plant species
have been brought to North
American in the past three
centuries. Most are well-behaved,
rarely penetrating natural areas.
Several hundred, however, have no
natural controls here, and are able
to out-compete and gradually
displace our native plants, even
deep in forests and undisturbed
ecosystems.
Variously called alien, introduced,
or exotic, these non-natives are
highly invasive.
Some of these plants were
brought here intentionally, for their
medicinal, ornamental, or food
value. Others hid in soil, crop seed,
or ballast.
Most came from other
continents, but a few have spread
from other parts of the U.S. In each
region, different species are better
adapted and therefore pose a
greater threat.
This guide is for the piedmont and
inner coastal plain regions of
Maryland, northern Virginia, the
District of Columbia, Delaware, and
southeastern Pennsylvania.
Many of the plants in this guide
are popular, even beloved, landscape
plants, but it is now clear that they
pose a threat to our environment.
If you cannot effectively contain
these plants within your property,
by clipping seeds, fruits, or runners,
please consider removing them.
It is a difficult decision, but each
of us has a responsibility not to
damage the local ecosystem that
cleans our air and water, stabilizes
the soil, buffers floods, and provides
food and shelter for innumerable
species besides our own.

Invasive Plants:

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