Issue 4, May 20, 2013

Know Your Invasives: Learn to Identify Locally Invasive Plants

During a time of year when gardens are being planted, crops are being cultivated, and yards are being adorned with flowers, it is ever so important to be able to recognize what plants are invasive.

What are invasive plants?

Invasive plants are nonnative species that colonize a new area (intentionally or unintentionally) whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. These plants are able to gain an ecological edge in these environments since the insects, diseases, and foraging animals that would have normally kept it in check in its native range, are not present in its new habitat.

Why are they important?

Sometime exotic plants from other parts of the world can be welcomed, manageable additions to our gardens, but that is not always the case. Invasives can disrupt habitats. Some do so aggressively and can quickly overtake large areas, replacing native species. Others may only colonize a small area, but take years to eradicate.

How you can help.

Kelly Estes

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