En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - November 26, 2012

From: New York City, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives
Title: Most invasive, noxious plant in U.S. from New York City.
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was wondering, what is the most invasive/ noxious plant in the U.S? Thanks in advance.

ANSWER:

The most invasive/noxious plant in the U.S. is the one in your yard, or in a nearby nature preserve, or waters where you like to fish and boat. They are almost invariably introduced,  non-native plants that were brought in from Asia or Europe with good intentions, for groundcover or lumber or just as an ornamental. Sometimes the invasive arrives in your area as a stowaway seed in a shipment of seeds, perhaps grass seeds, from a foreign country. If the seeds or imported plants find favorable climate but no animals or insects that will graze those plants they will prosper. Left in their natural habitat, over the millennia, the plants and the grazers or the humans searching for fuel will reach some sort of natural balance. Invasiveness or noxiousness is in the eye of the beholder. We will try to find some references to noxious and/or invasive plants in the New York area, and perhaps some others in other parts of the U.S. that just haven't managed to spread to your area yet, or for which your climate is not favorable.

An article from the United States National Arboretum details the following plants as being outstanding invasives: Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife), native to Europe, Asia, and Australia, Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven), native to China and Taiwan, and Hedera helix (English Ivy), native to Asia and Europe, as being outstanding leaders in the North American invasives field. Each plant link will take you to additional information on that plant.

To focus in a little more on invasive plants in your area, here is an article from the Cornell University Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program.

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

Non-native pothos ivy from Houston
May 30, 2013 - My pothos devils ivy is about 5 years old and grows outside. A couple of years ago its leaves became spectacularly large, like 12" wide and its stalk about 1 - 2" wide. A couple of years ago i gui...
view the full question and answer

How to Get Rid of Spike Rush in Raised Beds in Galveston
March 16, 2011 - I have an infestation of spike rush in my raised beds and I want to know how to get rid of it, preferably without killing the insects. I have tried digging it up, but it returns. I live on Galveston B...
view the full question and answer

Invasive Cissus trifoliata in Dallas
May 25, 2011 - I have finally identified an invasive, stinky vine in my urban landscape as Cissus trifoliata. It was waxy leaves, small greenish flowers, and small black berries. It appears to spread with undergrou...
view the full question and answer

Need to Control Giant Ragweed in Wildflower Field in Austin, Texas
December 11, 2010 - I have an acre pond around my business park planted with several different kinds of wildflowers. I let all the vegetation grow until the first frost, because I have wildflowers that grow throughout ...
view the full question and answer

Invasives species experiment from Fairfax VA
May 09, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have some friends that need an experiment on Invasive Species fast. They are in 11th grade at Robinson secondary school. Are you able to help? Its due in June and they don'...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center