Plants to Avoid in the Southeastern United States

Compiled by Allison S. Weakley and Johnny Randall, Updated 2011

The following is a compilation from invasive exotic plant lists of regional and state agencies in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. Physiographic region distinctions for the Mountains, Piedmont, and Coastal Plain are not made. The list is based on expert observational data and not on extensive biological research. It is, however, the most accurate approximation of the invasive exotic plant species in the southeastern United States. It is intentionally extensive in order to give the public a reasonable degree of confidence that any landscape plant not listed has a low potential for invasiveness.

This compilation will change as new information is gathered, and we will be adding links to images of each species. You may also want to consult the North Carolina Native Plant Society's Invasive Exotic Species List.

Scientific Name Common Name Family
Acer platanoides Norway maple Aceraceae
Ailanthus altissima tree of heaven Simaroubaceae
Ajuga reptans bugleweed; common bugle Lamiaceae
Akebia quinata chocolate vine; fiveleaf akebia Lardizabalaceae
Albizia julibrissin mimosa; Silk tree Fabaceae
Alliaria officinalis See Alliaria petiolata
Alliaria petiolata garlic mustard Brassicaceae
Allium vinale wild garlic; field garlic; crow garlic Liliaceae
Alternanthera philoxeroides alligatorweed Amaranthaceae
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Amur peppervine; porcelain-berry Vitaceae
Ampelopsis heterophylla See Ampelopsis brevipedunculata
Arrhenatherum elatius tall oatgrass Poaceae
Artemisia vulgaris common wormwood; mugwort Asteraceae
Arundo donax giant reed; elephant grass Poaceae
Berberis thunbergii Japanese barberry Berberidaceae
Broussonetia papyrifera paper mulberry Moraceae
Cardiospermum halicacabum balloon vine; love-in-a-puff Sapindaceae
Carduus vulgaris See Cirsium vulgare
Carex kobomugi sedge; Japanese or Asiatic sand sedge Cyperaceae
Cassia obtusifolia See Senna obtusifolia
Celastrus orbiculatus Oriental bittersweet Celastraceae
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum See Leucanthemum vulgare
Cayratia japonica Bush killer Vitaceae
Clematis paniculatus See Clematis terniflora
Clematis terniflora leatherleaf clematis; sweet autumn virgin's bower Ranunculaceae
Commelina communis common dayflower Commelinaceae
Dioscorea batatas See Dioscorea oppositifolia
Dioscorea oppositifolia Chinese yam; cinnamon vine Dioscoreaceae
Dipsacus fullonum Fuller's teasel Dipsacaceae
Dipsacus fullonum ssp. sylvestris common teasel; wild teasel Dipsacaceae
Dipsacus laciniatus Cutleaf Teasel Dipsacaceae
Dipsacus sylvestris See Dipsacus fullonum ssp. sylvestris
Egeria densa Brazilian waterweed; elodea Hydrocharitaceae
Elaeagnus angustifolia russian olive Oleaceae
Elaeagnus pungens thorny olive Oleaceae
Elaeagnus umbellata autumn olive Oleaceae
Eleutherococcus pentaphyllus Ginseng shrub; fiveleaf aralia Araliaceae
Elodea densa See Egeria densa
Eragrostis curvula weeping lovegrass Poaceae
Euonymus alata winged spindletree; burning bush Celastraceae
Euonymus fortunei wintercreeper; climbing euonymus Celastraceae
Euphorbia esula leafy spurge; wolf's milk Euphorbiaceae
Foeniculum vulgare sweet fennel Apiaceae
Glechoma hederacea groundivy Lamiaceae
Hedera helix English ivy Araliaceae
Hesperis matronalis dame's rocket Brassicaceae
Humulus japonicus Japanese hops Cannabaceae
Hydrilla verticillata waterthyme Hydrocharitaceae
Imperata arundinaceae See Imperata cylindrica
Imperata cylindrica cogongrass Poaceae
Ipomoea coccinea red or red star morning glory Convolvulaceae
Ipomoea hederacea ivy leaf morning glory Convolvulaceae
Ipomoea purpurea common or tall morning glory Convolvulaceae
Iris pseudacorus yellow flag; pale yellow iris Iridaceae
Lapsana communis common nipplewort Asteraceae
Lespedeza bicolor bi-color lespedeza Fabaceae
Lespedeza cuneata Chinese or Sericea lespedeza Fabaceae
Lespedeza sericea See Lespedeza cuneata
Ligustrum obtusifolium border or blunt-leaved pivet Oleaceae
Ligustrum sinense Chinese pivet Oleaceae
Ligustrum villosum See Ligustrum sinense
Ligustrum vulgare European or common privet Oleaceae
Lonicera x bella whitebell; Bell's honeysuckle Caprifoliaceae
Lonicera fragrantissima January jasmine or sweet-breath-of-spring Caprifoliaceae
Lonicera japonica Japanese honeysuckle Caprifoliaceae
Lonicera maackii Amur honeysuckle Caprifoliaceae
Lonicera morrowii Morrow's honeysuckle Caprifoliaceae
Lonicera standishii Standish's honeysuckle Caprifoliaceae
Lonicera tatarica Tartarian honeysuckle Caprifoliaceae
Lotus corniculatus bird's foot deervetch; bird's foot trefoil Fabaceae
Ludwigia uruguayensis primrose willow; hairy water primrose Onagraceae
Lysimachia nummularia moneywort; creeping jenny Primulaceae
Lythrum salicaria purple loosestrife Lythraceae
Lythrum virgatum European wand loosestrife Lythraceae
Mahonia bealei Oregon grape Berberidaceae
Melia azedarach Chinaberry Meliaceae
Melilotus alba white sweet clover Fabaceae
Microstegium vimineum Nepal grass, Japanese grass Poaceae
Miscanthus sinensis Chinese silvergrass Poaceae
Morus alba white or common mulberry Moraceae
Morus papyrifera See Broussonetia papyrifera
Mosla dianthera miniature beefsteak Lamiaceae
Murdannia keisak Asian spiderwort; aneilima Commelinaceae
Myriophyllum aquaticum watermilfoil; parrotfeather Haloragaceae
Myriophyllum spicatum European or spike watermilfoil Haloragaceae
Nandina domestica Nandina Berberidaceae
Nasturtium officinale See Rorippa nasturtium-officinale
Pastinaca sativa wild parsnip Apiaceae
Paulownia tomentosa Empress or princess tree Scrophulariaceae
Perilla frutescens beefsteak plant Lamiaceae
Persicaria perfoliata mile-a-minute vine Poaceae
Phalaris arundinacea reed canarygrass Poaceae
Phragmites australis common reed Poaceae
Phyllostachys aurea golden bamboo Poaceae
Polygonum cespitosum bunchy knotweed; Oriental ladysthumb Polygonaceae
Polygonum cuspidatum Japanese knotweed Polygonaceae
Polygonum perfoliatum mile-a-minute Polygonaceae
Polygonum sachalinense giant knotweed Polygonaceae
Populus balsamifera ssp. balsamifera balsam poplar; balm of Gilead Salicaceae
Potamogeton crispus curly pondweed Potamogetonaceae
Pseudosasa japonica arrow bamboo Poaceae
Pueraria montana See Pueraria lobata
Pueraria lobata kudzu Fabaceae
Pyrus calleryana Bradford pear/Callery pear, and other vars. Rosaceae
Quercus acutissima sawtooth oak Fagaceae
Ranunculus ficaria lesser celandine; lesser or fig buttercup Ranunculaceae
Raphanus raphanistrum wild radish; jointed charlock Brassicaceae
Rhamnus alnus glossy buckthorn Rhamnaceae
Rhamnus cathartica common buckthorn Rhamnaceae
Rhamnus frangula See Rhamnus alnus
Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum watercress Brassicaceae
Rosa multiflora multiflora rose Rosaceae
Rubus phoenicolasius wineberry; wine raspberry Rosaceae
Rumex acetosella red sorrel; common sheep sorrel Polygonaceae
Senna obtusifolia coffeeweed; sicklepod Fabaceae
Setaria faberi Japanese bristlegrass; giant foxtail Poaceae
Setaria pumila bristlegrass; yellow or smooth millet Poaceae
Setaria viridis green bristlegrass; green millet Poaceae
Solanum viarum tropical soda apple; tropical nightshade Solanaceae
Sorghum halepense Johnsongrass Poaceae
Spiraea japonica Japanese meadowsweet Rosaceae
Stellaria media common chickweed Caryophyllaceae
Torilis arvensis hedge parsley Apiaceae
Trapa natans water chestnut Trapaceae
Tribulus terrestris puncture vine Zygophyllaceae
Tussilago farfara colt's foot Asteraceae
Verbascum thapsus common mullein Scrophulariaceae
Veronica hederaefolia ivy leaf speedwell Scrophulariaceae
Viburnum dilatatum Linden arrowwood Caprifoliaceae
Vinca major bigleaf periwinkle Apocynaceae
Vinca minor common periwinkle Apocynaceae
Vitex rotundifolia beach vitex Apocynaceae
Wisteria floribunda Japanese wisteria Fabaceae
Wisteria sinensis Chinese wisteria Fabaceae

Published on February 07, 2014 at 12:22:44 am.


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