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Catalog of Invasive Plants


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National Park Service

Northeastern Region


Catalog of Invasive Plants


Invasive Plant Identification Workshop

6-7 August 2002

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

Bushkill Visitor Information Center



Wayne Millington, NPS Project Coordinator

Leslie J. Mehrhoff

Katie R. Boiteau

Stacey A. Leicht




Purpose
The purpose of this project is to identify those plants considered invasive by the National Park Service in the following nine Northeastern states:

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


This list includes species that are not usually found on most invasive species lists. They are included here because of their potential to invade minimally managed areas within the parks. These species are designated as anthropogenic in the following tables. This list was compiled from existing federal, state and regional lists of invasive species and noxious weeds from the Northeastern United States.
Three tables are included, each containing the same 107 species. These tables are arranged by common name and growth form, scientific name and growth form and scientific name and invasiveness.
In most cases, species names were taken from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (www.itis.usda.gov). However, there are a few exceptions where, for ease of utility, old names were maintained under species name and currently accepted names were listed under synonyms.
This catalog is a work in progress. If you feel that a species not acknowledged here should be added or have additional information, please let us know.

Please contact:


Leslie J. Mehrhoff
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
Box U-43
75 North Eagleville Road
Storrs, CT  06269-3043

(860) 486-5708 


FAX (860) 486-6364

vasculum@uconnvm.uconn.edu
or
Katie Boiteau

krboiteau@hotmail.com

SPECIES NAME



Acer platanoides L.

COMMON NAME


Norway maple
FAMILY

Aceraceae


NPS CODE

ACEPLA
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Invasive
THREAT

Has dense foliage that lasts longer than most native species. Prohibits light from reaching woodland floor, and produces many seedlings.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Grows rapidly when young. Well adapted to extreme soils. Creates very dense shade and seeds freely, causing many weed seedling trees. Very dense foliage. Will withstand sand, clay, acidic to calcareous soils, can withstand hot, dry conditions, tolerates polluted atmosphere. Seedlings are shade tolerant and thrive in hedge rows and roadside thickets. Seeds are much heavier than sugar maple seeds, giving them larger reserves for germination. Mature Acer platanoides facilitate the growth of their seedlings underneath their canopy. Possibly secrete an allelopathic chemical from their roots.


HABITAT

Common street and ornamental tree, found in woodlots and urban-fringe forests. Spreads to successional forests.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Eurasia
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States in 1756; later escaped from cultivation.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

ACAD, DEWA, GATE


REPRODUCTION

Deciduous tree, flowers in April. Insect pollinated. Vigorous reproduction from seed.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits mature in September to October. Seeds are wind dispersed.


CONTROL

Girdling or herbicide application to cut stems.

SPECIES NAME

Acer pseudoplatanus L.
COMMON NAME

Sycamore maple


FAMILY

Aceraceae


NPS CODE

ACEPSE
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Seeds germinate easily producing many individuals, especially in sandy soils near the coast.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Easily established and very adaptable. Tolerant of salt, high pH, calcareous soil and exposed areas.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Europe and Asia


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States as an ornamental.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Deciduous tree, flowers in May. Reproduces from seed.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits mature in August or September


CONTROL

SPECIES NAME



Acer palmatum Thunb.
COMMON NAME

Japanese maple


FAMILY

Aceraceae


NPS CODE

ACEPAL
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Produces many seedlings in some areas.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Spreads rapidly by seed.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Japan, China, Korea


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced from Japan to England in 1840, then to the U.S. in 1862 by Dr. George Hall to a nursery in Flushing, N.Y.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

New York and Pennsylvania


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Deciduous tree, flowers in May and June. Reproduces from seed.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits ripen in September to October.


CONTROL

SPECIES NAME



Aegopodium podagraria L.
COMMON NAME

Goutweed
FAMILY

Apiaceae
NPS CODE

AEGPOD
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Spreads easily by fragmenting rhizomes and seeds.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Grows well in flood plan forests, waste places and roadsides. Weedy and difficult to control.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Eurasia
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Cultivated in gardens and often escaped in New England.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

DEWA, WEFA

REPRODUCTION

Herbaceous perennial, flowers in June. Reproduces vegetatively by rhizomes and from seed.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits mature in July.


CONTROL

SPECIES NAME



Ailanthus altissima (P. Mill.) Swingle
COMMON NAME

Tree of Heaven


FAMILY

Simaroubaceae


SYNONYMS

Ailanthus glandulosa Desf.
NPS CODE

AILALT
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Invasive
THREAT

Produces many seedlings. Also spreads vegetatively.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Rapid growth, does well in poor soil and with atmospheric pollution. Tolerant of salt, poor soil, heat and drought. Can sucker and produce stump sprouts, and produces large quantities of seeds. Fruits persist through winter.


HABITAT

Woodlots, along railways and highways and other disturbed areas.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

China
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the U.S. in Pennsylvania by a gardener. By 1840, was being sold from nurseries, and has since been uses extensively for plantings in cities.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Found in all Northeastern states


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

MIMA, GATE, ROVA, SAHI, DEWA


REPRODUCTION

Deciduous tree, flowers in late spring. Reproduces from seed.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits appear in September to October. Seeds are wind and water dispersed.


CONTROL

Hand-pulling, especially by the Bradley Method, cutting, digging, girdling, prescribed burning, herbicide and grazing until seedbank is eliminated.

SPECIES NAME

Akebia quinata (Houtt.) Dcne.
COMMON NAME

Fiveleaf akebia, Chocolate vine


FAMILY

Lardizabalaceae


NPS CODE

AKEQUI
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Rampant grower with long stems than run over the ground or climb.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Can grow upright along a structure or along the ground as a groundcover. Tolerant of many soil types, easily grown. Able to grow rampantly. Appears to produces fruits infrequently.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

China, Korea, Japan


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States in 1845.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast except Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Twining woody vine, flowers in late March to early April. Reproduces vegetatively.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits ripen in September to October, each hold numerous seeds. Dispersal mechanisms are unknown, but probably by animals.


CONTROL

Cutting, digging, and herbicides.

SPECIES NAME

Albizia julibrissin Durazz.
COMMON NAME

Silk tree, Mimosa


FAMILY

Fabaceae
NPS CODE

ALBJUL
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive


THREAT

Produces many seedlings.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Will withstand drought, high pH, soil salinity, and excessive wind. Produce large seed crops, can resprout when damaged. Strongly competitive to native tress and shrubs in open areas or edges. Can form dense stands.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Iran to central China.


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States in 1745.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia. Cultivated in Massachusetts and Connecticut.


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Deciduous tree, flowers in late April through early July. Reproduces from seed or by root cuttings.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits ripen in August to October and persist through the winter often into the spring. Seeds dispersed around parent plant and by water.


CONTROL

Cutting at ground level, herbicides, girdling, hand pulling of young seedlings

SPECIES NAME

Alliaria petiolata (Bieb.) Cavara & Grande
COMMON NAME

Garlic mustard


FAMILY

Brassicaceae


SYNONYMS

Alliaria alliaria (L.) Britt., Alliaria officinalis Andrz. ex Bieb.
NPS CODE

ALLPET
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Invasive
THREAT

Produces large numbers of individuals that can form dense monotypic stands even in closed canopy forests. Persists in seed banks.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Shade tolerant and can dominate a forest understory. Tolerates a wide variety of soils and moisture levels. Dense stands Deprive native herbaceous species of light, moisture and space. High seed production and strong seed dormancy


HABITAT

Common in forest edges, roadsides, stream banks, and gardens in shaded and semi-shaded habitats.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Europe
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

First collected in Long Island in 1868. Likely brought to the United States as a food crop and for medicinal purposes.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

ACAD, ALPO, DEWA, ROVA


REPRODUCTION

Biennial herb, flowers in the spring. Reproduces from seed.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits produced by May, with 10-20 seeds per pod by early summer. Seeds are mechanically dispersed, and dispersed by humans and animals.


CONTROL

Prevention of initial establishment, cutting the flowering stems at ground level annually, and biocontrol.

SPECIES NAME

Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.
COMMON NAME

European black alder


FAMILY

Betulaceae


SYNONYMS

Alnus alnus (L.) Britt., Betula glutinosa L.
NPS CODE

ALNGLU
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Can form dense stands of many individuals.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Fast growth rate in youth, tolerant of acid or slightly alkaline soils, tolerant of frost, poor soil and waterlogging.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Europe and western Asia


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Cultivated as an ornamental, and planted to control erosion and improve the soil on recently cleared or unstable substrates.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Deciduous tree. Reproduces from seeds and spreads vegetatively.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits mature in October and November


CONTROL

Girdling or cutting stems and applying herbicide

SPECIES NAME

Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Maxim.) Trautv.
COMMON NAME

Porcelain berry


FAMILY

Vitaceae
NPS CODE

AMPBRE
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Invasive
THREAT

Vines grow rampantly up into the tree canopy or over other vegetation.
INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Can grow over and smother native vegetation. Rapid growth, with a high germination rate.


HABITAT

Woodland edges, riparian areas, and open fields, especially areas with repeated disturbance.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Japan, China, Korea, and the Russian Far East


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced into cultivation in the U.S. for use as a bedding and screening plant.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

MIMA
REPRODUCTION

Deciduous, perennial vine, flowers in summer. Reproduces from seed and cuttings.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits ripen in September and contain 2-4 seeds each. Seeds are bird and water dispersed.


CONTROL

Hand pulling or pruning before fruiting and cutting aboveground vines. Herbicides can be applied to leaves or to basal bark.

SPECIES NAME

Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffmann
COMMON NAME

Wild chervil


FAMILY

Apiaceae
NPS CODE

ANTSYL
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive


THREAT

Produces many seeds that can form dense stands of many individuals.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Self-seeds, has long taproot, grows well in woodlands, forest, edges, waste places and roadsides.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Europe
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Biennial or short-lived perennial forb, flowers in May through July. Pollinated by bees.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Seeds are mature from June through July.


CONTROL

SPECIES NAME



Artemisia stelleriana Bess.
COMMON NAME

Dusty miller


FAMILY

Asteraceae


NPS CODE

ARTSTE
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Vegetative growth can produce large stands in sandy soil along coastal dunes and beaches.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Fast growth rate including rhizomes; can tolerate poor soils including sand and rocks


HABITAT

Sandy beaches, coastal sand dunes.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Asia
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States as garden material and escaped from cultivation.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Perennial, flowers in summer. Spreads vegetatively by segments rooting in soil.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

CONTROL


SPECIES NAME

Artemisia vulgaris L.
COMMON NAME

Mugwort
FAMILY

Asteraceae
NPS CODE

ARTVUL
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Can form dense stands by vegetative growth.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Able to grow in a wide variety of soils, prolific seeder and seeds may persist in the soil for many years. Rapid colonizer, crowds out existing vegetation.


HABITAT

Fields, roadsides, disturbed urban areas, river banks and waste places.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Europe and Asia


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Entire Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

ACAD, DEWA

REPRODUCTION

Perennial herb, flowers in late summer and early fall. Reproduces from seed and vegetatively by rhizomes.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Viable seeds rarely produced? Seeds dispersed by wind and humans.


CONTROL

Herbicide

SPECIES NAME

Arthraxon hispidus (Thunb.) Makino
COMMON NAME

Hairy joint-grass


FAMILY

Poaceae
SYNONYMS



Phalaris hispida Thunb.
NPS CODE

ARTHIS
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Produces dense monotypic stands annually.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Can survive and germinate after extended flooding. Forms monotypic stands and crowds out native herbaceous vegetation. Able to grow in shade. Rapidly spreads along stream and pond shores and through ditches and wet areas.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Asia
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

May have been introduced with packing material at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876.

NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

South of and including Connecticut.
NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Annual grass. Reproduces from seed.

FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Produces abundant seed.
CONTROL

Hand pulling or mowing before seed production for seven years, herbicide

SPECIES NAME

Arundo donax L.
COMMON NAME

Giant reed


FAMILY

Poaceae
SYNONYMS



Arundo versicolor P. Mill.
NPS CODE

ARUDON
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Forms dense stands by vegetative growth.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Salinity tolerant, creates sand dunes, tolerant of all soils. Rootstocks form compact masses, has deeply penetrating fibrous roots. Chokes riversides and stream channels. Crowds out native plants, interferes with flood control. Increases fire potential, decreases wildlife habitat, and can outcompete native vegetation. Rapid growth rate.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Mediterranean


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced intentionally to Los Angeles, CA in the early 1800s as an ornamental and for erosion control. Used for making pipe organs, baskets, fishing rods, medicines, and in fodder.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

West Virginia and Virginia


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Perennial grass, flowers in August and September. Fragments root after floating downstream. Stem fragments can take root. Vegetative and rhizome reproduction. Wind and water dispersed.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Little known


CONTROL

Herbicide, prescribed burning

SPECIES NAME

Berberis thunbergii DC.
COMMON NAME

Japanese barberry


FAMILY

Berberidaceae


NPS CODE

BERTHU
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Invasive
THREAT

Dense, near monotypic, stands exclude other species and many change the soil chemistry.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Form dense, continuous stands. Exceptionally tolerant and adaptable, withstands drought and heat, invades undisturbed as well as disturbed areas. Hybridizes with Berberis vulgaris to form B. X ottawensis.


HABITAT

Roadsides, trails, open fields, gardens and forest edges.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Japan
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States as an ornamental in 1875 as seeds sent from Russia to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. Planted in the New York Botanic Garden in 1896. Later planted as a substitute for the black stem grain rust infested Berberis vulgaris in seaside gardens. Recognized as a garden escape before 1910.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

All of Northeast except the Adirondaks, northern Maine and northern Vermont.


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

ACAD, ALPO, DEWA, MABI, MORR, ROVA, WEFA


REPRODUCTION

Deciduous shrub, flowers from April to May. Reproduces by cuttings and from seed. Reproduces when branches come in contact with the soil.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Numerous berries mature from July to October and persist on the stems until spring. Dispersed by turkey, grouse and small mammals.


CONTROL

Pulling by hand, mowing or cutting and herbicide.

SPECIES NAME

Berberis vulgaris L.
COMMON NAME

Barberry
FAMILY

Berberidaceae
NPS CODE

BERVUL
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Forms dense thickets, produces abundant seeds, able to grow in shaded habitats. Hybridizes with Berberis thunbergii to create B. X ottawensis.


HABITAT

Pastures, open woodlands and waste places.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Europe
HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

Introduced to the United States in the 17th century, it was planted by settlers for its fruits. Once quite common in the Northeast.
NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

All of Northeast


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

ACAD


REPRODUCTION

Deciduous shrub, flowers May to June. Reproduces by seed and vegetatively, and new plants can be produced when branches come in contact with the soil.


FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits from May to June. Fruits contain 1-3 seeds each. Seeds are dispersed by birds and small mammals.


CONTROL

Pulling by hand, mowing, cutting and herbicide. Many individuals were eradicated by the CCC in the 1920s; in some places many can still be found.

SPECIES NAME

Butomus umbellatus L.
COMMON NAME

Flowering rush


FAMILY

Butomaceae


NPS CODE

BUTUMB
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Potentially invasive
THREAT

Can invade shore communities with lots of individuals. May form dense monotypic stands under some conditions.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Grows well in floodplain forests, aquatic, rivers or streams, lake or pond margins. Now used in water garden habitats. Can displace native riparian vegetation, and has a wide hardiness zone.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

East Asia


HISTORY OF INTRODUCTION

First observed in 1897 in Quebec. In 1929 collected in two Vermont counties. By 1950, well established along St. Lawrence River. First collected in Connecticut in 1943.


NORTHEASTERN US DISTRIBUTION

Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania


NORTHEASTERN NATIONAL PARKS

REPRODUCTION

Aquatic plant. Reproduces by seed or vegetatively.
FRUIT AND SEED PRODUCTION

Fruits split at maturity releasing seeds. Seeds are water dispersed.


CONTROL

Cutting below the water surface and hand digging

SPECIES NAME

Cabomba caroliniana Gray
COMMON NAME

Fanwort
FAMILY

Cabombaceae
NPS CODE

CABCAR
NPS NORTHEASTERN STATUS

Invasive
THREAT

Forms dense monotypic stands that prohibit sunlight penetration.


INVASIVE ECOLOGY

Grows well in aquatic, river or stream, lake or pond and water garden habitats. Can form extremely dense stands and clog drainage systems. Able to root from vegetative parts.


HABITAT

Ponds, lakes ditches and quiet streams.


GEOGRAPHIC ORIGIN

Southern United States

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