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Invasive Non-native Plant Species


What is an invasive non-native plant?

An invasive non-native plant species is an inroduced species that has been shown to displace the native vegetation by out-competing native species. Without the factors that normally keep them under control in their native homes, invasive vegetation species overwhelm and displace existing vegetation to form dense, single-species stands that dominate and displace the natural community.

A list of the invasive status of non-native plant species in Florida can be found at the The IFAS Assessment of the Status of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas (IFAS Assessment) website. Use the Conclusions Page to find non-native plants listed by common name or genus.

Prevent the spread of invasive non-native plants

By choosing to plant a garden with native plants, you will prevent the spread of invasive plants from your yard to other natural areas. At the same time, you conserve water, energy, time and money, as well as reduce or eliminate the need for harmful pesticides and herbicides. There are a wide variety of native plants and landscaping designs to choose from in creating the Florida yard that is the most pleasing to you.

Invasive species to avoid or eliminate in your yard & neighborhood:

Photo: UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Ardesia
Ardesia crenata

Photo: UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Air potato
Dioscorea bulbifera
Photo: UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Chinese tallow
Sapium sebiferum
Photo: UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants White-flowered wandering Jew
Tradescantia flumenensis

Photo: UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Nandina domestica

Photo: UF Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Wild taro
Colocasia esculenta





For more information about invasive plants in Florida, visit the Florida Exotic Plant Council.

Why should you care?*

Once invasive plants take over our native plants, the result is:

  1. Florida’s natural biodiversity is destroyed.
  2. Our native plants can eventually become permanently eliminated.
  3. The animals that use those native plants cannot make use of the non-native ones.
  4. Aquatic invasive plants can harm fish habitats.
  5. Boating, swimming, hiking and other uses can be eliminated from areas with invasive plants because they clog up areas.
  6. Costs billions of dollars to eradicate.

*This list has been adapted from http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/673 .


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Copyright © 2004 UF/IFAS Extension and Mark Hostetler
Content written by Elizabeth Swiman and Mark Hostetler
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611