Little River Canyon National Preserve Invasive Plants
What is an invasive plant? Invasive plants are nonnative plants that grow in an environment that has no native diseases, parasites, or predators. This allows them to grow rapidly and be destructive to native plants.
How did they get here? These exotic plants were introduced into this country by early explorers and settlers. Most were brought here as ornamentals or for livestock forage. Today many people still use exotic plants in lawns for their beauty.
Highly invasive plants can be very destructive to the natural environment. Because of the lack of natural controls (diseases, predators, etc…), these plants have an advantage over native species and can easily take over their habitat. This Japanese Stilt Grass has almost completely taken over under this canopy. It is a ground cover that is of little value as food for wildlife and was first found in the U.S. around 1919.
Three Examples of Invasive Plants at Little River Canyon National Preserve Silktree, Mimosa Princesstree, Paulownia Chinese/European Privet
Silktree, Mimosa A traditional ornamental introduced from Asia in 1745. In Bloom
Princesstree, Paulownia An ornamental that was introduced in the early 1800s from Asia. Has pale-violet flowers before leaves in early spring. Very Young Tree Has broad velvety leaves.
Chinese/European Privet Ornamentals that were introduced from China and Europe in the early to mid-1800s. Often used as decorative border shrubs.
How to Control Invasive Plants First avoid buying and planting exotic nonnative plants Herbicides (Be careful and follow instructions) Hand Pulling- be sure to remove all parts of the plant from the soil.
Just a Reminder Some plants are poisonous! Some plants can cause an allergic reaction!