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Invasive Plant Species

Nuisance and invasive plants species are a problem throughout the United States. Their impact on agriculture, industry, recreation and our environment have been extensive. Annual economic losses are estimated to be in the billions of dollars.

Some of the plants that invade our fields, forests and water bodies were purposely or inadvertently brought to the United States over a century ago, often as ornamentals. When these plants were introduced, their natural controls that existed in their native environments were not brought with them. Now, free of the competitors and predators that kept them in check in their native environments, they're able to grow and proliferate at alarming rates supplanting native species and their habitat and costing many millions of dollars in environmental impacts and need control.

Black Swallow-Wort
Common and Glossy Buckthorn
Common Reed
Giant Hogweed
Purple Loosestrife
Reed Canary Grass

How Invasive Plant Species are Spread

Nurseries and landscaping dealers

Some invasive plants species actually remain popular selections from nurseries and landscaping suppliers, even on the internet. A consumer who is unaware of a plant's invasive characteristics may introduce the plant to their own garden, or even give seeds or cuttings to someone else to propagate, thus continuing the invasive cycle.

Water craft

Both invasive plants and animals can catch a free ride on a boat, boat trailer or related equipment. If the unsuspecting operator then moves the item to a different body of water without undergoing a thorough check and cleaning for 'hitchhikers', the potential for transporting an invasive plant or animal exists.

Ballast water

Ballast water is water used in the hulls of ships to provided stabilization. This water has been the source for many invasive plant species over the years. Ballast water may contain plants or animals transported from a different area of the world. If the water is emptied into a watercourse or water body it can lead to a number of serious environmental and economical consequences.

Interim Invasive Species Lists Compiled by USDA NRCS New York

Herbaceous and Woody Species

September 18, 2009 - USDA NRCS New York has compiled an interim list of invasive species of herbaceous and woody plants until an official list is released.

Report an Invasive Species

If you would like to report a plant or animal pest or disease, or ask a question related to animal and plant health or regulations, please visit the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) web site to find local contact information.

Information Resources

Invasive and Exotic Species to North America (
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Invasive and Noxious Weeds - USDA NRCS Plants Database

Invasive Plant Council of New York State (IPCNYS) The purpose of the Invasive Plant Council of New York State is to provide an information clearinghouse for invasive plant identification, research and management.

Invasive Species - USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program

Meeting the Challenges of Invasive Species - Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) - USDA Natural Agricultural Library

New York Invasive Species Information - Cornell University Cooperative Extension)

New York Invasive Species Research Institute  - Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
The mission of the New York Invasive Species Research Institute is to coordinate invasive species research to help prevent and manage the impact of invasive species in New York State.

Nuisance and Invasive Species (NYSDEC) New York Department of Environmental Conservation

The National Invasive Species Council  (NISC)
The National Invasive Species Council provides high-level interdepartmental coordination of federal invasive species actions and works with other federal and non-federal groups to address invasive species issues at the national level.