Invasive Plant Species

You can make a huge contribution to nature by finding and removing any invasive species lurking on your property.

There's a small set of plants – super species if you will – that did not evolve here and are causing serious, expensive problems now that they've arrived. Buckthorn, garlic mustard and teasel are examples. Featuring longer-than-normal growing seasons, astounding reproductive abilities and low disease resistance, they enter our treasured natural areas and take over. As a result, dozens of native plant species – and the wildlife that depend upon them – disappear. Many other aspects of ecosystem health can suffer as well, including soil chemistry, hydrology, structure and resilience.

Video by Midwest Invasive Plant Network

Plant ID and Control pages linked below are from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources A Field guide to Terrestrial Invasive Plants in Wisconsin

Invasive Species Control Phenology Calendar

Invasive Plants Herbiciding Rates and Timing

Invasive Plant Species - Lake County's worst of the worst

Invasive Plant Species

Oriental bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus
Asian bush honeysuckle Lonicera maackii, L. morrowii, L. tatarica, & L. x bella
Burning bush    (View Video) Euonymus alatus
Canada thistle Cirsium arvense
Common & glossy buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica & Frangula alnus
Common reed Phragmites australis
Common & cut-leaved teasel Dipsacus fullonum & D. laciniatus
Crown vetch Securigera varia
Field & Japanese hedge parsley Torilis arvensis & T. japonica
Flowering rush Butomus umbellatus
Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata
Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii
Japanese honeysuckle Lonicera japonica
Narrow-leaved & hybrid cattail Typha angustifolia & T. x glauca
Moneywort Lysimachia nummularia
Multiflora rose Rosa multiflora
Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria
Reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea
White & yellow sweetclover Melilotus alba & M. officinalis
Yellow Iris Iris pseudacorus

Aquatic Invasives

Brazilian elodea Egeria densa
Curly-leaf pondweed Potamogeton crispus
Eurasian watermilfoil Myriophyllum spicatum
Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
Water lettuce Pistia stratiotes

I don't live near a nature preserve, so do I need to worry about invasives?

Here's the problem: birds oftentimes eat berries on one property and eliminate the seeds on others. You may not see this because a flock of birds frequently arrives for just a short period and picks the place clean. By the way, buckthorn berries are diuretics, causing those poor birds to lose a great deal of fluids and nutrients. So we can't assume these berry-producers are good for nature.

But I paid good money for that bush

Some invasives show up uninvited but others are inadvertently purchased, planted and lovingly cared for as beautiful elements of your landscape. Barberry and burning bush are examples. They're hardy and disease-resistant, just what we look for in landscape choices. But that's exactly what makes them more likely to hop the garden fence and invade the nearest nature preserve. The garden center industry is becoming aware of problems posed by invasive species – some outlets faster than others – and making healthy changes.

Why not let nature take its course?

In the past, species were restricted to certain areas by such barriers as oceans, deserts and mountain ranges. Now virtually all such obstacles have been breached and people are joined in our transcontinental travels by all sorts of species – both intentionally and not. This worldwide shake-up has exposed vulnerable ecosystems everywhere to a handful of botanical bullies that displace natives and upend ecological processes.

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