Non-Native, Invasive Plant Species

Non-native, invasive plant species are a problem and have the potential to wreak havoc on our natural biotic communities. Many of us have non-native plants in our homes and yards, and enjoy the beautiful fragrant blooms or ornamental shape of these plants. You would be remiss if you did not notice the spring blooms of Chinese wisteria and Japanese honeysuckle that grow within the treetops and alongside roadsides or the vibrant yellows and reds of the popcorn tree, or Chinese tallow, during the fall. Truth is, these non-native plants are examples of invasive weeds that are currently displacing and/or killing Florida's native plants. Non-native, invasive says it all regarding these noxious plants species. Non-native refers to their origin, not native to the area.

Non-native species are introduced for a variety of reasons, either for their ornamental nature, as a potential forage crop, or just plain accidentally. However, problems arise when these species are able to take root and reproduce. Most of the time these pest plants are free from the competition and predation of their native lands, and they are able to reproduce prolifically without any check on their expansion. These rapidly expanding pest plants become invasive, spreading to adjacent lands and displacing native species.

The Suwannee River Water Management District is committed to actively monitoring and treating the most noxious non-native, invasive plants. This is extremely important to maintain the natural communities on District lands and to prevent the further spread of these pest plants to adjacent private and public lands. There are multiple resources available to private landowners for identifying and controlling noxious weeds on their property. There are also resources for discovering Florida's native plants, and the native species that are available for home landscapes.

Below is a list of the non-native, invasive plants the District is actively monitoring:

Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC)*

Category I Species

  • Air Potato
  • Brazilian Pepper
  • Camphor Tree
  • Chinese Privet
  • Chinese Tallow
  • Cogongrass
  • Glossy Privet
  • Japanese Climbing Fern
  • Japanese Honeysuckle
  • Kudzu
  • Mimosa
  • Nandina
  • Natal Grass
  • Skunk Vine
  • Sword Fern
  • Torpedo Grass
  • Tropical Soda Apple
  • Wild Taro

Category II Species

  • Alligator Weed
  • Caesar's Weed
  • Chinaberry
  • Chinese Brake Fern
  • Chinese Wisteria
  • Elephant Ear
  • Golden Bamboo
  • Paper Mulberry
  • Tung Oil Tree
  • Wax Begonia