Monday, October 20, 2008

Invasive Exotic Plants of North Carolina

Invasive Exotic Plants of North Carolina is now available electronically on the North Carolina Department of Transportation's website at:

The primary purpose of this guide is to provide technical information regarding the identification of those plants that pose the most threat to wildlife habitat and natural areas, habitats most susceptible to invasion, and methods to control or eradicate these plants.

The 74 species of exotic plants highlighted in this guide are included as a result of input from a variety of sources and agencies. In addition to the list of invasive plants compiled by the North Carolina Native Plant Society that was used as a starting point for the content of this guide, a number of state and federal agencies made suggestions based on their experience managing natural areas. The plants are divided into three main categories depending on their reported impact to natural areas: 1) threat to habitat and natural areas, 2) moderate threat to habitat and natural areas, and 3) watch list. The 17 species in the threat section are known to be invasive and to degrade habitat. Those 17 species listed as a moderate threat do not, at present, appear to be as significant of a problem in natural areas. The watch list includes 40 species that have caused problems in neighboring states, are currently found in localized areas but should be watched for expansion in range, and/or are state-listed noxious weeds. Information pertaining to the identification of the species on the watch list and their current status in neighboring states or in North Carolina is presented in this section.

This guide also contains appendices containing information on native plant alternatives, the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council’s (SE-EPPC) mapping project for early detection of infestations, additional resources for exotic and native plants, and the Federal Noxious Weed List.