Invasive Terrestrial Plants


Exotic Bush Honeysuckles


Native Origin: Eurasia (Japan, China, Korea, Manchuria, Turkey and southern Russia); introduced to US foruse as ornamentals, for wildlife cover and for soil erosion control.

Description: Exotic bush honeysuckles are upright, generally deciduous shrubs that range from 6 to 15 feetin height. The 1-2 inch, egg-shaped leaves are opposite along the stem and short-stalked. Older stems areoften hollow. Pairs of fragrant, tubular flowers less than an inch long are borne along the stem in the leafaxils. Flower color varies from creamy white to pink or crimson in some varieties of Tartarian honeysuckle.The fruits are red to orange, many-seeded berries. Native bush honeysuckles may be confused with theseexotic species and cultivars, so proper identification is necessary. Unlike the exotics, most of our native bushhoneysuckles have solid stems. Plants reproduce by birds feed on the persistent fruits and widelydisseminating seeds across the landscape. Vegetative sprouting also aids in the persistence of these exotic shrubs.

Habitat: Exotic bush honeysuckles are relatively shade-intolerant and most often occur in forest edge,abandoned field, pasture, roadsides and other open, upland habitats. Woodlands, especially those that havebeen grazed or otherwise disturbed may also be invaded by exotic bush honeysuckles. Morrow’s honeysuckleis capable of invading bogs, fens, lakeshores, sand plains and other uncommon habitat types

Distribution: Amur, Tartarian, and Morrow’s honeysuckle generally range from thecentral Great Plains to southern New England and south to Tennessee, NorthCarolina, and Georgia as shaded on the map.

Ecological Impacts: Exotic bush honeysuckles can rapidly invade and overtake a site, forming a dense shrublayer that crowds and shades out native plant species. They can alter habitats by decreasing light availability,by depleting soil moisture and nutrients, and possibly by releasing toxic chemicals that prevent other plantspecies from growing in the vicinity. Exotic bush honeysuckles may compete with native bush honeysucklesfor pollinators, resulting in reduced seed set for native species. In addition, the fruits of exotic bushhoneysuckles, while abundant and rich in carbohydrates, do not offer migrating birds the high-fat, nutrientrichfood sources needed for long flights, that are supplied by native plant species.

Control and Management: Control methods should be initiated prior to seed dispersal (late summer to earlyautumn) to minimize reinvasion of treated habitats.
Manual- Hand remove seedlings or small plants for light infestation; repeat yearly
Chemical- apply systemic herbicides
Burning- prescribed burning may be effective for exotic bush honeysuckles growing in open habitats.

All information from USDA Forest Service:

Purple Lustrife

Purple loosestrife, known for its beautiful purple flowers and landscape value, was brought to the United States from Europe in the 1800’s. It has become a serious pest to native wetland communities where it out-competes native plants. Native plants are vital to wetland wildlife for food and shelter. Each year, more than a million acres of wetlands in the U.S. are taken over by this plant.

“To control the spread of purple loosetrife, a state law was enacted on July 1, 1996, that prohibits the sale of ALL forms of purple loosestrife (any variety, species, horticultural variety, cultivar), or other members of the genus Lythrum, whether reportedly sterile or not.

The Department of Natural Resources has also been releasing insects to control purple loosestrife where it has successfully escaped into wetlands. “
Information quoted from Indiana Department of Natural Resources at

Phragmites/Common Reed

An excellent resource on Phragmites can be found at the following address from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Reed Canary Grass

An excellent resource on Reed Canary Grass can be found at the following address from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Noxious and Invasive Weeds and The Weed Laws in Indiana

Many of us have heard the terms ‘noxious’ and ‘invasive’ weeds or plants. However, I would suspect that there are many people who either do not know what this means or which plants are labeled noxious or invasive.
I believe we should all care about these two groups. Furthermore, did
you know you could be breaking the law if you have these plants on your property? Below are some of the laws that Indiana has in place regarding weeds in these groups. If you would like to read the Indiana Code yourself or you have trouble sleeping at night, the following web address will get
you started: