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What are invasive species and why should I care?

April 1, 2020
callery pear

Got Nature? Blog: Invasive species are any plant, animal, insect or plant disease not native to a specific location that can cause harm to the environment, impact the diversity of native species, reduce wildlife habitat or disrupt important ecosystem functions.

As spring approaches, many invasive plants are beginning to leaf out in local woodland areas. Now is the time to stop them in their tracks so they don’t overtake native plants, affect water availability or damage the quality of soil among other potential impacts.

Here are some resources to help you identify various invasive plants in woodland areas near you, to know when to report them and also what you can do help control their spread.

Asian Bush Honeysuckle
Watch this video to learn how to identify Asian Bush Honeysuckle .

Burning Bush
Learn about the Winged Burning Bush and what you can do to stop the spread of this species.
Learn more about the identification, distribution, impact, management and control of this deciduous shrub found in Indiana hardwood forests with this Purdue Extension publication, Invasive Plant Series: Winged Burning Bush.
Check out this article for alternatives plants listed in the Purdue University's Landscape Report, Alternatives to Burning Bush for Fall Color.

Callery Pear
Watch this video to learn how to identify Invasive Plant Species: Callery Pear and discover some steps you can take to combat this invader.
To identify callery pear view this article in the Landscape Report titled Now is the Time to Identify Callery Pear.
Learn about what you can do if you have callery pear by viewing this article in Purdue Extension's Indiana Yard and Garden, A "Perfect" Nightmare.

Japanese Chaff Flower
The chaff flower is typically found in flood plains, ditches, bottomland forests and on riverbanks, growing in rich, moist soil. It often shades out and displaces many native plant species. Learn more about the chaff flower and how to report it by viewing this Purdue Extension publication Japanese Chaff Flower.

Learn more about Kudzu in Indiana (pdf 248kb).

Mile-a-minute Vine
This plant forms very dense, tangled mats, growing over shrubs, small trees and up the sides of forest edges. Learn how to identify and control this fast-growing vine within the buckwheat family by viewing this Purdue Extension publication Mile-a-minute Vine.

Multiflora Rose
This plant bears white flowers in clusters, which turn into small red berries in the fall. Learn more about how to identify and control Multiflora Rose  (video).

For full article and photos > > >

Indiana DNR Division of Forestry
Indiana Invasive Species Council
Report Invasive, Purdue Extension
Woodland Invaders, FNR Got Nature? post
What Nurseries Need to Know About the Invasive Species Regulation, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center
Invasive plants: impact on environment and people, The Education Store, Purdue Extension’s resource center

Elizabeth Jackson, Manager Walnut Cncl/IFWOA & Engage Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Wendy Mayer, FNR Communications Coordinator
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

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