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Invasive Plants

The invasive plant lists include some plants that are popular—even still sold in garden nurseries.  If you can’t or don’t want to completely get rid of them, you can make efforts to control their spread by limiting how much ground they cover, removing seeds, and keeping them from climbing and fruiting: this is how many are spread to field and forest. 

Identifying an Invasive Plant

Learn about what is (and is not) an invasive species here and why it’s so important to control them. 

Invasive and Exotic Species in Maryland

Maryland Invasives Special Council

ID Invasives By Photo

Terrestrial Plants

Exotic Forbs and Herbs

Proper Disposal of Invasives

There are a few invasives that are endemic to our local yards and parks.   Some require continued efforts to remove/control and new ones often appear.  You should NOT put these in your regular yard waste bins or in compost.

Proper Disposal of Invasives

Invasives in Our Backyards


  • English Ivy (Hedera helix): If you don’t want to pull it up, at least keep it from climbing trees and bearing fruit (which birds spread to our forests).  Clip the vine at the base and let it die. Do not try to pull it off which can harm the bark.

  • Fig Buttercup (Lesser Celandine) (Ranunculus ficaria): In bloom now with yellow blossoms and heart-shaped leaves.  Digging it up will only control, not stop growth. To remove, you must dig up the entire bulb or “culm”; it may take more than one year to eradicate it.  Persistence pays, though when you follow up. 

  • Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata): Blooms with clusters of tiny white blossoms.  Garlic mustard has the unique ability to inject toxins in the soil to keep other plants from growing and is all over our local forests. Control it before it gets the chance to spread seeds. It’s edible! 

  • Porcelain berry (Ampelopsis brevipedunculata):  Vines that look like grape leaves and beautiful blue/violet berries in summer/fall.   Cut them at the base and pull them off from where they climb.  

  • Mile a Minute or Bindweed (Persicaria perfoliata):  Difficult to control. Keep pulling it out to gain control.  

  • Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera):  Get this one gone before it grows seed pods that look like tiny potatoes.  When they scatter, they spread like crazy!

  • Tawney Daylily (Hermerocallis fulva): Yep, these common orange day-lilies are an invasive species in MD.  Actually, all day-lilies are non-native, but this form also called “ditch daylily”  seems to spread more widely. Must dig up all the roots (rhizomes) Also, deer love it so they attract them to your yard. 

  • Others: Wintercreeper (Euonymous fortuneii), Barberry (Berberis spp.), Lilyturf (Liriope spicata), Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), Amur (shrub) honeysuckle (Lonicera mackii), and Periwinkle (Vinca major or minor)

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