A plant is considered invasive when it is both non-native to the region and is able to grow in a wide range of environmental conditions, grow and reproduce themselves quickly and spread to the point of disrupting and displacing native plant communities or ecosystems. Invasive plants that evolved in other parts of the world or were cultivated by humans into forms that don’t exist in nature do not support wildlife as well as native plants. Many have escaped into our natural areas and have become invasive exotics that have destroyed and taken over our natural habitat.
The top five invasive plants you are likely to see in your yard in and around Chautauqua County are Japanese Knotweed, Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Purple Loosestrife, Multi-flora Rose and Norway Maple. Unfortunately, some local nurseries still sell ornamental garden plants that are considered invasive and potentially harmful to the environment. A few of those plants, and alternative native choices, are:
• Instead of a Norway Maple, consider a Sugar Maple or Red Maple
• Instead of a Burning Bush, consider a Virginia Sweetspire or Bush Honeysuckle
• Instead of a Chanticleer Pear, consider a Serviceberry
• Instead of a Butterflybush, consider a Butterflyweed or Swamp Milkweed
• Instead of a Yellow-Flag iris, consider a Blue-Flag Iris
For more information regarding invasive species in our area, visit: