Massachusetts Invasive Plants Advisory Group

Plants voted as:  LIKELY INVASIVE

"Likely Invasive plants" are non-native species that are naturalized in Massachusetts but do not meet the full criteria that would trigger an "Invasive plant" designation.  As defined here, "species" includes all synonyms, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars of that species unless proven otherwise by a process of scientific evaluation.


Actinidia arguta (Sieb. & Zucc.) Planch. Ex Miq.  (Hardy kiwi, Tara vine)

A fast-growing woody vine that may climb to 30 feet or more on trees. Grows in sun or shade. Used in permaculture. Where it escapes it can aggressively climb trees and smother them, while also producing new seedlings. (Reviewed 2015)


Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Maxim.) Trautv.  (Porcelain-berry; Amur peppervine)

A woody vine found primarily in southeastern counties of Massachusetts but known from some western counties as well. Occurs in upland woodland edges and thickets and grows in full sun topartial shade. Escapes from cultivation and is bird dispersed.


Anthriscus sylvestris (L.) Hoffmann  (Wild chervil)

Synonym:  Chaerophyllum sylvestre L.

A biennial or short-lived perennial herb with a few reported sites in minimally managed habitats scattered across the state.  It occurs in old fields, wetlands, roadsides and proliferates in floodplain soils.  Grows in full sun to partial shade.  It has a very long taproot and is reported to be spreading in Vermont and Connecticut.

 

Berberis vulgaris L. (Common barberry; European barberry)

A shrub occurring in all regions of the state, primarily in uplands.  It grows in full sun to full shade.  The potential of this plant to spread is high; once common but widely eradicated because it is an alternate host for wheat rust; it hybridizes with Japanese barberry.

 

Butomus umbellatus L. (Flowering rush)

An herbaceous perennial. Can occur on inundated shorelines and in shallow water, river and lakeshores, mudflats, and floodplain forests. (Reviewed 2008)

 

Cardamine impatiens L.  (Bushy rock-cress; narrowleaf bittercress)

A winter annual or biennial herb found in western Massachusetts occurring in rich woods, rocky ledges, roadsides, and stream banks.  It grows in full sun to full shade.  Disperses seeds easily and is spreading rapidly in other parts of New England.

 

Centaurea biebersteinii DC.  (Spotted knapweed)

Synonym:  Centaurea maculosa auct. non Lam.

A biennial or perennial herb occurring in all regions of the state in upland and coastal habitats.  Grows in full sun.  Aggressively grows in well-drained, disturbed soils; serious problem in western states where it out-competes native grassland species, literature reports are currently lacking for this in the northeast.


Cynanchum rossicum (Kleopov) Borhidi  (European swallow-wort; pale swallow-wort)

Synonym: Vincetoxicum rossicum (Kleopov) Barbarich

A perennial herb occurring in the western region of the state in upland habitats.  Grows in full sun to partial shade.  Forms dense stands; found primarily in the lower Connecticut River Valley.

 

Egeria densa Planchon  (Brazilian waterweed; Brazilian elodea)

Synonyms: Anacharis densa (Planch.) Victorin; Elodea densa (Planch.) Caspary

A perennial herb occurring in the eastern and southeastern regions of the state in aquatic habitats.  Common in the aquarium trade; chokes waterways; currently only found in a few MA ponds.

 

Epilobium hirsutum L.  (Hairy willow-herb; Codlins and cream)

A perennial herb occurring in all regions of the state in wetlands.  Grows in full sun.  Seeds dispersed by wind and water; evidence currently lacking that this species out- competes other vegetation in minimally managed habitats.

                                  

Euphorbia cyparissias L.  (Cypress spurge)

A perennial herb occurring in all regions of the state in upland habitats.  Grows in full sun. Persists in open areas; evidence currently lacking that this species out-competes other vegetation in minimally managed habitats.

 

Festuca filiformis Pourret  (Hair fescue; fineleaf sheep fescue)

A perennial grass occurring in all regions of the state, in grasslands and open woodlands.  Grows in full sun to partial shade.  Common in minimally managed grassland habitats; more data needed on its ability to outcompete native species.

 

Glyceria maxima (Hartman) Holmburg (Tall mannagrass; reed mannagrass)

A perennial grass currently known from one marsh in Essex County.  Grows in full sun to partial shade.  Spreads vegetatively and produces viable seeds; forms dense stands.

 

Heracleum mantegazzianum Sommier & Levier (Giant hogweed)

A perennial herb occurring in scattered sites across all regions of the state; thrives in multiple habitats.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  Escapes from cultivation; seeds can be dispersed by water; can cause severe skin reactions.

 

Humulus japonicus Sieb. & Zucc. (Japanese hops)

An annual herbaceous vine with current records in western MA, but historical records from all regions of the state.   Grows in floodplain forests and riverbanks in full sun to partial shade.  Escapes from cultivation; capable of prolific growth.

 

Hydrilla verticillata (L.f.) Royle  (Hydrilla; water-thyme; Florida elodea)

A perennial aquatic herb occurring in the southeastern region of the state.  Only found in one MA pond currently (2004); easily dispersed by birds and humans; chokes entire water bodies.

 

Ligustrum obtusifolium Sieb. & Zucc. (Border privet)

A shrub occurring in all regions of the state in woodlands and woodland edges.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  Widespread and shade tolerant, bird dispersed; more data needed on density and distribution; flowers are needed to identify species. 

 

Lonicera tatarica L.  (Tatarian honeysuckle)

A shrub found from Boston westward in thickets, woods, and edges of woods.  Can grow in full sun to full shade.  Commonly confused with other non-native honeysuckles; crosses with Morrow's honeysuckle (L. morrowii) to produce the invasive hybrid Belle's honeysuckle  (L. xbella).


Microstegium vimineum (Trin.) A. Camus  (Japanese stilt grass; Nepalese browntop)

An annual grass occurring in the western region of the state in upland and wetland habitats.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  Forms dense stands; currently localized in the lower Connecticut River Valley; spreads in flood plains.

 

Miscanthus sacchariflorus (Maxim.) Franch. (Plume grass; Amur silvergrass)

This perennial grass is currently known to occur in central MA in wetland margins and roadsides.  Grows in full sun.  Spreads by rhizomes and develops dense stands along roadsides and adjacent native habitats.

Myosotis scorpioides L.  (Forget-me-not)

A perennial herb occurring in all regions of the state in wetlands.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  Escaping from cultivation; prolific in open wooded streams, stream-banks and wet meadows; evidence about its persistence is needed.

 

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Vell.) Verdc. (Parrot-feather; water-feather; Brazilian watermilfoil)

Synonym: Myriophyllum brasiliense Camb.

A perennial herbaceous aquatic occurring in southeastern MA along a shallow pond edge.

Grows in full sun to partial shade.  Reproduces from fragments; commonly used in the water garden trade.

 

Najas minor All.  (Brittle water-nymph; lesser naiad)

An annual herb occurring in the western region of the state in aquatic habitats.  Chokes waterways; spread by humans and possibly birds; currently found only in Berkshire County (2002).

 

Nymphoides peltata (Gmel.) Kuntze  (Yellow floating heart)

This aquatic perennial occurs in ponds in central MA.  Grows in full sun to partial shade.  Can create a dense floating mat on ponds and can reproduce from fragments.

 

Phellodendron amurense Rupr. (sensu lato)  (Amur cork-tree)

Synonyms:  Phellodendron japonicum Maxim.; Phellodendron amurense var. japonicum (Maxim.) Ohwi; Phellodendron sachalinense (F. Schmidt) Sarg.; Phellodendron amurense var. sachalinense F. Schmidt; Phellodendron lavallei Dode; Phellodendron amurense var. lavallei (Dode) Sprague 

This tree occurs in uplands of eastern to central MA.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  A bird dispersed species that has escaped cultivation.

 

Pueraria montana (Lour.) Merrill   (Kudzu; Japanese arrowroot)

Synonym: Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Maesen & S. Almeida

A perennial herbaceous vine found in southeastern MA.  Occurs at Arnold Arboretum; uplands.  Grows in full sun to partial shade.  Present in MA and subject to control; marginally hardy in MA but has the potential to invade minimally-managed areas based on its performance elsewhere.

 

Ranunculus repens L.  (Creeping buttercup)

A perennial herb occurring in all regions of the state in wetlands.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  Common around springs and wetlands; evidence currently lacking that this species out- competes other vegetation in minimally managed habitats.

 

Rorippa amphibia (L.) Bess.  (Water yellowcress; great yellowcress)

Synonyms: Nasturtium amphibium (L.) Ait. f.; Sisymbrium amphibium L. 

A perennial herb occurring in central MA.  Grows in wetlands in full sun to partial shade. Common and increasing in central MA river drainages; a major threat to riparian habitats forming dense stands at some locations.


Rubus phoenicolasius Maxim.  (Wineberry; Japanese wineberry; wine raspberry)

A shrub found in uplands of southern MA.  Can grow in full sun to partial shade.

Animal and human dispersed; forms thickets.

 

Senecio jacobaea L.  (Tansy ragwort; stinking Willie)

A biennial herb occurring in a few sites east of the Connecticut River; habitat is open uplands.  Grows in sun or partial shade.  This species is highly invasive in the Canadian Maritimes; may also spread from disturbed areas.

 

Tussilago farfara L.  (Coltsfoot)

A perennial herb occurring in all regions of the state in upland and wetland habitats.  Grows in full sun to full shade.  Particularly problematic in lime seeps and disturbed sites; evidence currently lacking that this species out-competes other vegetation in minimally managed habitats.

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