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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Nature Preserves > Invasive Plant Species > Invasive Exotic Plants in Indiana Natural Areas Invasive Exotic Plants in Indiana Natural Areas

The following list contains most of the troublesome non-native plants that have been observed occurring in natural communities. Some are more invasive than others, but all can spread into natural communities and compete with native flora. Thus, their use in landscaping and re-vegetation projects should be avoided or limited when possible. Other invasive exotics exist, but may have not yet been noted in natural communities. This list will be updated periodically to include newly discovered invasive species.  

  • Norway maple (Acer platanoides)
  • Japanese chaff flower (Achyranthes japonica)
  • Creeping bent grass (Agrostis stolonifera)
  • Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)
  • Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
  • Black alder (Alnus glutinosa)
  • Hairy jointgrass (Arthraxon hispidus)
  • Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)
  • Smooth brome (Bromus inermis)
  • Cheat, or downy brome (Bromus tectorum)
  • Narrowleaf bittercress (Cardamine impatiens)
  • Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)
  • Round-leaved bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
  • Star-thistle; knapweed (Centaurea spp.)
  • Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
  • Bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)
  • Crownvetch (Coronilla varia)
  • Kenilworth ivy (Cymbalaria muralis)
  • Cinnamon vine (Dioscorea polystachya)
  • Teasel (Dipsacus sylvestris and D. laciniatus)
  • Brazilian waterweed(Egeria densa)
  • Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
  • Burning bush (Euonymus alatus)
  • Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)
  • Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)
  • Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea)
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • Common day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva)
  • Dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
  • Japanese hops (Humulus japonicus)
  • Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)
  • Korean lespedeza (Kummerowia stipulacea = Lespedeza stipulacea)
  • Japanese lespedeza (Kummerowia striata = Lespedeza striata)
  • Bicolor lespedeza (Lespedeza bicolor)
  • Silky bush clover (Lespedeza cuneata)
  • Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare = Chrysanthemum leucanthemum)
  • Common privet (Ligustrum spp.)
  • Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
  • Amur bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)
  • Tartarian bush honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica) and related species and hybrids
  • Lyme-grass (Leymus arenarius)
  • Moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia)
  • Garden loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris)
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
  • Osage orange (Maclura pomifera)
  • Stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum)
  • Chinese silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis)
  • White sweet clover (Melilotus alba)
  • Yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)
  • Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
  • Princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
  • Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
  • Beefsteak mint (Perilla frutescens)
  • Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea)  (exotic lineage)
  • Common reed (Phragmites australis) (exotic lineage)
  • Amur corktree (Phellodendron amurense)
  • Canada bluegrass (Poa compressa)
  • Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis)
  • Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
  • Curly muckweed (Potamogeton crispus)
  • Perfumed cherry (Prunus mahaleb)
  • Kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata)
  • Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana)
  • Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
  • Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
  • Glossy buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)
  • Chinese buckthorn (Rhamnus utilis)
  • Jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens)
  • Black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia) -- in areas other than Ohio River counties (native along the Ohio River)
  • Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
  • Wineberry (Rubus phoenicolasius)
  • Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
  • Tall fescue (Schedonorus phoenix = Festuca elatior)
  • Meadow fescue (Schedonorus pratensis = Festuca pratensis)
  • Bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
  • Johnson grass (Sorghum halapense)
  • Common chickweed (Stellaria media)
  • White clover (Trifolium repens)
  • Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara)
  • Highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus = V. trilobum var. opulus) 
  • Myrtle, periwinkle (Vinca minor)
  • Greater periwinkle (Vinca major)
  • Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)


Compiled by Michael A. Homoya
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Division of Nature Preserves
Last update: November 2010