||IPAW defines an invasive plant as one that invades native plant communities and impacts those native communities by displacing or replacing native vegetation.
Plants Out of Place
||non-indigenous species or strains that become established in natural plant communities and wild areas, replacing native vegetation.
||undesirable and troublesome plants growing in disturbed areas, especially cultivated ground.
|Potentially Invasive Plants
||(for Wisconsin) species that are invasive in parts of North America, having similar climates and plant communities, and that are thought to have the potential to colonize and become invasive in the state of Wisconsin.
||Sometimes native plants can become overly abundant in a plant community to which they are indigenous, often in response to a change in the disturbance regime.
||occurring naturally in a specific area or plant community; not introduced.
If you look up the word weed in a reference such as Dictionary.com, you'll find rather benign definitions about unwanted plants
in cultivated areas such as gardens or farm fields.
But if you look up the word invasive, you'll find it defined in terms of
cancerous growths or military forces!
Both a weed and an invasive plant are plants out of place, but an invasive plant
encroaches into forests, roadsides, and prairies where it is unchecked by the
devotions of an obsessive backyard gardener. The ramifications of invasive
plants are so much more ominous than that of weeds because they can and do
destroy the natural diversity of native vegetation.
Ironically, many invasive plants get their foothold through well-meaning
gardeners who introduce the species as a lovely accent to their patch of
paradise. However, many of these plants come from foreign lands and do not have
the natural controls that a native plant has. Soon the nonnative plant takes
over - first the garden and then, by propagating via the wind, through deep-set
runners and by the cooperation of willing birds carrying the seeds, more distant
IPAW's List of Wisconsin's Worst Invasive Plants
There are many plants that are invasive in
Wisconsin. To ease you into an awareness of invasive plants without overwhelming
you, IPAW has developed a list of Wisconsin's Worst foreign invaders.