Catalog of Invasive Plant Species|
of the United States
During the past decade, awareness has been raised of the economic
and ecological damage that is caused by invasive plants in the United States.
Invasive plants have been introduced into the United States from other countries
and have rapidly spread throughout the nation's cropland and ecological communities.
These plants lack natural herbivores and parasites to limit their population
size and are quickly able to dominate their new habitats. Every state has
been affected by invasive species, costing the United States billions of dollars
annually in agricultural losses and control measures.
Thousands of plants have been introduced into the United States,
but not all of them have become aggressive invaders. Common attributes of
invasive species include rapid growth, short life-cycles (the ability to germinate,
grow, flower, and produce seeds rapidly), and abundant seed production. These
attributes allow these plants to displace native species and disrupt the normal
functioning of ecosystems. Wildlife that depends on native plants for food
and shelter are also adversely affected.
Invasive plants are a threat to biodiversity and can be found
in nature preserves across the world. The Florida Everglades has already lost
hundreds of thousands of acres to the invasive melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia),
resulting in huge losses of native plant and animal biodiversity. Scientists
fear that this reduction in biodiversity can lead to the homogenization of
the world's flora and the extinction of many native plant species.
Herbarium collections present a unique historical record of
the introduction and spread of these invasive plant species. A herbarium specimen
can help determine the time and place of introduction of a non-native plant
and subsequent collections can then document its diffusion. In an effort to
make these data more easily accessible, The New York Botanical Garden has
begun databasing its holdings of invasive plant species. The basis for inclusion
of a species in our database is the Federal
Noxious Weed List and/or the State
List of Regulated Noxious Weeds, both published by the United States Department
List of taxa available in the catalog
To search the Invasive Species Catalog by the name of the plant (family, genus, species, or subspecific epithet), author, collector, collector number, barcode number, or type status, use the Basic Search box below. To search one or more specific fields in the database, choose the Detailed Search.