Botany

Invasive Plants Hog Weed Invasive Aquatic Plants Invasive Trees Dangerous Invasive Plants



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Invasive plants can do serious ecological damage to native plants, insects, marine life and wildlife. Invasive plants, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources (DCNR) can be trees, shrubs, vines and grasses, which aggressively dominate the landscape. They are difficult and expensive to control and generally have an overall negative impact on native species and wildlife.

Some can be dangerous. Hog weed is one notorious example of an obnoxious weed which has harmful effects on humans. The invasive plant originated in Eurasia and was brought to North America for landscaping purposes around 1917. Hog weed  can be found throughout much of the United States and Canada.

It is a stunning plant which can grow between 8 and 15 feet tall with leaves which can be five feet across. It has been described as similar to a Queen Anne's lace plant but on steroids.

The sap from the plant can burn a persons and cause blisters which could result in purple scars.

Like all invasive plants, hog weed is a rapid grower with no natural predators. Hog weed is a problem in Britain, Germany, France and Belgium. It is costly to eradicate and requires a professional or state service. It is not recommended that homeowners attempt to remove the plant.

Other common invasive plants in the North America, which pose serious ecological problems, although not harmful to humans, are: Purple Looseleaf, Garlic Mustard, Kudzu, Japanese Honeysuckle, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Knotweed, bamboo, and Oriental Bittersweet.

One key to protecting native plants is not to disturb, whenever possible, native communities of plants, pay attention to what is growing and remove any invasive species as soon as possible before it has a chance to spread. Avoid excessive nitrogen fertilizers on disturbed ground which could give an invasive plant a jump-start; native plants are already adapted to soil and climate conditions. Instead, use an organic compost. For landscaping purposes, it is best to use native plants to your regions.

Invasive aquatic plants are an equal problem and can cause serious problems for anglers, boaters, water sports, and lakeside communities. Like the terrestrial invasive plants, they are expensive to eradicate and pond owners should be cautious when adding new plant species. Like other invasive plants, they can be aggressive, because there are usually no predators in the natural environment. Some of the invasive water plants are listed as : Eurasian water-mifoil, curly pondweed and water chestnut.

Some of the invasive trees which degrade the ecological system in much of North America include: Norway maple, the Sycamore tree, Tree-of-heaven, Princess tree, Siberian elm and Russian Olive. These trees can overwhelm native species and degrade the natural, native environment.

Increased globalization, world trade, urbanization and land degradation are most often cited as causes of the increase in invasive plants species as well as invasive insects. These non-native species can quickly overwhelm a region because they have no natural predators and can quickly adapt.

Invasive plants are costly to remove and present a very real danger to local environments. A smart, green choice is to plant only native species in landscaping, to be aware of what is growing, and take action if an invasive plant is discovered. What appears to be a beautiful plant with stunning flowers, can pose a serious danger to the local environment. . It is better and safer to Go Native.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/wildplant/invplants.aspx
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/hogweed.shtml
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.health.state.ny.us/environmental/outdoors/hogweed/giant_hogweed.htm
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09143/972237-54.stm
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/wildplant/invplants.aspx
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/aquatics/main.shtml
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttps://www.nysdot.gov/divisions/engineering/design/landscape/trees/is-vegetation
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/plants/main.shtml