Non-Native Invasive Species - Overview

Fallopia

Fallopia
Illustration by Anne Hunter

Native plant populations throughout Vermont are being supplanted by non-native invasive plants. To the extent these invasions are successful, habitat "services" provided by native plant communities - food, protection from prey and weather, places for breeding and nesting, regulation of water temperature, and others - are diminished. Along streams and rivers, water quality too is impaired, as organic inputs are altered, runoff regimes are changed, and banks are destabilized by plant species whose roots are rhizomatous and ill-equipped to protect banks from erosion.

In 2003, the State of Vermont adopted a Noxious Weed Quarantine rule to regulate the importation and movement of a number of invasive plants. Many of them are familiar to gardeners and naturalists in the region, and include goutweed, garlic mustard, bush honeysuckles, buckthorns, and purple loosestrife. It is illegal to move or sell these species.

Common buckthorn

Common buckthorn
Illustration by Anne Hunter

The State has also put several invasive species on a Watch List, which includes such common species as Norway maple, dame's rocket, yellow flag, reed canary grass, and multiflora rose. The Watch List has no legal status, but is a useful tool for those who sell, purchase, or grow plants and want to avoid those that are problematic. For more information on these lists, refer to the website of the VT Invasive Exotic Plant Committee, VT Invasive Plants.

To learn more about non-native invasive plants common to Bennington County and how to manage them, refer to our brochure, "Guests Who Won't Go Home: Managing non-native plant species in home landscapes, fields and forests in Bennington County, Vermont".

Riparian and roadside invaders

For more information on invasive plant species, refer to: