Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) - to identify and control invasive plants

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Help Stop Invasive Species: Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force presents Top 25 Expanding Invasive Plants list for public education during National Invasive Species Awareness Week Part I — February 22–28, 2021

by Tina Casagrand

Contact: Tina Casagrand, (417) 299-1794, [email protected]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Help Stop Invasive Species: Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force presents Top 25 Expanding Invasive Plants list for public education during National Invasive Species Awareness Week Part I — February 22–28, 2021

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) released its 2021 list of Top Invasive Plants Expanding in Missouri.

“MoIP defines an ‘invasive plant’ as an aggressive, non-native species whose presence causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm,” says Carol Davit, chair of MoIP and executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation. “Not only do invasive plants impact private property, native biodiversity, and outdoor recreation such as hunting and hiking, but they also are costly to control.” Because of their vigorous expansion, the species on MoIP’s 2021 Top Invasive Plants Expanding in Missouri list are particularly important to identify and control. 

The list draws data from MoIP’s statewide assessment that was compiled and reviewed by experienced field biologists in Missouri. In addition to identifying invasive plant abundance and assessing the severity of the plants’ impact on natural communities, biologists estimated how rapidly the species’ ranges will expand to form new occurrences throughout each of Missouri’s primary ecological regions over the next 10 years. The list includes species such as Callery (Bradford) pear (Pyrus calleryana), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolate), sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), and invasive privets (Ligustrum spp.).

MoIP encourages land managers, property owners, outdoor recreationists, and conservation volunteers to educate themselves about how to identify and manage plants on the list. People may report observations of invasive plants in your area any time using the EDDMapS app. This real-time mapping system for documenting invasive species distribution is fast, easy to use and important for early detection and rapid response to invasive species before they become unmanageable problems.

National Invasive Species Awareness Weekfocuses attentionon the long-term ecological devastation and cost of invasive species and the urgent need for their early detection and control to minimize their negative impacts. Find many resources on the identification and control of invasive plants at moinvasives.org.

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The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) is administered by Grow Native!—a 21-year-old native plant marketing and education program serving the lower Midwest. Grow Native! is the native plant marketing and education program of the nonprofit Missouri Prairie Foundation. For more information about MoIP, visit www.moinvasives.org, email [email protected] or call 417-299-1794; for more on the Grow Native! program at grownative.org or for more on the Missouri Prairie Foundation visit moprairie.org.

The North American Invasive Species Management Association’s mission is to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America. Since 1993, NAISMA has been growing programs that bridge jurisdictional and geographic divides. In addition to organizing a variety of professional development opportunities, housing the Certified Weed Free Products program, and operating the PlayCleanGo® program, NAISMA is the lead partner on NISAW. Learn more at naisma.org.

2021 Top 25 Invasive Plants Expanding in Missouri

by Tina Casagrand

The Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force’s (MoIP) 2021 List of Expanding Invasive Plants draws data from MoIP’s statewide assessment that was compiled and reviewed by experienced field biologists in Missouri. In addition to identifying invasive plant abundance and assessing the severity of the plants’ impact on natural communities, biologists estimated how rapidly the species’ ranges will expand to form new occurrences throughout each of Missouri’s primary ecological regions over the next 10 years. The results follow here.

Because of their vigorous expansion, the species on the 2021 Top Invasive Plants Expanding in Missouri list are particularly important to identify and control. See below for links to resources on how to identify and control each plant.

Click to download the 2021 MoIP flier listing top 25 expanding invasive plants in Missouri.

This assessment will be updated every several years based on additional and ongoing in-the-field observations and reviews.

1. Callery pear

Pyrus calleryana

Representative photos of Callery pear:


2. Garlic mustard

Alliaria petiolata

Representative photos of garlic mustard:


3. Sericea lespedeza

Lespedeza cuneata

Representative photos of Sericea lespedeza:


4. Invasive privets

Ligustrum spp.

Representative photos of some invasive privets:


5. Reed canary grass

Phalaris arundinacea

Representative photos of reed canary grass:


6. Japanese stiltgrass

Microstegium vimineum

Representative photos of Japanese stiltgrass:


7. Invasive bush-honeysuckles

Lonicera spp.

Representative photos of invasive bush-honeysuckles:


8. Himalayan blackberry

Rubus armeniacus

Representative photos of Himalayan blackberry:


9. Autumn olive

Elaeagnus umbellata

Representative photos of autumn olive:


10. Japanese chaff flower

Achyranthes japonica

Representative photos of Japanese chaff flower:


11. Japanese honeysuckle

Lonicera japonica

Representative photos of Japanese honeysuckle:


12. Japanese hops

Humulus japonicus

Representative photos of Japanese hops:


13. Wintercreeper, climbing euonymus

Euonymus fortunei

Representative photos of wintercreeper:


14. Teasels

Dipsacus spp.

Representative photos of teasels:


15. Sweet autumn virginsbower

Clematis terniflora

Representative photos of Sweet autumn virginsbower:


16. Smooth brome

Bromus inermis

Representative photos of smooth brome:


17. Invasive wisterias

Wisteria floribunda and Wisteria sinensis

Representative photos of invasive wisterias:


18. Oriental bittersweet

Celastrus orbiculatus

Representative photos of Oriental bittersweet:


19. Spotted knapweed

Centaurea stoebe subsp. micranthos

Representative photos of spotted knapweed:


20. Japanese knotweed

Fallopia japonica

Representative photos of Japanese knotweed:


21. Burning bush

Euonymus alatus

Representative photos of burning bush:


22. Birdsfoot trefoil

Lotus corniculatus

Representative photos of birdsfoot trefoil:


23. Johnson grass

Sorghum halepense

Representative photos of Johnson grass:


24. Old-world bluestems

Bothriochloa spp.

Representative photos of old-world bluestems:


25. Common reed

Phragmites australis

Representative photos of common reed:


Why some common invasive plants did not make this particular list

Plants listed above may be expanding rapidly in some Missouri regions, but not in others.

Some readers may be surprised to see that some commonly known invasive plants, such as multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) or ground ivy/creeping charlie (Glechoma hederacea) are not listed. That is because this “Top 25” list emphasizes expansion of range/abundance. According to the assessment, multiflora rose shows only a “Gradual Increase” in all regions with sufficient data. That resulted in multiflora rose scoring much lower on this list than many other species that show more vigorous expansion.

Do you have an observation to share?

You may report observations of invasive plants in your area any time using the Mapping MO Invasives app or EDDMapS Midwest. These real-time mapping systems for documenting invasive species distribution are fast, easy to use and important for early detection and rapid response to invasive species before they become unmanageable problems.

State verifiers review all data to ensure accuracy. The data are made freely available to scientists, researchers, land managers, land owners, educators, conservationists, ecologists, farmers, foresters, state and national parks.