Invasive Species

Explore why invasive plants are a concern in the St. Louis region and learn what you can do to help address them. 

Invasive Plants 101

Why Should You Care?


Invasive species are estimated to costs the US economy $120 billion per year, with invasive plants alone estimated to costs $27 billion per year. As a local example, approximately one-third of Missouri is covered by forested land, and the timber industry creates thousands of jobs and contributes about $3 billion each year to Missouri’s economy. The dense shading caused by bush honeysuckle and other invasive shrubs inhibits oak regeneration. If the invasion continues unabated, Missouri’s oak forest could decline as mature trees die without replacement.

What Can You Do To Help?

Learn to identify invasive plant species in our region (see Species List below) and how to distinguish them from any native species that are similar in appearance.

Avoid using invasive plants in your garden. Until you are able to get rid of invasive plants in your yard, be responsible and remember to remove and destroy seeds of invasive plants to prevent their dispersal into natural areas. Don’t share invasives with other gardeners.  Ask your local nursery not to sell invasive plants and to provide native alternatives.

Don’t plant invasive plants for wildlife. Native species provide much better food and cover for native wildlife.

Volunteer to help remove invasive species in local parks and natural areas.

Pass it on! Tell your friends and family about the threat from invasive species.

Invasive Species in the St. Louis Region