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?

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.

Early Detection and Distribution of Invasive Species

Even the most severe invasions can begin with only a few escaping plants, which initially spread with little attention. Public awareness generally occurs only once an invasive species becomes so widespread that it is impossible to overlook. Unfortunately, at this later stage in the invasion process, control requires intense effort and widespread eradication is unlikely. However, if invasive species are detected early, then eradication is feasible with modest effort.

Invasives curve chart

A proactive response requires early detection. The Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) is a web-based mapping system for documenting invasive species distributions. The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States displays distributions maps from the EDDMapS, providing a valuable resource for conservation agencies and land managers. As a useful resource for the gardening public, the Garden’s Plant Finder includes links to these maps for species known to be invasive in the United States.


Invasive Species in the St. Louis Region