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.

Learning From the History of Invasion

The science of invasion biology and the history of past invasions demonstrate that invasive species in climatically similar regions that do not yet occur in the St. Louis area are capable of invading our region, should not be planted in gardens, and should be eradicated upon detection. For instance, bush honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) was first documented to escape cultivation in the 1920s near the Morton Arboretum in Chicago. By the 1950s its invasion was widespread to the east of Saint Louis, but bush honeysuckle was not documented outside of cultivation in Missouri until 1983. Although this invasion occurred later here, bush honeysuckle is arguably the worst invasive species in St. Louis. It is important that we learn from the past and take proactive measures against other invasive species spreading into our region. If we wait to take action until these emerging invasives are widespread, their control will be far most costly and less effective.

Invasive Species in the St. Louis Region