Invasive Plants

Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) invading the edge of a salt marsh
Perennial Pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium)

Invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to the nature of Massachusetts.

More Information

MIPAG Reports

Evaluation of Non-Native Plant Species for Invasiveness (PDF)
Strategic Recommendations for Managing Invasive Plants (PDF)
Definitions Related to Invasive Plants (PDF)

Other Resources

NHESP's Invasive Plants in MA >
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England >
Use of herbicides >

All invasive plants were first introduced to our area by humans as landscape specimens or, in some cases, accidentally. Because they did not evolve in our region, the natural mechanisms that normally control these species in their home ranges don't exist. As a result, these non-native plants can out-compete, displace, and kill our native species.

More than 2,200 plants have been documented in Massachusetts, and some 725 of them are non-natives that are considered naturalized (established). Of those, 72 plant species have been scientifically categorized by the Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG) as "Invasive," "Likely Invasive," or "Potentially Invasive."

These invasive species have been banned for importation, propagation, and sale in Massachusetts by the MA Department of Agricultural Resources.

→ Find out what Mass Audubon is doing to tackle invasive plants. 

Common Invasive Plants in Massachusetts

These are some of the most common invasive plant species you're likely to find in and around your home. You can use this guide to help identify them. If you see any of these in your town, please let your local conservation commission know.