DCNR Invasive Plants List

DCNR defines invasive plants as those species that are not native to the state, grow aggressively, and spread and displace native vegetation. Invasive plants are generally undesirable because they are difficult and costly to control and can dominate whole habitats, making them environmentally destructive in certain situations.

Not all non-native plants become invasive. In fact, very few actually do. The plants listed here have been de- termined by DCNR to be invasive on State Forest and State Park lands and may act aggressively in other parts of Pennsylvania. Some of the species listed below are only invasive in certain environmental conditions and there may be cases where they may be used with little environmental risk. This list was compiled through co- ordinated efforts between ecologists in Pennsylvania and other natural resource partners.

New species cross state borders and some plants that have been here for decades may suddenly become inva- sive due to changing land uses, changes in weather or climate, or genetic reasons, so this list may change over time and will be updated periodically. This list is not regulatory. It is used to guide the management efforts of DCNR lands because of knowledge that these species can become invasive under the right environmental con- ditions.

To learn more about invasive plants in Pennsylvania and how they can be controlled, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/plants/invasiveplants/index.htm.


Herbs and Forbs


Goutweed Aegopodium podagraria Bishop's weed, snow-on-the-mountain holy hay
Garlic mustard Alliaria petiolata Hedge mustard
Wild chervil Anthriscus sylvestris Cow parsley, keck, bur chervil
Narrowleaf bittercress Cardamine impatiens Bushy rock-cress
Musk thistle Carduus nutans Nodding thistle
Brown knapweed Centaurea jacea Horse-knobs, rayed knapweed, hardheads
Black knapweed Centaurea nigra Lesser or common knapweed, hardheads
Spotted knapweed Centaurea stoebe  
Greater celandine Chelidonium majus Tetterwort
Canada thistle Cirsium arvense Canadian thistle
Bull thistle Cirsium vulgare  
Poison hemlock Conium maculatum  
Crown-vetch Coronilla varia  
Jimsonweed Datura stramonium Jamestown weed, devil's trumpet, thorn apple
Hairy willow herb Epilobium hirsutum Great willowherb
Smallflower hairy willowherb Epilobium parviflorum  
Japanese knotweed Fallopia japnica Fleeceflower, Mexican bamboo
Giant knotweed Fallopia sachalinensis Sakhalin knotweed
Goatsrue Galega officinalis Holy hay, professor-weed, Italian fitch
Giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum Giant cow parsnip or parsley, cartwheel flower
Dames rocket Hesperis matronalis Dame's violet, dame's gillyflower, dame's wort
Yellow flag iris Iris pseuacorus  
Moneywort Lysimachia nummularia Creeping Jenny or Charlie, wandering sailor
Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria Swamp loosestrife
Star-of-Bethlehem Ornithogalum nutans/O. umbellatum Silver bells, drooping star-of-Bethlehem
Wild parsnip Pastinaca sativa Garden parsnip
Beefsteak plant Perilla frutescens Chinese basil, purple mint
Bristled knotweed Persicaria longiseta Oriental lady's thumb, Asiatic smartweed
Lesser celandine Ranunculus ficaria Fig buttercup, pilewort


Chocolate Vine Akebia quinata Fiveleaf akebia, raisin vine
Porcelain berry Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Amur peppervine, porcelain vine
Oriental bittersweet Celastrus orbiculatus Asiatic or round-leaved bittersweet
Japanese hops Humulus japonicus  
Wintercreeper Euonymus fortunei Climbing euonymus, fortune’s spindle
English ivy Hedera helix Common ivy
Japanese honeysuckle Lonicera japonica Chinese honeysuckle
Mile-a-minute Persicaria perfoliata Devil’s tear-thumb
Kudzu Pueraria lobata Vine that ate the South
Black swallow-wort Vincetoxicum nigrum Louis’ or Louise’s swallow-wort
Pale swallow-wort Vincetoxicum rossicum European swallow-wort, dog strangling vine


Norway maple Acer platanoides  
Sycamore maple Acer pseudoplatanus Mock plane
Tree-of-heaven Ailanthus altissima Chinese or stinking sumac, tree of hell
Mimosa Albizia julibrissin Persian silk tree, silktree, silky acacia
European black alder Alnus glutinosa Common alder
Japanese angelica tree Aralia elata  
Empress tree Paulownia tomentosa Princess tree, royal paulownia
Callery pear Pyrus calleryana  
Siberian elm Ulmus pumila  


Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii Red barberry, Thunberg’s barberry
European barberry Berberis vulgaris Common barberry
Russian olive Elaeagnus angustifolia Oleaster, wild olive
Autumn olive Elaeagnus umbellata  
Winged Euonymus Euonymus alatus Burning bush, winged burning bush, winged wahoo
Glossy buckthorn Frangula alnus  
Shrubby bushclover Lespedeza bicolor Shrubby lespedeza
Chinese bushclover Lespedeza cuneata Chinese Lespedeza, sericea lespedeza
Japanese privet Ligustrum japonicum Waxleaf ligustrum, wax privet
Border privet Ligustrum obtusifolium Blunt-leaved or obtuse-leaved or regal privet
Chinese privet Ligustrum sinense  
Common privet Ligustrum vulgare European privet, wild privet
Amur honeysuckle Lonicera maackii  
Morrow’s honeysuckle Lonicera morrowii  
Bell’s honeysuckle Lonicera xbella Bella or showy bush or pretty honeysuckle
Standish honeysuckle Lonicera standishii  
Tartarian honeysuckle Lonicera tatarica  
Common buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica Purging buckthorn
Jetbead Rhodotypos scandens Black jetbead
Multiflora rose Rosa multiflora Rambler or Japanese or baby or seven-sisters rose
Wineberry Rubus phoenicolasius Wine raspberry, Japanese wineberry
Japanese spiraea Spiraea japonica Japanese meadowsweet, nippon spiraea
Guelder rose Viburnum opulus var. opulus Cranberrybush viburnum, red elder, cramp bark

Aquatic Plants

Carolina fanwort Cabomba caroliniana Green Cabomba, fish grass, Washington grass
Didymo Didymoshenia geminata Rock snot
Brazilian water-weed Egeria densa  
Hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata Esthwaite waterweed
Floating seedbox Ludwigia peploides var. glabrescens Water primrose
Parrot feather watermilfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum Parrotfeather
Eurasian water-milfoil Myriophyllum spicatum Eurasian milfoil, spike watermilfoil
Curly pondweed Potamogeton crispus Curly-leaved or curlyleaf or crispy-leaved pondweed
European water chestnut Trapa natans Devil pod
Narrow-leaved cattail Typha angustifolia Narrow lead cattail, nail rod
Hybrid cattail Typha x glauca  


Poverty brome Bromus sterilis  
Cheatgrass Bromus tectorum Downy or drooping brome, bronco grass, June grass
Japanese stiltgrass Microstegium vimineum Nepalese browntop, packing grass
Reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea  
Common reed Phragmites australis ssp. australis  
Shattercane Sorghum bicolor ssp. drummondii  
Johnson grass Sorghum halepense  

Watch List

These species are on DCNR’s “Watch List”. This means there is reason to believe that these species have the potential to act aggressively in certain environments or in surrounding states. They could pose threats to natural ecosystems if they become invasive. These species may have value in certain situations where they are not considered invasive, but tare not preferred in natural settings.

Amur maple Acer ginnala  
Small carpetgrass Arthraxon hispidus Joint-head grass, hairy joint grass, jointhead
Paper mulberry Broussonetia papyrifera  
Butterfly bush Buddleja davidii Orange-eye butterfly bush
Orange day-lily Hemerocallis fulva  
Velvet grass Holcus lanatus Yorkshire fog
Chinese silvergrass Miscanthus sinensis Eulalia, zebra grass, maidenhair grass
White mulberry Morus alba Common/Chinese/Russian white mulberry
Wavyleaf basketgrass Oplismenus undulatifolius  
Japanese pachysandra Pachysandra terminalis Japanese spurge, Chinese fever vine
Amur corktree Phellodendron amurense  
Japanese corktree Phellodendron japonicum  
Lavella corktree Phellodendron lavellei  
Golden bamboo Phyllostachys aurea Yellow grove bamboo, fish pole bamboo
Rough bluegrass Poa trivialis  
Ravenna grass Saccharum ravennae Hardy pampas grass
Tall fescue Schedonorus arundinaceus  
Bee-bee tree Tetradium daniellii Korean Evodia
Linden viburnum Viburnum dilatatum Linden arrowwood
Doublefile viburnum Viburnum plicatum Japanese snowball bush
Siebold viburnum Viburnum sieboldii Siebold’s arrowwod
Bigleaf periwinkle Vinca major Greater periwinkle
Common periwinkle Vinca minor Ground myrtle
Japanese wisteria Wisteria floribunda  
Chinese wisteria Wisteria sinensis