Invasive Plant Species in Virginia
According to the U.S Forest Service, Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.
Dozens of plant species are listed as invasive in Virginia. These non-native plants are a significant threat to many native habitats and species and a significant cost to agriculture, forestry, and recreation. Economic damages associated with invasive species and control costs are estimated at $120 billion per year.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species, and 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species. Invasive species compete directly with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients, and space. They displace and alter native plant communities, degrade wildlife habitat and water quality, and potentially lead to increased soil erosion.
The federal government has estimated that nearly 25 percent of the 20,000 plant species native to North America are at risk of extinction, many of these through habitat loss. You can help reverse this trend by planting great native plants in your garden.
A plant is considered native if it has occurred naturally in a particular region or ecosystem without human introduction. There are many benefits to growing native plants. First, these plants are better adapted to soils, moisture, and weather than exotic plants that evolved in other parts of the world. They need fewer fertilizers, and pesticides or use less water. Second, they are unlikely to escape and become invasive, destroying natural habitats. Third, they support wildlife, providing shelter and food for native birds and insects, while exotic plants do not.
Do not plant invasive plants and preserve the plant species native to your region!
Nicolas Raymond, Flickr
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.