Invasive Plants in Northern Virginia

By Elaine Mills, Extension Master Gardener

With increased interest in native plants of the Mid-Atlantic has come a growing awareness of the invasive plants that can threaten natives’ survival in natural areas within our region. The alien species, some of which were introduced to the United States as much as 200 years ago, cause environmental harm through their prolific spread by suppressing native vegetation, reducing biodiversity, and destroying habitat for wildlife.

As of March 2019, 116 invasive species have been documented in the City of Alexandria. On Arlington County’s most recent list, 77 plants are categorized as invasive, with another 32 designated as posing a threat.

Each Monday in 2020, we will be looking at a plant designated as invasive by these local governments. In January and February, we will consider introduced plants that are found primarily in parks and natural areas, and from March through December we will present invasive plants that are still sold in nurseries, recommended by some landscapers, and planted by homeowners in their own gardens.

Non-Native Invasive Plants of Arlington County, Virginia

https://environment.arlingtonva.us/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2013/10/Invasive-Plant-List-2-19-15.pdf

Non-Native Invasive Plants of the City of Alexandria, Virginia

https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/recreation/parks/Non-Native%20Invasive%20Plants%20of%20the%20City%20of%20Alexandria,%20Virginia.pdf

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