In the interest of protecting natural habitats, how do we control invasive plants that may spread from our yards and gardens?

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In the interest of protecting natural habitats, how do we control invasive plants that may spread

from our yards and gardens?


The solution is a combination of strategies: removing invasive plants, preventing spread from existing infestations, and using alternative plants.


Invasive plants are species that are introduced into new areas, where, free from their natural competitors, they can proliferate, persist, and spread to native natural habitats. In April of 2002 the Vermont Legislature passed the Plant Quarantine Rule, which made it illegal to ‘sell, distribute or transport’ certain invasive plants. In an effort to assist gardeners who wish to curb the invasives in their own backyards, the Vermont Invasive Exotic Plant Committee (IEPC) put together the following list of non-invasive garden substitutes for quarantined species. We recommend the use of plant material native to Vermont, propagated from local genetic stock whenever possible for plantings in or near natural habitats.

lternatives to Upland Quarantined Invasive Species

Swamp MilkweedVermont native

(Asclepias incarnata)

credit: USGS –Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

References for Native Plant Gardening:

Cullina, William. Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada. The New England Wildflower Society, 2000.

Pellet, Norman. Landscape Plants for Vermont. The University of Vermont Extension, 2002.
Magee, Dennis W. and Harry E. Ahles. The Flora of the Northeast – A Manual of the Vascular Flora of New England and Adjacent New York. University of Massachusetts Press, 1999.
Seymour, Frank C. The Flora of Vermont – A Manual for the Identification of Ferns and Flowering Plants Growing Without Cultivation in Vermont. University of Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station, 1969.
Gary L. Hightshoe. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America, A Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.
Thompson, Elizabeth and Eric Sorenson. Wetland, Woodland, Wildland, A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont. University Press of New England, 2000.
*For more information about Vermont’s invasive exotic plants please contact: The Nature Conservancy of Vermont, 27 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05602 Tel: 802-229-4425.
*This list was produced by The Nature Conservancy, VT Non-Game and Natural Heritage Program of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, VT Agency of Transportation, VT Department of Agriculture, Food & Markets, VT Department of Environmental Conservation and Cobble Creek Nursery.

Quarantined Species Common and (Scientific) names

Alternative (Indicates plants' native origin)


Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) (VT)

Bell Honeysuckle (Lonicera x bella)

High-bush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) (VT)

Amur Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii)

Silky Dogwood (Cornus amomum) (VT)

Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

Virginia Rose (Rosa virginiana) for bank stabilization function (VT)

Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica)

Winterberry cultivars (Ilex verticillata) (VT)

Witherod (Viburnum cassinoides) (VT)


Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) (VT)

Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) (VT)

Glossy Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)

American Hornbeam, Musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana) (VT)

~ syn. Fen Buckthorn, Alder Buckthorn

Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum lentago) (VT)

Shadblow Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis) (NE)

Witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana) (VT)

Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) (VT)

Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor) (VT)

Bluejoint grass (Calamagrostis canadensis) (VT)

Bulrushes (Scirpus spp.) (VT)

Freshwater Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata) (VT)

Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)

Indian Grass (Sorgastrum nutans) (VT)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) (VT)

Variegated Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata cvs. oreo marginata) (VT)

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia) (VT)

Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria L.)

Mulch - as an alternative to plants that protect tree bases

~ syn. Bishop's Weed

Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis) (VT)

Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) (NA)

Trumpet Honeysuckles (Lonicera sempervirens) (Gleason and Cronquist) (NE)

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) (NA)

Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica)

Elderberries (Sambucus spp.) (VT)

~ syn. Mexican Bamboo

Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) (NE)

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) (VT)

Red-Stemmed dogwood (Cornus sericea) (VT)

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) (VT)

~ syn. Asiatic Bittersweet

Dutchman's Pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) (NA)

Trumpet Honeysuckles (Lonicera sempervirens) (Gleason and Cronquist) (NE)

Trumpet Vine (Campsis radicans) (NA)

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

Bee Balm (Monrarda didyma) (NE)

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) (NE)

Common Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium maculatum) (VT)

Figworts (Scrophularia marilandica, S. lanceolata) -not showy but good for honey production (VT)

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) (NE)


See Japanese Honeysuckle alternatives

Pale Swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum)

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) (VT)

Black Swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum nigrum)

Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) (VT)

~ syn. European swallow-wort, dog-strangling vine

Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Any native tree for yards (see publication list on reverse)

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina) (VT)

‘VT’ - Vermont native plant ‘NA’ - North American native plant

‘NE’ - New England native plant

Please be aware that some of these plants are easier to grow than others.

Never remove plants from the wild!

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