Introduction According to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, invasive plants are species intentionally or accidentally introduced by human activity into a region in which they did not evolve and cause harm to natural resources, economic activity or humans. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation's Division of Natural Heritage currently identifies 90 invasive plant species that threaten or potentially threaten our natural areas, parks and other protected lands in Virginia. Some facts to consider Not all introduced plants are invasive plants. In fact, most introduced species do not cause problems and are often beneficial. Many introduced species are well known and economically important in agriculture and horticulture, such as wheat, soybeans and tulips. Introduced species, whether plant or animal, often do not become established outside of cultivation and, if they do, they usually have few impacts on natural communities.
The problem of invasive plants is that they proliferate and displace native plant species, reduce wildlife habitat, and alter natural processes. They also impose serious costs on our economy, which depends on benefits provided by nature.
Invasive plants typically exhibit the following characteristics:
Rapid growth and maturity
Prolific seed production
Highly successful seed dispersal, germination and colonization
Rampant vegetative spread
Ability to out-compete native species
High cost to remove or control
Click on the button below to learn more and test your knowledge about invasive species.
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg. If you are a person with a disability and require any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Isle of Wight Extension Office at 757-365-6261 during the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.