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Learn more about a high-threat invasive species in the Southeast United States by clicking on its name. For a full list of invasives, click on the next tab on the page.

Invasive Species

The NC Invasive Plants List is maintained by the North Carolina Invasive Plants Council (NC-IPC). This comprehensive list was compiled through input from NC-IPC, NC Native Plant Society, NC Natural Heritage Program, USDA Forest Service, NC Botanical Garden, NCDA&CS Plant Protection, and Piedmont Land Conservancy. Plants are ranked by level of threat as follows:

  1. Severe Threat: Exotic plant species that have invasive characteristics and spread readily into NC native plant communities, displacing native vegetation.
  2. Significant Threat: Exotic plant species that display some invasive characteristics, but do not appear to present as great a threat to native communities in NC as the species listed in Rank 1.
  3. Lesser Threat: Exotic plant species that spread into or around disturbed areas and are presently considered a low threat to native plant communities in NC.
  4. Watch List A: Exotic plants that naturalize and may become a problem in the future; includes species that are or could become widespread in North Carolina. At this time, more information is needed.
  5. Watch list B: : Exotic plant species that cause problems in adjacent states but have not yet been reported to cause problems in NC.

You can filter the report below by threat, region (Coastal plains, Piedmont, Mountain), plant type, and more. You can also click on the Actions button to download the report.

LinkFamilySpecies NameCommon NameSeverity RankingPlant TypeNativityRegions
AcanthaceaeHygrophila polyspermaWest Indian Swampweed, Hygro5Forb: Aquatic Annual/PerennialEast Indies
AceraceaeAcer ginnalaAmur Maple4Woody: Treee. Asia
AceraceaeAcer platanoidesNorway Maple4Woody: TreeEurope
AdocaceaeViburnum dilatatumLinden arrow-wood2Woody: Shrub
AlliaceaeAllium vinealeField Garlic, Onion-grass, Wild Onion2Forb: PerennialEurasia
AmaranthaceaeAchyranthes japonica var. hachijoensisJapanese Chaff-flower5Forb: Perenniale. Asia
AmaranthaceaeAlternanthera philoxeroidesAlligator-weed1Forb: Perennialtropical AmericaCoastal Plain Piedmont
AmaranthaceaeAlternanthera sessilisSessile Joyweed5Forb: Annual/Perennialthe Tropics
AnacardiaceaePistacia sinensisChinese Pistacia4Woody: TreeChina, Taiwan, the Philippines
AnacardiaceaeSchinus terebinthifoliusBrazilian-pepper, Christmasberry Tree5Woody: Shrub/TreeBrazil + Paraguay
ApiaceaeAegopodium podagrariaGoutweed4Forb: PerennialEurope
ApiaceaeConium maculatumPoison-hemlock3Forb: BiennialEurasia
ApiaceaeDaucus carota ssp. carotaWild Carrot, Queen-Anne’s-lace3Forb: BiennialEurasia
ApiaceaeHeracleum mantegazzianumGiant Hogweed4Forb: PerennialCaucasus MountainsCoastal Plain Piedmont Mountains
ApiaceaePastinaca sativaWild Parsnip3Forb: Biennial/PerennialEurope
ApiaceaeTorilis helveticaSpreading Bur-parsley, Field Hedge-parsley4Forb: AnnualMediterranean Europe, n. Africa
ApocynaceaeVinca majorGreater Periwinkle2Forb: Perennial/VineEurope
ApocynaceaeVinca minorCommon Periwinkle, Myrtle2Forb: Perennial/VineEurope
AquifoliaceaeIlex cornuta and varieties (e.g., Burford Holly)Chinese Holly, Burford Holly3Tree: EvergreenChina
AquifoliaceaeIlex crenataJapanese Holly4Woody: ShrubJapan
AraceaeArum italicum ssp. italicumArum, Italian Lords-and-ladies2Forb: PerennialEurope & n. Africa
AraceaeColocasia esculentaCoco Yam, Taro, Dasheen4Forb: Perennialthe Tropics
AraceaePistia stratiotesWater Lettuce4Forb: Aquatic PerennialTropical; possibly native in peninsular FL.
AraliaceaeHedera helix var. helixEnglish Ivy, Common Ivy1Woody: VineEuropeCoastal Plain Piedmont Mountains
AraliaceaeHydrocotyle sibthorpioidesLawn Water-pennywort4Forb: PerennialAsia & Africa
AsparagaceaeAsparagus aethiopicusSprenger's Asparagus-fern, Emerald-fern4Forb: Perennials. Africa
AsteraceaeArtemisia vulgarisMugwort, Common Wormwood3Forb: PerennialEurasia
AsteraceaeCarduus acanthoidesPlumeless Thistle4Forb: BiennialEurasia
AsteraceaeCarduus nutansMusk Thistle, Nodding Thistle4Forb: Biennial/PerennialEurasia
AsteraceaeCentaurea jaceaBrown Knapweed4Forb: PerennialEurope
AsteraceaeCentaurea stoebe ssp. micranthosSpotted Knapweed, Bushy Knapweed2Forb: BiennialEurope
AsteraceaeCichorium intybusChickory, Succory, Blue-sailors3Forb: Biennial/PerennialEurope
AsteraceaeCirsium arvenseCanada Thistle, Field Thistle2Forb: PerennialEurope
AsteraceaeCirsium vulgareBull Thistle3Forb: BiennialEurasia
AsteraceaeCyanus segetumCornflower, Batchelor’s-buttons4Forb: AnnualMediterranean Europe
AsteraceaeLeucanthemum vulgareOxeye Daisy, White Daisy, Marguerite3Forb: PerennialEurasia
AsteraceaeSenecio vulgarisCommon Groundsel3Forb: Annual/BiennialEurasia
AsteraceaeTragopogon dubiusYellow Salsify, Goat’s-beard4Forb: Annual/BiennialEurasia
AsteraceaeTussilago farfaraColtsfoot2Forb: PerennialEurasia
AsteraceaeXanthium spinosumSpiny Cocklebur4Forb: AnnualSouth America
AsteraceaeYoungia japonicaAsiatic Hawk’s-beard, Youngia1Forb: Annualse AsiaCoastal Plain Piedmont
BerberidaceaeBerberis thunbergiiJapanese Barberry2Woody: ShrubJapanMountains Piedmont
BerberidaceaeMahonia bealeiLeatherleaf Mahonia, Chinese Mahonia2Woody: ShrubChinaCoastal Plain Piedmont Mountains
BerberidaceaeNandina domesticaNandina2Woody: ShrubChinaPiedmont
BetulaceaeAlnus glutinosaBlack Alder, European Alder4Woody: TreeEurasia
BoraginaceaeBuglossoides arvensis ssp. arvensisCorn-gromwell4Forb: AnnualEurasia
BoraginaceaeEchium vulgareViper’s-bugloss, Blueweed4Forb: Annual/Biennial/PerennialEurope
BrassicaceaeAlliaria petiolataGarlic Mustard, Hedge Garlic1Forb: Annual/BiennialEuropeMountains Piedmont
BrassicaceaeHesperis matronalisDame’s Rocket4Forb: Biennial/PerennialEurope
BrassicaceaeRorippa sylvestrisCreeping Yellow Cress4Forb: Perennial/Sub-Shrub/VineEurasia
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LinkFamilySpecies NameCommon NamePlant TypeOther Common NamesNativityRegions
Aesculus parvifloraBottlebrush buckeyeSmall-flowered buckeye
Aesculus paviaRed buckeyeFirecracker plant, scarlet buckeye, woolly buckeye
Aesculus sylvaticaPainted Buckeye
Asimina trilobaPawpawAmerican papaw, pawpaw, paw paw, or paw-paw
Betula nigraRiver BirchBlack birch, river birch or water birch
Callicarpa americanaAmerican Beautyberry
Chasmanthium latifoliumRiver oatsFish-on-a-fishing-pole, northern wood-oats, inland sea oats, northern sea oats
Ilex deciduaPossumhaw HollyPossumhaw, Possumhaw Holly, Deciduous Holly, Meadow Holly, Prairie Holly, Swamp Holly, Welk Holly, Deciduous Yaupon, Bearberry, Winterberry
Juglans nigraBlack Walnut
Nyssa sylvaticaBlack GumTupelo, black tupelo, blackgum or sour gum
Prunus carolinianaCarolina Cherry LaurelCarolina laurelcherry, Carolina cherry, Cherry laurel
Prunus serotinaBlack cherrywild black cherry, rum cherry, or mountain black cherry
Quercus AlbaWhite Oak
Quercus michauxiiSwamp Chestnut Oak
Quercus pagodaCherrybark Oak
Quercus stellataPost OakIron oak
Taxodium distichumBald CypressSwamp cypress, white cypress, tidewater red cypress, gulf cypress and red cypress
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