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Invasive Exotic Plants

An invasive-exotic plant species is an introduced species that has been shown to displace the native vegetation by out-competing native species. Without the limiting factors that normally keep invasive plants under control in their native homes (diseases and insects), they overwhelm and displace existing native vegetation to form dense, single-species stands that dominate and alter the original natural community.

Prevent the Spread of Invasives

By choosing to plant a garden with native plants, you will prevent the spread from your yard to other natural areas. At the same time, you conserve water, energy, time, and money, as well as reduce or eliminate the need for harmful pesticides and herbicides. There are a wide variety of native plants and landscaping designs to choose from in creating the yard that is the most pleasing to you.

  • Invasive Species to Avoid or Eliminate

    If you spot any of these plants, contact a local conservation manager. 

  • Why You Should Care

    Once invasive plants take over our native plants, the result can be devastating:

    • Florida’s natural biodiversity is destroyed
    • Native plants eventually become permanently eliminated
    • Animals that use native plants for food and habitat cannot make use of the non-native ones
    • Aquatic invasive plants can harm fish habitats
    • Boating, swimming, hiking, and other activities can be limited or impossible in areas overtaken with invasive exotic plants
    • It costs billions of dollars to control invasive exotic plants, and it is usually very difficult to eradicate them completely

    Adapted from the USDA Introduced, Invasive and Noxious Plants website

Original website content and design created by Mark Hostetler, Elizabeth Swiman, and Sarah Webb Miller. With the help of UF/IFAS Communications, the current look and functionality was streamlined for the UF/IFAS Extension Solutions for Your Life website. Al Williamson of UF/IFAS Communications uploads the steaming video for each episode. Images on this website were taken prior to national guidelines of face coverings and social distancing. The site is currently maintained and updated by Tom Barnash and Mark Hostetler.