Texas Invasives List

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

I've been working with another DGer at developing a simple and easy to use reference tool listing invasive plants by state. Naturally, I have started with Texas :-) This is the list I have compiled. I'm not using the term "Invasive" in the strict regulatory sense, so a few on my list may not yet be on a regulatory or banned list, but I have found documented references for each of them indicating that they are invasive or noxious. I'm interested in getting your feedback on this list. Are there ones I have missed? Are there more common "common names" than the ones I have listed?, etc. Sorry if this is a bit difficult to read cut and pasted into a post. It really is much easier to display in my spreadsheet but the since we can't use formatting html here it gets a bit smushed together. Thanks for looking and providing any feedback you might have..

Scientific Name Common Name
Ailanthus altissima Tree of heaven
Albizia julibrissin Mimosa, Silktree
Alhagi camelorum (syn.) Camelthorn
Alhagi maurorum Camelthorn
Alternanthera philoxeroides Alligatorweed
Arundo donax Giant bamboo reed
Bromus rubens Foxtail brome, red brome
Bromus tectorum Broncograss
Calystegia sepium Hedge bindweed
Cardiospermum halicacabum Balloon vine
Carduus nutans Musk thistle
Centaurea melitensis Maltese star thistle
Centaurea solstitialis Golden star thistle
Cinnamomum camphora Camphor tree
Convolvulus arvensis Field bindweed
Coronilla varia Crown-vetch
Cortaderia selloana Pampas grass
Cuscuta japonica Japanese dodder
Eichhornia azurea Waterhyacinth
Eichhornia crassipes Waterhyacinth
Elaeagnus angustifolia Oleaster, Russian Olive
Elaeagnus umbellata Autumn olive, Silverberry
Erodium cicutarium Pin grass, Pin weed
Hedera helix English ivy
Hydrilla verticillata Hydrilla, Water thyme
Ipomoea aquatica Water spinach
Lagarosiphon major African elodea
Lantana camara Largeleaf lantana
Lespedeza cuneata Chinese bush clover
Ligustrum sinense Chinese privet
Lonicera japonica Chinese/Japanese honeysuckle
Lythrum salicaria Purple loosestrife
Melaleuca quinquenervia Paperbark
Melia azedarach Chinaberry
Myriophyllum aquaticum Brazilian watermilfoil
Myriophyllum spicatum Eurasian watermilfoil
Nassella trtichotoma Serrated tussock
Nymphoides peltata Fringed water lily
Onopordum acanthium Cotton thistle
Orobanche ramosa Branched broomrape
Panicum repens Torpedograss
Paulownia tomentosa Empress tree, foxglove tree
Phalaris arundinacea Ribbon grass
Phragmites australis Common reed, Giant reed
Pistia stratiotes Waterlettuce
Populus alba Silver leaf, White poplar
Potamogeton crispus Curly pondweed
Pueraria montana var. lobata Kudzu
Robinia pseudocacia Black locust
Rosa multiflora Multiflora rose
Rothboellia chchinchinensis Itchgrass
SalviniaI (all species) Salvinia
Sapium sebiferum (syn.) Tallowtree, Popcorn tree
Schinus terebinthifolius Brazilian pepper tree
Shismus barbatus Mediterranean grass
Solanum viarum Tropical soda apple
Spirodela oligorhiza (syn.) Giant duckweed
Spirodela punctata Giant duckweed
Tamarix ramosissima Salt cedar
Tradescantia fluminensis Spiderwort
Triadica sebifera Chinese tallow tree
Urochloa maxima Buffalograss
Vinca major Periwinkle
Wisteria sinensis Chinese wisteria
Tribulus terrestris Puncture vine

Edited to correct spelling of Hedera
Edited to delete Lespedeza bicolor Bicolor lespedeza. Found references do identify it as invasive but not specifically in Texas.
and Leucaena leucocephala Lead tree, Wild mimosa which is documented as invasive in Florida and Hawaii but apparently not considered yet to be invasive in Texas.

This message was edited Nov 15, 2004 9:35 PM

This message was edited Nov 15, 2004 9:45 PM

This message was edited Nov 15, 2004 9:50 PM

This message was edited Nov 15, 2004 10:12 PM

(Zone 8b)

I'm not sure how you are defining invasive if you are including wisteria for example, its a thug and needs constant maintenance or it will take over your house but it doesn't spread by stealth underground, it just goes mad on its main stem and most things self seed a little - its what nature intended.
Invasive to me means it comes up everywhere and is difficult to erradicate, bindweed, ground elder and buttercups spring to mind. Or it crosses with natural vegitation and produces something with hybrid vigour which destroys the natural species. I think the purple loosetrife you talk about is in that category, though it is a different plant to the English purple loosestrife, so it gets confusing!! Vines that root wherever thay touch ground are invasive and English Ivy does that but its pretty slow growing and therefore easy to control.
Steady on girl, or all you will permit is something that dies off every winter and has sterile seeds, and you'll give alll the HOAs some fresh ideas! A weed is only a plant in the wrong place after all, and some of the things considered weeds here are highly prized plants elsewhere. Trees that send up suckers are a pain but flowering cherries and roses do too.

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

These are not of my invention in any way. They have all been listed as either invasive or noxious by an accepted regulatory, academic, or other scientific organization. I'm not making these up...LOL
Invasive is defined by most of these organizations as having a debilitating effect on native ecology Noxious is generally defined as harmful, to include ecologically but not necessarily. They could also be harmful to agriculture, health, or economy. And the very intent of what we are do is to identify by location. This list is applicable specifically to Texas.

Edited to add:

What makes this particularly difficult for Texas is that there is not a single organization that is responsible for identification and management of invasive and noxious species. TAMU, TDA, TP&W, etc. etc. etc. all have different pieces of the pie depending on whether it is aquatic, terrestial, crop affecting, etc. etc. etc. In fact just since I initiated this thread I have found a couple of more organization each having responsibilty for control and erradications of other species, so I will be posting a new list as soon as I have those added.

This message was edited Nov 15, 2004 11:57 PM

Greenwood, IN(Zone 5b)

How about those wild sunflowers you see in the fields everywhere and suddenly start popping up all over the garden! Those are most annoying to me.

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

Good point Steve. But I'm not sure that annoying is enough to qualify for the general definitions of invasive. It has to have at least some potential for a detrimental impact to the ecology of an area or adversely impact health, agriculture, or economics. If you have a scientific name for those sunflowers, I'll be happy to research it. With as many different organizations involved in the management and control of invasive species, getting them all rounded up into one list is a bit challenging to say the least :-)

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

Steve, are you talking about Jerusalem artichokes??? They are edible if one is into that..

I first learned about them on a wild plant seminar in Ohio..never paid too much attention to them before but since I took that class, I notice them all over the country..(or at least the parts I travel to and through).


Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

I know the wild sunflowers that he is talking about, they are ruining the ag fields down here, the farmers spend a fortune in round up trying to kill them. I will have to ask my farmer friend what they're called, they aren't artichokes, they don't have tubers under them.

The Cardiospermum on your list is also called "Love in a Puff".

(Zone 8b)

Sunflowers are larger than artichoke though similar in flower, my son had an invasion of them when he went to Washington and put the house here on the Market returned a few weeks later to find the yard covered in them. They were huge - 10 - 12 feet tall too. But they are also an agricultural crop - sunflowere oil is made from their seeds. Birds eat the seeds and poop them out everywhere and up they come.

I'm still puzzled how any one can describe wisteria as invavsive though. The single plant will choke and smother but it doesn't spread and an invasion is a spread into "foreign" territory. ie not where it was planted.

I think you have a problem with Texas too because what is naturally controlled by winter in the Panhandle will have a continuous season in the Valley. The same rules really don't apply. Perhaps it would be more appropriate by zones or altitude. That woule mean several different Texas lists - should keep you busy!! :>)
I worry though when people talk about banning things, the world is over regulated as it is.

This message was edited Nov 16, 2004 11:29 AM

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

These "sunflowers" have hundreds of small flowers, the seeds are very small too, not like the ones that you buy for birdfeed. Most of the fields have been mowed, sprayed or plowed under right now, but I'll see if I can get a picture.
Yes, we do not freeze here so many things grow all year round and something that is not a pest in the colder regions goes crazy here like the water hyacinths, they scoop them out of the resacas and kill them with chemicals and in a few months the water is covered solid for miles with the pesty plant. Someone thought it would be pretty to toss a few water plants into the Bayview irrigation district waterways and now the waterlilies, pickerel weed, water hyacinth and milfoil are clogging them and costs thousands of dollars to control(we will probably never get rid of them) plus the precious water that they use could be put in the fields.

McKinney, TX(Zone 8a)

But you do have to realize that these are exotic invasives - meaning they are usually brought in from other countries and invade one state at a time. Many times they are carried around by bird droppings from one state where not considered invasive to other states where they are. It is dissapointing to go to natural untouched forest areas around here (the Heard Nature Center in McKinney as an example) and see Japanese Honeysuckle climbing on the ground smothering out other natives, Nandina Bushes popping up everywhere taking over where natives flourished. These aggressive plants are put there by bird droppings. These bird droppings could be carried in by migrating birds from say Missouri or Kansas (just grabbing state names) where they might not be considered invasive.

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks Calily...I will add that as a comon name. Let me know if you fine the sci. name for that sunflower.

Okus...The problem with doing it by zone is the USDA zones don't have citizens and taxpayers and governments. Plants are banned because they do ecological and economic damage. I am more concerned that by the time an invasive is banned, it has already done a lot of damage on both fronts. Re the Wisteria sinensis, it invades forest edges and disturbed areas, including riparian zones. In riparian areas, it spreads downstream as seeds float to new locations. Most infestations of natural habitats are escaped landscape plantings. W. sinensis remains a popular ornamental in the nursery trade. http://issg.appfa.auckland.ac.nz/database/species/search.asp?sts=sss&st=sss&fr=1&sn=wisteria+sinensis&rn=&hci=-1&ei=-1&x=42&y=11

Deep South Coastal, TX(Zone 10a)

From what I could find on the net, I think it's called helianthus annuus or annual sunflower. It is also a native TX plant, so guess it was here first, lol. Here is a link to the plant http://uvalde.tamu.edu/herbarium/hean.htm and if you go to their home page, they have lots of native TX plants plus a list of invasive plants. Here is the link to the home page http://twig.tamu.edu/weedid.htm

Pflugerville, TX(Zone 8b)

The USDA reports that Helianthus annuus is considered invasive by multiple authoritative sources
however it is neither on the federal noxious weed list
nor the Texas State noxious weed list

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)


Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

This is a very old thread, but still applicable.

Talihina, OK

What about the campis radicans =trumpet vine seems like we discussed it at length a few years ago but I kinda forgot what the outcome was but I will bet Jo did not forget ,she is who I count on

Josephine, Arlington, TX(Zone 8a)

Trumpet Vine, Campsis radicans is a Texas Native plant and is not on the Texas Invasives list.
Here is the current list; http://www.texasinvasives.org/invasives_database/index.php

Celeste, TX

For the person who thinks Wisteria isn't invasive.... You've never had to whip out a machete and 50 gallon tank of Brushcutter so you can go town on 300' or more of fence that's been taken over by the stuff.

Here's the deal... The pretty flowering wisteria is all female. The stinky, non flowing wisteria is male. As long as there isn't a male plant around, your wisteria will only make flowers and be garden-thug vine that you can prune to contain.

The real problems start when some bonehead neighbor decides to be a cheapskate and buys their wisteria at the flea market. They end up with a smelly male plant, As soon as it's able to produce pollen, your lovely wisteria lose its virginity faster than Brittany Spears. Everyone one of those pretty purple flowers turns into an absolute menace that will produce multiple seed pods. If you don't rake up and dispose every single seed pod before they split open and eject the seeds, you will have more wisteria plants. Since these will be from seed, you will have about 50/50 male to female ratio.

In the now infamous words of my mother, "Oh, look.... the wisteria I planted last year is finally taking off...." You can't tell the male plants from the female ones until it's too late. So year 3 finds me in the back yard with the machete and a spray tank full of Brushcutter.

Arlington, TX

Is the term invasive only applied strictly to non native plants? There are plenty of native plants that are very invasive in a garden setting.

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