Salicicola Projects

Massachusetts Invasive Plants at Salicicola

Chocolate vine (Akebia quinata) infestation in Forbes Woods, Milton, MA (2009)

Official list of invasive plants
The official List of Massachusetts invasive plants categorized as 'Invasive', 'Likely Invasive', and 'Potentially Invasive' (the latter meaning plants not found in MA by the time list was comprised). The full list can be found at MIPAG (Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group) and NHESP websites as well as in the 'Guide to invasive plants in Massachusetts' (Somers et al. 2006); its second edition (2008) can be ordered from NHESP. The species listed as 'Invasive' are deemed invasive in the legal sense, which particularly means that their propagation and importation has been banned in Massachusetts.

Definition of an invasive plant
The detailed definition of the invasive plant can be found in the cited sources, by National Invasive Species Council, and by ISAAC. To keep it simple and concise, one may say that invasive plants are alien plants that constitute a serious menace to natural habitats of a particular area. An aggressive alien plant is not necessarily invasive; invasive plants are those that have managed to overcome a significant natural barrier (such as an ocean or a mountain range), which normally would prevent their natural dispersal to the area. Without human promotion it would be impossible for the plants to overcome such a barrier. Therefore, the statement about the invasiveness of black locust in MA is debatable. It appears quite obvious that poison ivy and greenbrier are not invasive in Massachusetts, as they are both native.

Listing by County
Slide Show
Vines: Oriental bittersweet, mile-a-minute, kudzu, and chocolate vine
The photo on the right shows chocolate vine (Akebia quinata) infestation in Forbes Woods, Milton, MA (2009).