2018 TN-IPC Invasive Plant List
Tennessee Invasive Plant Council (TN-IPC) revised its Invasive Plants of Tennessee list, last updated in 2009. The new revision is designed to highlight new plant species that have emerged as potential threats to native plant communities in Tennessee and simplify presentation of the data by eliminating the ranking hierarchy and focusing on species most likely to significantly affect intact native plant communities or hinder their restoration. Therefore, the list does not (re)enumerate all non-native invasive plant species in Tennessee but instead emphasizes species that matter most to those seeking to manage natural areas or restore native plant and animal habitats. In streamlining the list, TN-IPC strives to place a sharp focus on those species that pose the greatest threats to the integrity and function of native plant communities. For these reasons, the list is organized into two categories, Established Threat and Emerging Threat.
The purpose of this list is to identify introduced (exotic) plant species that are not native to Tennessee and are invasive or possess the characteristics to become invasive and cause damage to native plant communities. The intent is:
- to foster early detection of invasive exotics enabling resource managers to implement a rapid response action to prevent establishment and spread;
- educate the general public and resource managers in an effort to eliminate the use of invasive exotics in landscaping, restoration, and enhancement projects.
This list has no regulatory authority but provides useful information to help guide agencies and private landowners in making responsible decisions about plant use and management decisions. The Council acknowledges that most introduced species are harmless. However, it also realizes that many species do naturalize and have the potential to spread and become ecological disasters.
Numerous plants from our 2009 list were removed during the recent revision. These species still possess invasive traits and are undesirable in both wild and managed landscapes, yet they were deemed less likely to significantly affect intact native plant communities. TN-IPC’s decision to take these species off our list does not confer a clean bill of health or an endorsement of their use. On the contrary, the organization continues to recommend avoidance of these species in plantings and their removal from landscapes where practical. Please click this link to access these additional exotic species.
Nomenclature and authorship are taken from the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)
2018 List Revision Sources
Please click this link to a PDF containing sources of information used in the compilation of the revised list.
Threat Level Definitions
|Established Threat||Many species in this category are archetypal invasive weeds known by every land manager, but all are widely established across Tennessee. All taxa assigned to this category have been reported from more than 10 counties. These taxa cannot be eradicated on a landscape scale using methods currently available, but officially designating the plants as invasive may serve to educate the general public and give land managers support to eradicate the species where appropriate (i.e. high quality natural areas, in tandem with rare species management, part of public engagement/citizen science projects, etc.). In addition, designating the species as a threat may push industry and state/federal agencies toward less invasive alternatives in landscaping and revegetation, thereby helping to avoid the next serious exotic plant escape.|
|Emerging Threat||Species in this category have been previously reported from less than 10 counties in Tennessee, but are known to invade and disrupt natural plant communities in adjacent states. Theoretically, the early detection/rapid response model could be used to eliminate infestations or reduce the spread of these species in Tennessee. In addition, the act of listing these plants, many of which are relatively obscure in Tennessee, will help the land managers and the general public to recognize these species in the field.|
Individual Plant DataDownload the Invasive Plant Excel-CSV File
Click the plant within the table to access its full description, images, life history, similar species, and various management recommendations.
|Both Emerging Established|