They climb, crawl, fly, hitchhike, and escape. Once they arrive, they clandestinely and quickly often take over. What are they?

They are plants that won’t stay in place – the invasive species that invade Missouri’s forests, grasslands, glades, and waterways, and, maybe, even your yard and gardens. They take over the native species unsuited to compete with them for space, light, nutrients, and water.

These alien or exotic plants arrive in a variety of different ways and not all create problems. Some were introduced into landscapes intentionally for specific properties – medicinal or edible for example – like the now ubiquitous dandelion
and plantain commonly found in urban yards. They aren’t a big problem unless, of course, you want a pristine yard.

Other introduced species, such as floral garden plants, don’t spread rapidly because of special care that is needed for them to survive. Other invasive species, however, have been planted in yards for their attractive qualities and somehow made their escape into nearby wild areas where they crowd out native plants.

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