Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States
Invasive plants threaten native species by competing for resources, including sunlight, water, nutrients, soil and space. They cause genetic changes in native relatives, limit the natural food for native animals, and serve as an agent for the spread of harmful plant pathogens. They impact natural areas by displacing and significantly altering native plant communities, impede forest regeneration and natural succession, change soil chemistry, alter hydrologic and fire regimes, and cause other changes that favor their growth and spread. The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States is an effort to combat invasive species and preserve our natural landscapes and the native plants, animals, and other creatures that inhabit them.
The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States is a collaborative project between the National Park Service, the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, and the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England. Focusing on non-native pest plant species impacting natural areas, the Atlas assists users with identification, early detection, prevention, and management of invasive plants.
Want more information about why we should care about invasive plants? Visit Invasives101 for an introduction to invasive species plus questions and answers about invasive species and what you can do about them.
Favorite or New Plant
Blue-Mist Shrub, Bluebeard, Blue Spirea
Sure, there are mums and asters blooming at this time of year, but to have a shrub covered in beautiful blue- lavender flowers attractive to butterflies is such a delightful treat in the late-summer and fall garden. Blue-Mist Shrub, Caryopteris x clandonensis, is a valuable addition to the garden, not only for its flowers and soft gray-green or golden foliage, but also because it is easy to grow, adapting to a wide range of soils as long as they are well-drained. Blue-Mist Shrub is hardy in Zones 6 to 9, forming a rounded mound 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. The main care required is to prune the stems back in late winter to promote vigorous shoots, as Blue-Mist blooms on new growth. Some of the cultivars to consider include 'Dark Knight' with deep blue flowers, 'Grand Bleu' with low growth and dark purple-blue flowers, 'Longwood Blue' with silver foliage and sky-blue flowers, 'Petite Bleu' with compact growth and deep-blue flowers, 'Worcester Gold' with lime-green leaves and pale blue flowers, 'Sunshine Blue' with yellow leaves and amethyst-blue flowers, and a pink-flowered version, 'Pink Chablis.