Invasive Plants: Recommended Books & Websites

What are invasive plants? and Why do we care about removing invasives and planting more natives?

The Must Have Book

  • A Guide to Invasive Plants in Massachusetts
    Paul Somers, Rachel Kramer, and Bill Brumback. Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 2006.
    This great and inexpensive guidebook will help you identiify and manage 66 of some of the most invasive plant species in Massachusetts. At only $5 (and less in bulk), if you don't have this guide, you should.

Essential Information: Massachusetts Regulations

  • Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List
    Between January 1, 2006 and 2009, it became illegal for the more than 140 species of plants to be imported, sold, or propagated anywhere in the state. Regulated by the Department of Agriculture, this list includes many plants running rampant in our gardens and taking over in our woodlands, state parks, and other areas. Controlling these plants is essential to preventing their continued spread and to further loss of biodiversity.

Useful Reference Books for Identifying and Controlling Invasive Species

  • Field Manual of Invasive Plants for the Northeast
    Bayard Ewing & Christopher Mattrick. New England Wild Flower Society.
    Available only from the NEWFS bookstore-- contact them to purchase. Fully laminated so it will not dissolve in the rain, with close-ups and photographs of entire plants, making it useful for field identification. Includes many, but not all species.
  • Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden
    John M. Randall & Janet Marinelli, Eds. Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 1996.
    Using data from the Nature Conservancy and the National Association of Exotic Pest Councils (representing state groups), this guide profiles 80 invasive species commonly used in horticulture. Very useful for its regional and national perspective.

Key Organizations & Web Sites

  • Weeds Gone Wild
    This is one of our favorite sites on invasive plants with very detailed information and recommeded methods for managing and controlling infestations. It's only drawback is that there are not yet fact sheets for all the invasive species in Massachusetts or the United States.
  • for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
    This site lists over 1,500 species of plants that have been listed as invasive or noxious in North America. It has information on each species’ invasive characteristics and lists locations where it has been classified as noxious or invasive, referencing all sources. For many species, the site is also full of useful photographs to aid in identification.
  • MIPAG: Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group
    This webiste summarizes the work of this voluntary collaborative of professionals that evaluates plants characterized as invasive, also making recommedations for the strategic management and early detection of invasives.
  • Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas
    Published by the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this guide covers 80 species. Although not a comprehensive guide to the invasive plants of New England, it is a useful reference for the species included. And some species considered invasive in the mid-Atlantic region may be indicators of species that are starting to show invasive tendecies here.
  • USDA Plants Database—Invasive and Noxious Weeds
    The USDA Plants database is very useful site for looking up detailed information about the origin and characteristics of most plants in the United States. This particular portion of the site takes you directly to information about invasive plants and noxious weeds on a state by state basis.