What are native & invasive plants?

by Caroline Brown

Last night our master gardener class topic was native and invasive plants. This is an area that I’m really interested in, so expect to see a lot of posts about this! I’m hoping a native and/or invasive plant volunteer project gets formed so I can participate. I have to make this a short post–so I thought I’d start out simply by defining native & invasive plants. Much more on this later so please come back.

Native (or Wild) Plants. This is the easy definition — a species of plant that is native to a specifically-defined area, occurring and growing naturally without human intervention.

Invasive Plants. From my URI manual, invasive species (including plants, animals, insects, etc.) are:

organisms that have been introduced into an area where they didn’t evolve, and that usually have no natural enemies in the area where they have been introduced. Invasive species can outcompete native species in natural communities….and may seriously alter natural communities and cause local extinctions.

Links. For me (in New England/Rhode Island) the best resources are the New England Wild Flower Society (fabulous website even if you’re not from here) and the Rhode Island Wild Plant Society. For other states, NEWFS has a good list of other state wild or native plant organizations here.

More links in upcoming posts!


2 Comments to “What are native & invasive plants?”

  1. Hi Caroline, Have been checking out your blog links. Really enjoyed the Stone and Plank House, photos etc. must be a wonderful place to visit. Hope your course is going well.

    Cheers from Canada, where it is snowing and cold today!

  2. Thank you Geraldine, anytime you want to visit RI you are welcome to stay at the Stone & Plank! Of course it’s better in the spring & summer……

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