Invasive Plants

Invasive Plants

Invasive plants are those that have a tendency to take over an area if left unchecked.  While we do have some invasive native plants in Kentucky the ones that cause the most trouble in our woodlands are invasive exotic plants.  These invaders are not controlled by the insects, animals, or diseases that keep them in check in their homeland.  If not addressed quickly they can spread and become a serious problem for woodlands.

There are a wide variety of methods that can be used to address invasive exotic plants depending on the types of plants, their size, and densities.  It is critical to match the control method appropriately to the plant and even then it is necessary to follow-up to ensure there is not a new invasion in the future.  Check out the resources on this page to learn how you can deal with invasive exotic plants on your property. 

Photo courtesy: John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy,

Bush Honeysuckle

Bush honeysuckle refers to several species.

View Bush Honeysuckle
Photo courtesy: James Miller & Ted Bodner, SWSS,

Chinese Privet

Widely planted as ornamentals, these are now aggressive invaders.

View Chinese Privet
Photo courtesy: James Miller, USDA Forest Service,


One of world's most invasive weeds.

View Cogongrass
Photo courtesy: Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan,

Chinese Silvergrass

A highly prized ornamental bunch grass.

View Chinese Silvergrass
Photo courtesy: Rob Routledge, Sault College,

Garlic Mustard

A fast-growing (biennial) herbaceous broadleaf weed from Europe.

View Garlic Mustard
Photo courtesy: John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University,


Introduced as an ornamental and later grown as a forage crop and soil stabilizer.

View Kudzu
Photo courtesy: James Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Japanese Honeysuckle

One of the worst exotic invaders in the eastern U.S.

View Japanese Honeysuckle
Photo courtesy: Jan Samanck, State Phytosanitary Administration,

Japanese Knotweed

A non-native invasive shrub that is native to several countries in eastern Asia.

View Japanese Knotweed
Photo courtesy: James Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Japanese Stilt Grass

A sprawling annual grass that is common to disturbed sites throughout Kentucky.

View Japanese Stilt Grass
Tree of Heaven


A fast-growing tree from Asia that has spread throughout the United States.

View Tree-of-Heaven
Photo courtesy: James Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Winter Creeper

Introduced from China in the early 1900s as an ornamental. Its thick carpet of leafy vines.

View Winter Creeper

Contact Information

Thomas Poe Cooper Building 730 Rose Street Lexington, KY 40546-0073