Almost 1/3 of all of the plant species that grow wild in Illinois originated elsewhere in the world.
Many of these introduced plants are not harmful, and some of them are our most valuable commodities. Did anyone catch the corn and bean report on the radio this afternoon?
Other non-native plants cause problems that native plants rarely create. Kudzu, garlic mustard, and reed canary grass are three examples of plants from elsewhere in the world that have become extremely successful in Illinois at the expense of native ecosystems.
The management of invasive plants is difficult, but it is clear that one of the best way to limit invasions is to avoid planting species that are likely to be a problem. When various Illinois and US groups were attempting to manage the damage to wetlands caused by purple loosestrife, the plant could still be purchased as an ornamental flower at nurseries.
As the Illinois Plants website grows, we will use this space to highlight information about invasive plants in Illinois.