This shrub can be found all over the state, since it was planted widely with the best of intentions. Despite its “pros,” this species has proven to be very invasive. It threatens native ecosystems and should not be planted.
Grown as an ornamental for its attractive pink flower clusters, its gracefully spreading branches, and its delicate leaves, this native of Asia is easily propagated and grows rapidly—unfortunately, it has become established as a weedy, invasive exotic in much of the state.
If you’ve got a giant green thicket in your woods, you may have a bush honeysuckle infestation. These invasive plants are shrubby natives of Asia. Here in America, where they have no natural controls, they leaf out early, grow fast, spread fast and form dense thickets that crowd out Missouri’s native forest plants.
Introduced from Asia as a groundcover, wintercreeper has escaped cultivation in all the eastern states. It’s frequently found near urban centers, with heavy infestations in woodlands around St. Louis and Kansas City.
This small tree with distinctive silvery leaves was introduced to America in the late 1800s and widely planted as an ornamental and windbreak. However, in the Great Plains and western states it has proven to be invasive, where it outcompetes native vegetation and causes a host of ecological problems. Although it's not as invasive in the eastern United States, it could become a problem here in Missouri.
Tree-of-Heaven is a fast-growing exotic that has become common in urban areas. It is weedy and aggressive and should not be planted. Recognize it by its 2-foot-long feather-compound leaves and the unpleasant scent of the twigs when you break them.
MDC protects and manages Missouri's fish, forest, and wildlife resources. We also facilitate your participation in resource-management activities, and we provide opportunities for you to use, enjoy and learn about nature.