Exotic Pest Plant List

 ~Primum non nocere~

(First do no harm)

It’s not a matter of a plant creeping outside the confines of a bed.  Agressive or invasive species can take over whole native habitats which in turn can displace the wildlife living there.  As “plant people” we love nature or we would probably have chosen a different hobby or profession, so let’s educate ourselves and first… do no harm.

Just because it’s for sale doesn’t mean you should plant it.  Look on any garden center shelf and you will probably spot Asparagus fern.  Problem is, it’s a Category I invasive.  Why it continues to be sold in Florida… I don’t know.  I think it all comes down to money.  Growers would loose a lot of income if invasives were banned so it is up to us to be informed consumers.

¹Category I invasive: 

Invasive exotics that are altering native plant communities by displacing native species, changing community structures or ecological functions, or hybridizing with natives.

Scientific Name Common Name Gov. List Reg. Dist.
Abrus precatorius rosary pea N C, S
Acacia auriculiformis earleaf acacia C, S
Albizia julibrissin mimosa, silk tree N, C
Albizia lebbeck woman’s tongue C, S
Ardisia crenata (=A. crenulata misapplied) coral ardisia N, C, S
Ardisia elliptica (=A. humilis misapplied) shoebutton ardisia N C, S
Asparagus aethiopicus (=A. sprengeri; A. densiflorus misapplied) asparagus-fern N, C, S
Bauhinia variegata orchid tree C, S
Bischofia javanica bishopwood C, S
Calophyllum antillanum (=C. calaba and C. inophyllum misapplied) santa maria (names “mast wood”, “Alexandrian laurel” used in cultivation) S
Casuarina equisetifolia Australian-pine, beach sheoak P, N N, C, S
Casuarina glauca suckering Australian-pine, gray sheoak P, N C, S
Cinnamomum camphora camphor tree N, C, S
Colocasia esculenta wild taro N, C, S
Colubrina asiatica lather leaf N S
Cupaniopsis anacardioides carrotwood N C, S
Deparia petersenii Japanese false spleenwort N, C
Dioscorea alata winged yam N N, C, S
Dioscorea bulbifera air-potato N N, C, S
Eichhornia crassipes water-hyacinth P N, C, S
Eugenia uniflora Surinam cherry C, S
Ficus microcarpa (F. nitida and F. retusa var. nitida misapplied) laurel fig C, S
Hydrilla verticillata hydrilla P, U N, C, S
Hygrophila polysperma green hygro P, U N, C, S
Hymenachne amplexicaulis West Indian marsh grass C, S
Imperata cylindrica (I. brasiliensis misapplied) cogon grass N, U N, C, S
Ipomoea aquatica water-spinach P, U C
Jasminum dichotomum Gold Coast jasmine C,S
Jasminum fluminense Brazilian jasmine C, S
Lantana camara (= L. strigocamara) lantana, shrub verbena N, C, S
Ligustrum lucidum glossy privet N, C
Ligustrum sinense Chinese privet, hedge privet N, C, S
Lonicera japonica Japanese honeysuckle N, C, S
Ludwigia peruviana Peruvian primrosewillow N, C, S
Lumnitzera racemosa kripa; white-flowered mangrove; black mangrove S
Luziola subintegra Tropical American water grass S
Lygodium japonicum Japanese climbing fern N N, C, S
Lygodium microphyllum Old World climbing fern N C, S
Macfadyena unguis-cati cat’s claw vine N, C, S
Manilkara zapota sapodilla S
Melaleuca quinquenervia melaleuca, paper bark P, N, U C, S
Melinis repens (= Rhynchelytrum repens) Natal grass N, C, S
Mimosa pigra catclaw mimosa P, N, U C, S
Nandina domestica nandina, heavenly bamboo N, C
Nephrolepis cordifolia sword fern N, C, S
Nephrolepis brownii (= N. multiflora) Asian sword fern C, S
Neyraudia reynaudiana Burma reed, cane grass N S
Nymphoides cristata snowflake C, S
Paederia cruddasiana sewer vine, onion vine N S
Paederia foetida skunk vine N N, C, S
Panicum repens torpedo grass N, C, S
Pennisetum purpureum Napier grass N, C, S
Phymatosorus scolopendria serpent fern, wart fern S
Pistia stratiotes water-lettuce P N, C, S
Psidium cattleianum (=P. littorale) strawberry guava C, S
Psidium guajava guava C, S
Pueraria montana var. lobata (=P. lobata) kudzu N N, C, S
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa downy rose-myrtle N C, S
Rhynchelytrum repens       (=Melinis repens) Natal grass N, C, S
Ruellia brittoniana (= R. tweediana misapplied) Mexican petunia N, C, S
Salvinia minima water spangles N, C, S
Sapium sebiferum (=Triadica sebifera) popcorn tree, Chinese tallow tree N N, C, S
Scaevola taccada (=Scaevola sericea, S. frutescens) scaevola, half-flower, beach naupaka N C, S
Schefflera actinophylla (=Brassaia actinophylla) schefflera, Queensland umbrella tree C, S
Schinus terebinthifolius Brazilian pepper P, N N, C, S
Scleria lacustris Wright’s nutrush N, C, S
Senna pendula var. glabrata (=Cassia coluteoides) climbing cassia, Christmas cassia, Christmas senna C, S
Solanum tampicense (=S. houstonii) wetland nightshade, aquatic soda apple N, U C, S
Solanum viarum tropical soda apple N, U N, C, S
Syngonium podophyllum arrowhead vine N, C, S
Syzygium cumini jambolan plum, Java plum C, S
Tectaria incisa incised halberd fern S
Thespesia populnea seaside mahoe C, S
Tradescantia fluminensis small-leaf spiderwort N, C
Urena lobata Caesar’s weed N, C, S
Urochloa mutica (= Brachiaria mutica) Para grass C, S

Category II invasive:

Invasive exotics that have increased in abundance or frequency but have not yet altered plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species. These species may become ranked Category I, if ecological damage is demonstrated.

Scientific Name Common Name Gov. List Reg. Dist.
Adenanthera pavonina red sandalwood S
Agave sisalana sisal hemp C, S
Aleurites fordii (=Vernicia fordii) tung oil tree N, C
Alstonia macrophylla devil tree S
Alternanthera philoxeroides alligator weed P N, C, S
Antigonon leptopus coral vine N, C, S
Ardisia japonica Japanese ardisia N
Aristolochia littoralis calico flower N, C, S
Asystasia gangetica Ganges primrose C, S
Begonia cucullata wax begonia N, C, S
Blechum pyramidatum green shrimp plant, Browne’s blechum N, C, S
Broussonetia papyrifera paper mulberry N, C, S
Bruguiera gymnorrhiza large-leaved mangrove S
Callisia fragrans inch plant, spironema C, S
Callistemon viminalis bottlebrush, weeping bottlebrush S
Casuarina cunninghamiana river sheoak, Australian-pine P C, S
Cecropia palmata trumpet tree S
Cestrum diurnum day jessamine C, S
Chamaedorea seifrizii bamboo palm S
Clematis terniflora Japanese clematis N, C
Cocos nucifera coconut palm S
Cryptostegia madagascariensis rubber vine C, S
Cyperus involucratus (C. alternifolius misapplied) umbrella plant C, S
Cyperus prolifer dwarf papyrus C, S
Dactyloctenium aegyptium Durban crowfootgrass N, C, S
Dalbergia sissoo Indian rosewood, sissoo C, S
Elaeagnus umbellata silverberry, autumn olive N
Elaeagnus pungens silverthorn, thorny olive N, C
Epipremnum pinnatum cv. ‘Aureum’ pothos C, S
Ficus altissima false banyan, council tree S
Flacourtia indica governor’s plum S
 Hemarthria altissima limpo grass C, S
Hibiscus tiliaceus (=Talipariti tiliaceum) mahoe, sea hibiscus C, S
Hyparrhenia rufa jaragua N, C, S
Ipomoea fistulosa (=I. carnea ssp. fistulosa) shrub morning-glory P C, S
Jasminum sambac Arabian jasmine S
Kalanchoe pinnata life plant C, S
Koelreuteria elegans ssp. formosana (=K. formosana; K. paniculata misapplied) flamegold tree C, S
Leucaena leucocephala lead tree N N, C, S
Landoltia punctata (= Spirodela punctata) Spotted Duckweed N, C, S
Limnophila sessiliflora Asian marshweed P, U N, C, S
Livistona chinensis Chinese fan palm C, S
Melia azedarach Chinaberry N, C, S
Melinis minutiflora Molassesgrass C,S
Merremia tuberosa wood-rose S
Mikania micrantha mile-a-minute vine N, U S
Murraya paniculata orange-jessamine S
Myriophyllum spicatum Eurasian water-milfoil P N, C, S
Panicum maximum (=Urochloa maxima, Megathyrsus maximus) Guinea grass N, C, S
Passiflora biflora two-flowered passion vine S
Pennisetum setaceum green fountain grass S
Phoenix reclinata Senegal date palm C, S
Phyllostachys aurea golden bamboo N, C
Pittosporum pentandrum Philippine pittosporum, Taiwanese cheesewood S
Pteris vittata Chinese brake fern N, C, S
Ptychosperma elegans solitaire palm S
Rhoeo spathacea (see Tradescantia spathacea)
Ricinus communis castor bean N, C, S
Rotala rotundifolia roundleaf toothcup, dwarf Rotala S
Sansevieria hyacinthoides bowstring hemp C, S
Sesbania punicea purple sesban, rattlebox N, C, S
Solanum diphyllum two-leaf nightshade N, C, S
Solanum jamaicense Jamaica nightshade C
Solanum torvum susumber, turkey berry N, U N, C, S
Sphagneticola trilobata  (=Wedelia trilobata) wedelia N, C, S
Stachytarpheta cayennensis (=S. urticifolia) nettle-leaf porterweed S
Syagrus romanzoffiana (=Arecastrum romanzoffianum) queen palm C, S
Syzygium jambos Malabar plum, rose-apple N, C, S
Talipariti tiliaceum (= Hibiscus tiliaceus) mahoe, sea hibiscus C, S
Terminalia catappa tropical-almond C, S
Terminalia muelleri Australian-almond C, S
Tradescantia spathacea (=Rhoeo spathacea, Rhoeo discolor) oyster plant S
Tribulus cistoides puncture vine, burr-nut N, C, S
Vitex trifolia simple-leaf chaste tree C, S
Washingtonia robusta Washington fan palm C, S
Wedelia (see Sphagneticola above)
Wisteria sinensis Chinese wisteria N, C
Xanthosoma sagittifolium malanga, elephant ear N, C, S

UF – IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive PlantsThe mission of the CAIP Information Office is to inform and educate all stakeholders about the impacts and management of invasive plants.

Division of Plant Industry pest alerts:  This page provides links to alerts about pests that have arrived in Florida or that may arrive soon.

¹Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Website The charts on this page is from the FLEPP website.  Not all species had links available so I am in the process of adding links so you will at least be able to identify them from this page. 

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