Invasive plants are non-native plants that invade natural areas and cause declines in species diversity and interrupt ecosystem processes.
Of the approximately 2,300 vascular plant species growing in the wild in Ohio, about 78 percent are native. The other 22 percent, more than 500 species are not native to Ohio, having been introduced from other states or countries. Most non-native plants have been introduced for erosion control, horticulture, forage crops, culinary and medicinal use, wildlife foods, and by accident.
The majority of these species never stray from where they were introduced, yet some become very invasive and displace native plants in woodlands, wetlands, prairies and other natural areas. Non-native, invasive plants cause a decline in species diversity in these habitats. A diverse, healthy ecosystem is important for clean air and water, soil stability, and food and shelter for wildlife. Invasive plants are a major threat to the health of our ecosystems and to the viability of rare species.