Chicago Botanic Garden

Plant Science — Conservation

Invasive Plants in the Chicago Region



Plants with a dash under the "alternatives" column are not commonly used ornamentally. You can find more information on alternatives at Illinois' Best Plants or

Species Common Name Status Alternatives
Agropyron repens Quack grass R Panicum virgatum cvs. (switch grass), Sporobolus heterolepsis (prairie dropseed)
Bromus inermis Smooth brome R ______
Festuca elatior (=F. arundinacea) Tall fescue R ______
Festuca pratensis Meadow fescue R ______
Microstegium vimineum Japanese stilt grass R ______
Miscanthus sacchariflorus Amur silver grass R (see A. repens)
Miscanthus sinensis Chinese silver grass R var. (see A. repens)
Miscanthus sinensis 'purpurascens' Autumn Red Miscanthus, Flame Grass, Eulalia, Maiden Grass, Zebra Grass R ______
Phalaris arundinacea Reed canary grass R Spartina pectinata 'Aureomarginata' (variegated prairie cordgrass)
Phragmites australis Common reed R Erianthus ravennae (Plume grass)
Setaria faberi Japanese bristlegrass R ______
Sorghum halapense Johnson grass R ______

Chicago Botanic Garden Conservation Science Department Status:

R = Remove as soon as possible, including all cultivars, and/or do not add to collection in future;
P = Phase out (species that pose a lesser invasive risk, form significant structural features in landscape, and will be time-consuming to replace will be phased out over a five- to ten-year period);
E = Evaluate species and cultivars, then remove invasive taxa;
W = Watch list (taxa not posing a serious invasive risk in the Chicago area currently, but may do so in the future).