Chicago Botanic Garden

Plant Science — Conservation

Invasive Plants in the Chicago Region

Herbaceous Plants

 

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 www.bestplants.org.

HERBACEOUS PLANTS
Species Common Name Status Alternatives
Aegopodium podagraria Goutweed R Asarum (wild ginger), Epimedium spp. (barrenwort), Glandularia canadensis (mock rose vervain), Hosta (hosta)
Alliaria petiolata Garlic mustard R ______
Arctium minus Lesser burdock  R ______
Carduus nutans Nodding plumeless thistle R Echinacea spp. (coneflower), Silphium spp. (rosinweed, prairie dock, compass plant)
Centaurea maculosa Spotted knapweed R Echinacea spp. (coneflower), Silphium spp. (rosinweed, prairie dock, compass plant)
Cirsium arvense Canada thistle R Echinacea spp. (coneflower), Silphium spp. (rosinweed, prairie dock, compass plant)
Cirsium palustre Marsh plume thistle R (see C. arvense)
Cirsium vulgare Bull thistle R (see C. arvense)
Conium maculatum Poison hemlock R Achillea spp. (yarrow), Aruncus spp. (goatsbeard), Actaea racemosa (black cohosh), Filipendula spp. (meadowsweet)
Coronilla varia Crown vetch R Asarum spp. (ginger), Epimedium spp. (barrenwort), Glandularia canadensis (mock rose vervain), Hosta (hosta), Viola (violet)
Daucus carota Queen Anne's lace R Aruncus spp. (goatsbeard), Achillea spp. (yarrow)
Dipsacus laciniatus Cutleaf teasel R Echinacea spp. (coneflower), Rudbeckia spp. (black-eyed Susan)
Dipsacus sylvestris Teasel R (see D. laciniatus)
Duchesnia indica Wild strawberry R Waldsteinia ternata (barren strawberry)
Echinops sphaerocephalus Globe thistle R species
E cultivars
Liatris spp. (blazing star), Monarda spp. (beebalm), Phlox spp. (phlox), Salvia spp. (sage), Thalictrum spp.(meadowrue), Veronica spp. (speedwell)
Epilobium hirsutum Hairy fireweed R (see E. sphaerocephalus)
Euphorbia cyparissias Cypress spurge R Origanum laevigatum (ornamental oregano), selected Sedum spp. (stonecrop)
Euphorbia esula Leafy spurge R Aurinia saxatilis (basket-of-gold)
Glechoma hederacea Ground ivy R Ajuga spp. (bugleweed), Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (leadwort), Plumbago auriculata (cape leadwort)
Gypsophila paniculata Baby's breath W Boltonia asteroides (boltonia), Panicum virgatum cvs. (switch grass),
Hemerocallis fulva (locally invasive) Tawny daylily R Hemerocallis hybrids (daylily), Lilium spp. & cvs. (lily), Papaver orientale (Oriental poppy)
Hesperis matronalis Dame's rocket R (See E. sphaerocephalus)
Houttuynia cordata Chameleon plant W Alchemilla mollis (lady's mantle), Asarum spp. (ginger), Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold)
Hypericum perforatum Common St. Johnswort R Other Hypericum spp. (St. Johnswort)
Iris pseudacorus Yellow flag iris R species
E cultivars
Iris fulva 'Lois Yellow' (copper iris), Iris virginica var. shrevii (interior blue flag iris)
Lespedeza cuneata Chinese bush clover R Baptisia spp. (wild indigo)
Linaria vulgaris Butter-and-eggs R Antirrhinum majus cvs. (snapdragons), Calibrachoa cvs. (million bells), Digitalis spp. (foxglove), Nemesia fruticans cvs. (nemesia)
Lotus corniculatus Bird's-foot trefoil R ______
Lysimachia nummularia Moneywort R Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold), Origanum laevigatum (ornamental oregano)
Lythrum salicaria Purple loosestrife R Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed), Liatris spp. (blazing star), Physostegia virginiana 'Vivid' (obedient plant)
Melilotus alba White sweet-clover R Baptisia spp. (wild indigo)
Melilotus officinalis Yellow sweet- clover R Baptisia spp. (wild indigo)
Pastinaca sativa Wild parsnip R ______
Perilla frutescens Beefsteak plant R Hibiscus acetosella (red leaf hibiscus), Ocimum basilicum cvs. (basil), Solenostemon scutellarioides (coleus)
Polygonum cuspidatum = P. japonicum Japanese knotweed E Actaea racemosa (black cohosh), Aruncus dioicus (goatsbeard), Polygonatum spp. (Solomon's seal), Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal), Tricyrtis spp. (toad lily)
Polygonum sachalinense Giant knotweed R (see P. cuspidatum)
Portulaca oleracea Purslane R species
E cultivars
Aurinia saxatilis (basket-of-gold), selected Sedum spp. & cvs. (stonecrop)
Potentilla argentea Silver cinquefoil R Chrysogonum virginianum (green and gold)
Rorippa sylvestris Creeping yellow-cress R Aurinia saxatilis (basket-of-gold), selected Sedum ssp. & cvs. (stonecrop)
Rumex acetosella Garden sorrel R Beta vulgaris 'Bright Lights' (Swiss chard) Solenostemon scutellarioides (coleus)
Saponaria officinalis Bouncing bet R species
E cultivars
Liatris spp. (blazing star), Monarda spp. (bee balm), Phlox spp. (phlox), Salvia spp. (sage), Thalictrum spp. (meadowrue), Veronica spp. (speedwell)
Sonchus arvensis Field sow-thistle R Coreopsis spp. (coreopsis); Helianthus spp. (sunflower)
Valeriana officinalis Common valerian R (See E. sphaerocephalus)
Verbascum thapsus Flannel mullein R Digitalis spp. (foxglove)
Verbena bonariensis Purpletop verbena W (See E. sphaerocephalus)

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).