Chicago Botanic Garden

Plant Science — Conservation

Invasive Plants in the Chicago Region

Vines and Ground Covers


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
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata Porcelainberry vine R Clematis spp. (clematis)
Celastrus orbiculatus Oriental bittersweet R Aristolochia durior (Dutchman's pipe), Celastrus scandens (American bittersweet)
Dioscorea batatas Chinese yam R No ornamental alternative; medicinal purposes only
Euonymus fortunei Wintercreeper E Asarum spp. (ginger), Helleborus spp. (hellebore)
Lonicera japonica Japanese honeysuckle R Clematis spp. (clematis), native Lonicera spp. (native honeysuckles)
Polygonum perfoliatum Mile-a-minute weed R ______
Pueraria montana =P. lobata Kudzu vine R ______
Vinca minor Common periwinkle E Asarum spp. (ginger)
Vincetoxicum nigrum Black swallowwort R ______
Vincetoxicum rossicum Swallowwort R ______
Wisteria sinensis Chinese wisteria W Wisteria macrostachya (Kentucky wisteria)

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).