Chicago Botanic Garden

Plant Biology

plant biology

Invasive plants and animals threaten the nation’s environment and economy. In fact, the threat they pose to native plants, animals and ecosystems is second only to habitat destruction. Nearly half the threatened or endangered species are at risk due to competition from invasive species. Combatting invasive species costs the United States nearly $125 billion each year.

In natural areas of the Chicago region, invasive plants are choking out other plants and destroying habitats. Some of the worst invasives in Illinois are purple loosestrife, Japanese and bush honeysuckles, garlic mustard and buckthorns. "Serious invaders of natural areas are compromising the ability to preserve biodiversity," says the Gardenís Director of Conservation Science, Dr. Kayri Havens.