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America’s Least Wanted: The Green Invaders

Mile a Minute Vine


As you’re cleaning up your leaves and plants this Fall, it’s a good time to identify many of the common invasive plants that are threatening our neighborhoods.

They include Kudzu, Mile-a-Minute Vine, Multiflora Rose, Norway Maple, Oriental Bittersweet, Phragmites, Porcelain Berry,  Tree of Heaven, Winged Euonymus, and more.

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Many of these exotic species were introduced from other countries intentionally more than a century ago. Some were used as packing material, others just took a ride on ships from Asia and Europe. Some were cultivated for their ornamental value without regard for the fact that they could out-compete important native species.

You can learn to identify some of these invasive plants right in your own back yard and then report your findings by signing up at a new online database and website called iMapInvasives. The idea behind this website is to map the areas where invasive plants or other species are located so that we can stop them in their tracks. The GIS-based data management system lets you use a website or smartphone to identify invasive plants.


Various types of data are available in iMapInvasives: basic information about the plant; information about treatment, infestation, and area surveyed. The information is tiered so that homeowners as well as scientists and natural resource specialists can use it. All users can sign up for email alerts and produce invasive species lists for specific geographical areas.

Once you register on the New York page at, you will receive an email with information and a login. Training is available to help use the site depending on your level of interest.

A detailed list of prohibited and regulated invasive plants in New York State with pictures is provided here.

Photos courtesy

Joyce Newman
Joyce Newman
Joyce H. Newman is an Emmy Award-winning environmental journalist, educator, and gardener. She holds a Certificate in Horticulture from The New York Botanical Garden, and is a tour guide there.
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