trees Invasive Plant Resources


Last Updated March 15, 2006

This section contains Missouri-specific information related to invasive plants in forests. Below are lists of problem species, invasive plant monitoring projects, financial assistance programs, state laws, plus links and contacts for more information on invasive plants and organizations within the state. Please let us know if you have suggestions for changes, additions or updates. We need your help to keep this section current and informative. Contact WDNR Forestry (

Return to the Forest Invasive Plants homepage for species factsheets, federal funding sources for management & control, all-states listing of monitoring/mapping projects, research articles & publications, and more.

  1. Current (and Future) Invasive Plants
  2. Invasive Plant Projects (monitoring, mapping, inventories)
  3. Funding and Cost-share Programs for Invasive Plant Control
  4. State Weed Laws & Regulations
  5. Links to State Forestry and Invasive Plant Groups
  6. Contacts

1. Current and Future Invasive Plants

Note: This list is ranked, approximately, from greatest to least threat in Missouri .
[If underlined, click to see factsheet for that species.]

  • Worst Invasives. Species currently causing the greatest problems in Missouri forests.
    • Eurasian bush honeysuckles (Lonicera maackii, L. x bella)
    • Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
  • Widespread Invasives. Plants found in forests in much of the state.
    • Autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)
    • Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)
    • Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
    • Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
    • Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)
    • Perfumed cherry (Prunus mahaleb)
    • Privet (Ligustrum spp.)
    • Wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei)
    • Osage orange (Maclura pomifera)
    • Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata)
  • Localized Invasives. Plants found only in limited areas of the state.
    • Kudzu (Pueraria montana)
    • Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
    • Air potato (Chinese yam) (Dioscorea oppositifolia)
    • Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum)
    • Royal pawlonia or Princess tree ( Paulownia tomentosa)
    • Burning bush (Euonymus alata)
    • English ivy (Hedera helix)
    • Paper Mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera)
    • Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) White poplar (Populus alba)
    • White mulberry (Morus alba)
  • Future Threats. Species that could become serious problems in the future. These plants are invasive in other states with similar climatic and ecological zones.
    • Shrubby bush-clover (Lespedeza thunbergii)
    • Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

2. Invasive Plant Inventories

Most states have one or more ongoing projects for inventorying, monitoring or mapping invasive plants. These may be state-sponsored or managed by private organizations and groups, and may cover plants statewide or in a specific area. We encourage the sharing of information among these initiatives to achieve a more complete understanding of invasive plants in each state.

Known projects in Missouri are listed below. Please see also the All-States Invasive Plants Projects & Resources section for a complete list for each state as well as multi-state and nationwide initiatives. We invite additions or corrections to this information – please contact WDNR Forestry (

  • Title: Missouri Exotic Pest Plants
    • Contact: George Yatskievych ( Director,
    • Flora of Missouri Project, Missouri Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166,
    • (314) 577-5100
    • Website:
    • Geographic area: Missouri
    • Description: This list of non-native plants that threaten Missouri 's native biodiversity, ranks species into five categories according to their known invasiveness in Missouri . Many species have clickable map icons, showing their distribution in the state, and links to photos.
    • Category A --Species invading and disrupting native plant communities in Missouri.
      A-1--Widespread, essentially in all counties of Missouri
      A-2--Regional species invasive in more than 10 Missouri counties.
      A-3--Regional species invasive in 10 or fewer Missouri counties.
    • Category B —Plants that are occasional invaders with low levels of impact on native Missouri plant communities, or species which are invading and disrupting the native plant communities of other states, in habitats similar to those found in Missouri .
    • Category C --Species that have the capacity to invade native plant communities along disturbance corridors, or to spread from stands in disturbed sites into undisturbed areas, but which seem to principally spread and remain in disturbed corridors.
    • Category D --Plants for which current information does not adequately describe distribution or nature of threat to native plant communities.
    • Category E --Species that, after review of status, do not appear to pose a significant threat to native plant communities.

3. Funding and Cost Share Programs for Invasive Plant Control

  • State Wildlife Grants (SWG)
  • This is a federal program sponsored by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service which provides money annually to the states. The program is designed to benefit species of conservation concern before they become endangered. In 2005, Missouri was given $1,200,000 to award for approved projects. Among other projects, the state used its share of SWG money to support prairie, glade and savanna restoration, eradicate invasive plants and monitor species believed to be declining.
  • Contact: Missouri Department of Conservation (

4. State Weed Laws

  • See website for complete list of Missouri Insect Pests and Weeds Statutes, Chapter 263, revised 2005: Two of the listed weeds are of concern to forestry.
  • Multiflora rose - 263.205 . The plant multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) is hereby declared to be a noxious weed; except when cultivated for or used as understock for cultivated roses.
  • Eradication and control of kudzu vine - 263.232 . To control the spread of kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata), which is hereby designated as a noxious and dangerous weed to agriculture.

5. Links to State Forestry and Invasive Plant Groups

6. Contacts

  • Missouri Consulting Foresters
  • Local Foresters who work for the Missouri Department of Conservation. Click on the map for the forester nearest you.
  • Invasive plants
  • Tim E. Smith (, Botanist, MO Dept. of Conservation,
  • P.O. Box 180 , Jefferson City , MO 65102 , (573) 522-4115 ext.3200
  • George Yatskievych ( Director, Flora of Missouri Project,
  • Missouri Botanical Gardens, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166, (314) 577-5100
  • Forestry
  • Steve Westin (