Invasive Plants in Our Yards

Invasive Plants in Our Yards
Plants that are not native to South Florida are taking over our landscape. These non-native plants,
which have been accidentally or purposely introduced by people, have gone wild in our yards, parks, roadsides, canal banks, and natural areas. The vast majority of introduced plants pose no threat, but some grow out of control. These invaders outcompete our native vegetation and gradually displace our native plants and animals, altering our landscape. The natural controls that keep them in check in their native homelands - disease and insects - do not exist here.

Land managers of natural areas recommend that you consider not planting these species
in your yard, especially if you live near a natural area. For more information, check out the additional sources at the bottom of this page.

Herbaceous Plants
Grasses and Sedges
Aquatic Plants
Additional Resources



 Solitary palm also known as Ptychosperma elegans  Senegal date palm also known as Phoenix reclinata  Areca palms also known as Dypsis lutescens


  • Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)
  • Burmese fishtail palm (Caryota mitis)
  • Chinese fan palm (Livistona chinensis)
  • Queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana)
  • Senegal date palm (Phoenix reclinata)
  • Solitary palm (Ptychosperma elegans)



 Simpleleaf chastetree also known as Vitex trifolia  Phillippine violet also known as Barleria cristata  Stickbush also known as Clerodendrum chinense


  • Castor bean (Ricinus communis)
  • Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense)
  • Christmas cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata)
  • Day jessamine (Cestrum diurnum)
  • Gold Coast jasmine (Jasminum dichotomum)
  • Half flower (Scaevola sericea)
  • Heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)
  • Kopsia (Ochrosia elliptica)
  • Lantana (Lantana camara)
  • Non-native firebush (Hamelia patens var. glabra)
  • Orange-jessamine (Murraya paniculata)
  • Philippine violet (Barleria cristata)
  • Shoebutton Ardisia (Ardisia elliptica)
  • Simpleleaf chastetree (Vitex trifolia)
  • Stickbush (Clerodendrum chinense)
  • Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum)
  • Surinam cherry (Turkeyberry)
  • Twinleaf nightshade (Solanum diphyllum)
  • Yellow alder (Turnera ulmifolia)

Herbaceous Plants (no woody stems)


 Scarlet milkweed also known as Asclepias curassavica  Wandering Jew also known as Tradescantia zebrina Mexican clover also known as Richardia grandiflora


  • Balloon plant (Asclepias physocarpa)
  • Blue porterweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis)
  • Bowstring hemp (Sansevieria hyacinthoides)
  • Cerulean flaxlily (Dianella ensifolia)
  • Chandlier plant (Kalanchoe delagoensis)
  • Devil’s backbone (Kalanchoe daigremontiana)
  • Elephant ear (Xanthosoma sagittifolium)
  • Four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa)
  • Fringed spiderwort (Cleome rutidosperma)
  • Ganges primrose (Asystasia gangetica)
  • Grass-leafed orchid (Eulophia graminea)
  • Green shrimp plant (Blechum pyramidatum)
  • Ground orchid (Oeceoclades maculata)
  • Inch plant (Callisia fragrans)
  • Life plant (Kalanchoe pinnata)
  • Madagascar periwinkle (Cartharanthus roseus)
  • Mexican clover (Richardia grandiflora)
  • Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana)
  • Oyster plant (Tradescantia spathacea)
  • Scarlet milkweed (Asclepias curassavica)
  • Sisal hemp (Agave sisalana)
  • Spiderwort (Tradescantia fluminensis)
  • Sprenger’s asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus)
  • Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)
  • Wax begonia (Begonia cucullata)
  • Wedelia (Sphagneticola trilobata)
  • Wild taro (Colocasia esculenta)

Grasses and Sedges


 Umbrella plant also known as Cyperus involucratus  Molasses grass also known as Melinis minutiflora  Burma reed also known as Neyraudia reynaudiana


  • Burma reed (Neyraudia reynaudiana)
  • Giant reed (Arundo donax)
  • Molasses grass (Melinis minutiflora)
  • Napier grass (Pennisetum purpureum)
  • Natal grass (Melinis repens)
  • Umbrella plant (Cyperus involucratus)



 Umbrella tree also known as Schefflera actinophylla  False banyan also known as Ficus altissima  Purple orchid tree also known as Bauhinia purpurea


  • African tulip tree (Spathodea campanulata)
  • Australian almond (Terminalia muelleri)
  • Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia)
  • Beauty leaf or Santa Maria (Calophyllum antillanum)
  • Bishopwood (Bischofia javanica)
  • Bottlerush (Callistemon viminalis)
  • Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius)
  • Carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardioides)
  • Chinaberry (Melia azedarach)
  • Chinese tallow tree (Sapium sebiferum)
  • Earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis)
  • False banyan (Ficus altissima)
  • Flamegold tree (Koelreuteria elegans ssp. formosana)
  • Governor’s plum (Flacourtia indica)
  • Guava (Psidium guajava)
  • Indian rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo)
  • Jambolan plum (Syzygium cumini)
  • Laurel fig (Ficus microcarpa)
  • Lead tree (Leucaena leucocephala)
  • Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica)
  • Mango (Mangifera indica)
  • Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia)
  • Mimosa, silk tree (Albizia julibrissin)
  • Orchid tree (Bauhinia variegata)
  • Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera)
  • Pongam (Pongamia pinnata)
  • Purple orchid tree (Bauhinia purpurea)
  • Rose apple (Syzygium jambos)
  • Sapodilla (Mangifera indica)
  • Sea hibiscus (Talipariti tiliaceum)
  • Seaside mahoe (Thespesia populnea)
  • Silk oak (Grevillea robusta)
  • Suckering Australian pine (Casuarina glauca)
  • Tropical almond (Terminalia catappa)
  • Trumpet tree (Cecropia palmata)
  • Umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla)
  • Woman’s tongue (Albizia lebbeck)



 Cape honeysuckle also known as Tecoma capensis  Two-flowered passion vine also known as Passiflora biflora  Noyau Vine also known as Merremia dissecta


  • Air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera)
  • Arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum)
  • Balsam apple, Cerci (Momordica charantia)
  • Brazilian jasmine (Jasminum fluminense)
  • Calico flower (Aristolochia littoralis)
  • Cape honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis)
  • Cat’s claw vine (Macfadyena unguis-cati)
  • Coral vine (Antigonon leptopus)
  • Flame vine (Pyrostegia venusta)
  • Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)
  • Noyau vine (Merremia dissecta)
  • Passionfruit (Passiflora edulis)
  • Poths (Epipremnum pinnatum)
  • Roadside woodrose (Merremia cissoides)
  • Rubber vine (Cryptostegia madagascariensis)
  • Spurge creeper (Dalechampia scandens)
  • St. Vincent's lilac (Solanum seaforthianum)
  • Twolobe passionflower (Passiflora biflora)
  • Winged yam (Dioscorea alata)
  • Wood rose (Merremia tuberosa)



 Sword fern also known as Nephrolepis cordifolia  Wart fern also known as Phymatosorus  Common stag horn fern also known as Platycerium bifurcatum


  • Asian sword fern (Nephrolepis multiflora)
  • Common stag horn fern (Platycerium bifurcatum)
  • Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum)
  • Sword fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia)
  • Wart fern (Phymatosorus scolopendria)

Aquatic Plants


Alligatorweed also known as Alternanthera philoxeroides  Indian swampweed also known as Hygophila polysperma  Water lettuce also known as Pistia stratiotes


  • Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta)
  • Indian shot (Canna indica)
  • Snowflake (Nymphoides cristata)
  • Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)
  • Water spangles (Salvinia minima)
  • Water-hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Additional Resources
For more information about invasive plants, check out the Web resources below.

  1. Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council - 
  2. University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Results of Non-Native Plant Assessment (PDF)
  3. Florida Native Plant Society Invasive Exotic Plants -
  4. The Nature Conservancy Invasive Plants in Your Backyard
  5. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council -
  6. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants -
  7. U. S. Department of Agriculture -
  8. Weeds Gone Wild, Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas Plant Conservation Alliance


  • Bring Nature Home by Douglas W. Tallamy
  • Identification & Biology of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas, 2nd Edition
    Phone: 1-800-226-1764, SP 257,
  • Invasive and Other Non-native Plants SP 349, Phone:1-800-226-1764,
  • Why Things Bite Back: Technology and the Revenge of Unintended Consequences
    by Edward Tenner
  • Herbicides to Kill Invasive Trees in Home Landscapes by Dr. Kenneth Langeland
    Download publication:
  • Wildland Weeds -

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