Commonly Seen Non-Native Invasive Plants

Other Websites

Mid-Atlantic Early Detection Network—track infestations of non-native invasive plants

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Conservancy

Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy

Here are some of the more commonly seen non-native plants that you may encounter at Rock Creek Park, alphabetized by common name. The list is not comprehensive (about 45 out of 200 plants).

Also check out the "EDRR" species list near the bottom of the page for some less commonly-seen non-native invasive plants the park prioritizes for removal.

Click highlighted names below to learn about these non-native invasive plants. (* indicates non-native)

Common NameScientific Name
albizia* see silktree* 
Amur honeysuckle* see bush honeysuckle* 
Amur peppervine* see porcelain-berry* 
Asian bittersweet* see oriental bittersweet* 
Asiatic false hawksbeard* see oriental false hawksbeard* 
Asiatic tearthumb* see mile-a-minute weed* 
autumn-olive*Elaeagnus umbellata*
barberry* see Japanese barberry* or common barberry* 
beefsteak plant*Perilla frutescens*
bittersweet* see oriental bittersweet* 
burning-bush* see winged burning-bush* 
bush honeysuckle*Lonicera maackii*
cherry* see also sweet cherry*, winter-flowering cherry*, or Yoshino cherry* (See also black cherry under Native Plants)Prunus spp.
(some native, some not)
Chinese privet*Ligustrum sinense*
Chinese wisteria*Wisteria sinensis*
Chinese yam*Dioscorea polystachya*
chocolate vine*Akebia quinata*
common barberry*Berberis vulgaris*
common periwinkle*Vinca minor*
creeping Charlie* see ground-ivy* 
daylily* see orange daylily* 
doublefile viburnum* (a form of Japanese snowball*)Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum*
empress tree* see princess-tree* 
English ivy*Hedera helix*
European barberry* see common barberry* 
European privet*Ligustrum vulgare*
fig buttercup* see lesser celandine* 
five-leaf akebia* see chocolate vine* 
garlic mustard*Alliaria petiolata*
gill-over-the-ground* see ground-ivy* 
ground-ivy*Glechoma hederacea*
honeysuckle* see Japanese honeysuckle* or bush honeysuckle* 
Indian-strawberry*Duchesnea indica*
ivy* see English ivy* or ground-ivy* 
Japanese barberry*Berberis thunbergii*
Japanese honeysuckle*Lonicera japonica*
Japanese hop*Humulus japonicus*
Japanese knotweed*Polygonum cuspidatum*
Japanese maple*Acer palmatum*
Japanese silverberry* see autumn-olive* 
Japanese snowball* (see also doublefile viburnum*)Viburnum plicatum*
Japanese snowbell*Styrax japonicus*
Japanese stiltgrass*Microstegium vimineum*
jetbead*Rhodotypos scandens*
knotweed* see Japanese knotweed* or mile-a-minute weed* (See also knotweed under Native Plants) 
kudzu*Pueraria montana var. lobata*
lesser celandine*Ranunculus ficaria*
lesser periwinkle* see common periwinkle* 
linden arrow-wood*Viburnum dilatatum*
linden viburnum* see linden arrow-wood* 
maples* see also Japanese maple* or Norway maple* (See also maples under Native Plants)Acer spp.
(some native, some not)
microstegium* see Japanese stiltgrass* 
mile-a-minute weed*Polygonum perfoliatum*
mimosa* see silktree* 
mock orange* see sweet mock orange 
mulberry* see white mulberry* (See also red mulberry under Native Plants) 
multiflora rose*Rosa multiflora*
Nepalese browntop* see Japanese stiltgrass* 
Norway maple*Acer platanoides*
orange daylily*Hemerocallis fulva*
oriental bittersweet*Celastrus orbiculatus*
oriental false hawksbeard*Youngia japonica*
perilla* see beefsteak plant* 
periwinkle* see common periwinkle* 
porcelain-berry*Ampelopsis brevipedunculata*
princess-tree*Paulownia tomentosa*
privet* see also Chinese privet* or European privet*Ligustrum spp.*
royal paulownia* see princess-tree* 
silktree*Albizia julibrissin*
silverberry* (Japanese silverberry*) see autumn-olive* 
smartweed* see Japanese knotweed* or mile-a-minute weed* (See also knotweed under Native Plants) 
snowball* see Japanese snowball* 
snowbell* see Japanese snowbell* 
stiltgrass* see Japanese stiltgrass* 
sweet cherry*Prunus avium*
sweet mock orange*Philadelphus coronarius*
tearthumb* see Japanese knotweed* or mile-a-minute weed* (See also knotweed under Native Plants) 
tree-of-heaven*Ailanthus altissima*
viburnums* see also doublefile viburnum*, Japanese snowball*, or linden arrow-wood* (See also viburnums under Native Plants)Viburnum spp.
(Some native, some not)
vinca* see common periwinkle* 
vining euonymus* see winter creeper* 
white mulberry*Morus alba*
wine raspberry*Rubus phoenicolasius*
wineberry* see wine raspberry* 
winged burning-bush*Euonymus alatus*
winter creeper*Euonymus fortunei*
winter-flowering cherry*Prunus subhirtella*
wisteria* see Chinese wisteria* 
yam* see Chinese yam* (See also wild yam under Native Plants) 
Yoshino cherry*Prunus x yedoensis*

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Early Detection Rapid Reponse (EDRR) Species

Below are some less commonly-seen non-native invasive plants that take priority for removal. They are on the park's Early Detection Rapid Response (EDRR) species list. Ecobit: Early Detection Rapid Response Species  Plants that have been sighted in the region, but have not yet been found at Rock Creek Park are called "potential":

Common NameScientific Name
black swallow-wort* (potential)Cynanchum louiseae*
holly osmanthus*Osmanthus heterophyllus*
incised fumewort* (potential)Corydalis incisa*
Japanese angelica tree*Aralia elata*
leatherleaf mahonia*Mahonia bealei*
pale swallow-wort* (potential)Cynanchum rossicum*
wavyleaf basketgrass* (potential)Oplismenus hirtellus ssp. undulatifolius*
yellow archangel*Lamiastrum galeobdolon*

If you see any of these EDRR plant species, please make a note of your location. If possible, take a picture. Notify Rock Creek Park's Chief of Resource Management at 202-895-6010. 

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You Can Make a Difference!

Interested in helping keep Rock Creek Park’s natural communities healthy?

  • When you're visiting Rock Creek Park, you can help keep its natural communities healthy by being observant and sharing what you see with park staff. Ecobit: An Extra Set of Eyes
  • Consider volunteering!
    • Team up with Rock Creek Conservancy, a citizen-based, non-profit organization that hosts volunteer restoration and education events for the benefit of the lands and waters of Rock Creek.
    • Team up with Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy, an organization which sponsors volunteer workdays in partnership with the National Park Service to restore a 27-acre historic gem in the nation's capital.

Make a difference close to home!

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Return to main page: Non-Native Invasive Plants of Rock Creek Park