Common Roadside Invasive Plants in Iowa

Not all of the showy plants you see along Iowa's roadways are native grasses and wildflowers.  Some are invasive, non-native plant species.  Invasive plants are species that have become established in an area and, by out-competing more desirable plants, can degrade agricultural land and natural areas. Invasive plants continually adapt and move to new habitats, particularly disturbed roadsides.  Controlling the spread of these species is an IRVM priority.

Several showy invasive plants, commonly found in Iowa, are shown below. Click on the links for more information.

RUSSIAN KNAPWEED*
(Acroptilon repens)
GARLIC MUSTARD
(Alliaria petiolata)
SMOOTH BROME
(Bromus inermis)
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)

Information:
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Adams County Extension
State of California
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
Wisconsin DNR
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin
Global Invasive Species Database
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)

Information:
Minnesota DNR
USDA - NRCS
MUSK THISTLE*
(Carduus nutans)
 ORIENTAL BITTERSWEET
(Celastrus orbiculatus)
CHICORY
(Cichorium intybus)
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)
missouriplants.com

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Global Invasive Species Database
Adams County Extension
State of California
Purdue University
Information:
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
USGS
USDA - NISIC
Plant Conservation Alliance
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS
CANADA THISTLE*
(Cirsium arvense)
FIELD BINDWEED*
(Convolvulus arvensis)
CROWN VETCH
(Coronilla varia)
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)
missouriplants.com

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Global Invasive Species Database
Adams County Extension
State of California
Purdue University
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS
Adams County Extension
State of California

Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS
Global Invasive Species Database
Minnesota DNR
PAMPAS GRASS
(Cortaderia selloana)
QUEEN ANNE'S LACE**
(Daucus carota)
TEASEL**
(Dipsacus spp.)
Information:
USDA - NRCS
Global Invasive Species Database
USGS Biological Resources Division
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS
Minnesota DNR
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Wisconsin DNR
AUTUMN OLIVE
(Elaeagnus umbellata)
LEAFY SPURGE*
(Euphorbia esula)
ORANGE DAYLILY
(Hemerocallis fulva)
Images:
Wisconsin DNR

Information:
Missouri DOC
USDA - NISIC
Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Global Invasive Species Database
Adams County Extension
State of California
Wisconsin DNR
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
Illinois Wildflowers
DAME'S ROCKET
(Hesperis matronalis)
SERICEA LESPEDEZA
(Lespedeza cuneata)
AMUR HONEYSUCKLE
(Lonicera maacki)
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS
Wisconsin DNR
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
Illinois DNR

Missouri DOC
Plant Conservation Alliance
Images:
Wisconsin DNR

Information:
Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin
Missouri DOC
PURPLE LOOSESTRIFE
(Lythrum salicaria)
SWEET CLOVER
(Melilotus officinalis, M. alba)
PLUME GRASS
( Miscanthus sacchariflorus)
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)
missouriplants.com

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - NRCS
Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin
Global Invasive Species Database
Adams County Extension
State of California
Wisconsin DNR
Images:
missouriplants.com
missouriplants.com

Information:
USDA - NRCS

The Nature Conservancy
Minnesota DNR
Information:
USDA - NRCS
Minnesota DNR
WILD PARSNIP
( Pastinaca sativa)
REED CANARY GRASS
(Phalaris arundinacea)
JAPANESE KNOTWEED
(Polygonum cuspidatum)
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
University of Wisconsin - Agronomy

Wisconsin DNR
Information:
USDA - NRCS
Global Invasive Species Database
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Global Invasive Species Database
State of California

Land and Water J/A '09
BUCKTHORN*
( Rhamnus cathartica)
MULTIFLORA ROSE**
( Rosa multiflora)
PUNCTURE VINE**
( Tribulus terrestris)
Images:
Wisconsin DNR

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin
Global Invasive Species Database

Minnesota DNR
Images:
missouriplants.com

Information:
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - NRCS
USDA - NISIC
Global Invasive Species Database
Iowa State University

University of Wisconsin
Images:
Pacific Northwest Weed ID (seedling)

Information:
USDA - NRCS
State of California
Adams County Extension

*Iowa Primary Noxious Weed
**Iowa Secondary Noxious Weed
See a complete list of Iowa's noxious weeds and learn more about the Iowa Weed Law.

GENERAL INVASIVE PLANT INFORMATION LINKS:

Center for Invasive Plant Management
Plant Conservation Alliance
USDA - National Invasive Species Information Center
Iowa State Weed Science
 

 
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