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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Nature Preserves > Invasive Plant Species Invasive Plant Species

Of the more than 2,000 species of vascular plants in Indiana, roughly 25% are non-native to Indiana. Most of these don't create problems in natural areas, but many do, competing with and crowding out more desirable native species. Some of the more well-known non-native invasive plants include purple loosestrife (Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology), Japanese honeysuckle, autumn olive, glossy buckthorn and garlic mustard.

Bush Honeysuckle Autumn Olive Garlic Mustard  

    Bush Honeysuckle                         Autumn Olive                          Garlic Mustard

The Division of Nature Preserves, along with many non-profit organizations such as the The Nature Conservancy, the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society, and other environmental organizations and land trusts focus a great deal time, money, and effort controlling undesirable non-native and invasive species in natural areas. Learn more about the Indiana Invasive Species Task Force.

Although many of these detrimental plants are sold in nurseries and planted by individuals who are generally unaware of the problems they create, there are plenty of native plants that could be used instead for landscaping. To learn more about invasive exotic plants, please view our list of invasive exotic plants found in Indiana natural areas, compiled and updated by Botanist, Michael A. Homoya. To learn more about non-native and invasive species, as well as alternative native species that can be used in landscaping, check out the website for the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society at