Maryland’s Invasive Plant Species Threaten Ecosystem Harmony

Invasive plant species are damaging Maryland’s environment.

Maryland’s native plants are under siege – from bamboo to bushes, invasives, environmentalists say, have wrapped their tendrils all across Maryland.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines invasive plants as non-native or alien to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction can cause economic or environmental harm or adversely affect human health.

Invasive plants have unfair advantages over native plants, especially in human-disturbed habitats, said the University of Maryland Extension. They reproduce aggressively in multiple ways and at a much faster pace than indigenous plants.

Some plants are so problematic that the state mandates that sellers label them as invasive. And in the case of a plant called “running bamboo,” Maryland’s General Assembly approved a bill, House Bill 90,  to allow local governments to prevent it from being sold, planted, or grown without proper upkeep and containment. The bill was supported by MACo and signed by Gov. Wes Moore (D) earlier this month.

But there are plenty of other contenders for the most-invasive plant species in Maryland. Here is a list of five others that environmentalists have put on their hit list:

  • Bush Honeysuckle
  • English Ivy
  • Japanese Barberry
  • Japanese Knotweed
  • Callery Pear

For more details on these invasive species and what native plants you should include in your garden this Spring see the full article.