Suggested Alternatives to Non-native Invasive Plants

This list, developed by the Georgia Green Industry Association in cooperation with the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council (GA-EPPC), provides suggested alternatives (both native* and non-native (exotic, alien, introduced)**) to non-native invasive plants currently or previously available in the nursery trade. The invasive plants listed are from the GA-EPPC's List of Non-native Invasive Plants from Category 1, Category 1 Alert, and Category 2 (revised March 2006.) The category is indicted in parentheses beside each invasive plant listed.

Categories of Invasive Non-native Plants from the GA-EPPC list:
Category 1 - Exotic plant that is a serious problem in Georgia natural areas by extensively invading native plant communities and displacing native species.
Category 1 Alert - Exotic plant that is a not yet a serious problem in Georgia natural areas, but that has significant potential to become a serious problem.
Category 2 - Exotic plant that is a moderate problem in Georgia natural areas through invading native plant communities and displacing native species, but to a lesser degree than Category 1 species.

For the complete GA-EPPC list of invasive non-native plants, see gaeppc.bugwoodcloud.org.

Although many of the invasive plants listed here are no longer in the Georgia nursery trade, the Georgia Green Industry Association recognizes the seriousness of this issue and is encouraging the Green Industry and consumers to grow, sell and plant only non-invasive species.

* "Native" is used to refer to plants with natural ranges in the Southeastern U.S.

** Non-native alternatives on this list have not been found to be invasive in Georgia at this time. However, it is possible that some non-native plants may become invasive over time once introduced into natural areas. As a general rule, it is best to plant only plants native to the particular region in the vicinity of high quality natural areas.

PLEASE NOTE: This list is not all-inclusive. There are many other plants worthy of use in landscapes. To ensure that the plants you use are not likely to be invasive, please refer to the GA-EPPC list. For more information about landscape plants, contact your county extension agent at 1-800-ASKUGA1.

KEY:
E = evergreen
SE = semi-evergreen
asterisk (*) = Species not readily available in nursery trade, but worthy of cultivation.



Trees:

Invasive Non-native Trees
Botanical Name (category) Common Name
Ailanthus altissima (1) Tree of Heaven
Albizia julibrissin (1) Mimosa, Silk-tree
Melia azedarach (1) Chinaberry
Paulownia tomentosa (1) Princess-tree, Royal Paulownia
Triadica sebifera (Sapium sebiferum) (1) Chinese Tallowtree, Popcorn Tree

Suggested Tree Alternatives:

Non-native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Acer buergerianum Trident Maple
Acer japonicum Full Moon Maple
Acer palmatum Japanese Maple cultivars
Acer truncatum * Shantung Maple
Cercidiphyllum japonicum Katsura-tree
Chionanthus retusus Chinese Fringetree
Cornus kousa Kousa Dogwood
Cryptomeria japonica (E) Japanese Cedar cultivars
Lagerstroemia indica x L. fauriei Hybrid Crapemyrtle
Malus domestica Apple cultivars
Metasequoia glyptostroboides Dawn Redwood
Parrotia persica * Persian Ironwood
Pistacia chinensis Chinese Pistache
Prunus x 'Okame' Okame Cherry
Prunus salicina Ruby Sweet Plum
Prunus x yedoensis Yoshino Cherry
Stewartia monadelpha Tall Stewartia
Stewartia pseudocamellia Japanese Stewartia
Styrax japonicus Japanese Snowbell
Thuja plicata (E) Giant Arbovitae


Native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Acer floridanum (A. barbatum) Southern Sugar Maple
Acer leucoderme Chalkbark Maple
Acer rubrum Red Maple
Aesculus pavia Red Buckeye
Amelanchier arborea Serviceberry
Carpinus caroliniana * Musclewood
Cercis canadensis Redbud
Chionanthus virginicus Fringetree
Cladrastis kentukea American Yellowwood
Cornus alternifolia * Pagoda Dogwood
Crataegus marshallii Parsley Hawthorn
Crataegus phaenopyrum Washington Hawthorn
Crataegus viridis Winter King Hawthorn
Halesia diptera * Two-winged Silverbell
Halesia carolina Carolina Silverbell
Halesia tetraptera Mountain Silverbell
Ilex opaca (E) American Holly
Juniperus virginiana (E) Eastern Redcedar
Magnolia macrophylla Big Leaf Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana Sweet Bay Magnolia
Nyssa sylvatica Blackgum
Oxydendrum arboreum Sourwood
Quercus georgiana * Georgia Oak
Quercus lyrata Overcup Oak
Quercus shumardii Shumard Oak
Sassafras albidum * Sassafras
Ulmus alata Winged Elm


Shrubs:

Invasive Non-native Shrubs
Botanical Name (category) Common Name
Elaeagnus pungens (2)(E) Silverthorn, Thorny Eleagnus
Elaeagnus umbellata (1) Autumn-olive
Ligustrum japonicum (2)(E) Japanese Privet
Ligustrum sinense (1) Chinese Privet
Lonicera maackii (2) Amur Honeysuckle
Nandina domestica (2)(E) Nandina, Heavenly Bamboo
Rosa multiflora (1) Multiflora Rose
Spiraea japonica (2) Japanese Spirea

Suggested Shrub Alternatives:

Non-native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Abelia x grandiflora (E) Glossy Abelia cultivars
Buxus microphylla (E) Japanese Boxwood cultivars
Callicarpa dichotoma Purple Beautyberry
Caryopteris x clandonensis Bluebeard
Cephalotaxus harringtonia (E) Creeping Plum Yew cultivars
Chamaecyparis pisifera (E) Japanese Falsecypress
Hydrangea macrophylla Big Leaf Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata Peegee Hydrangea
Illicium henryi (E) Henry Anise Tree
Juniperus spp. (E) Juniper species and cultivars
Lagerstroemia indica Crapemyrtle
(dwarf and semi-dwarf forms)
Loropetalum chinensis (E) Loropetalum white and red cultivars
Osmanthus x fortunei (E) Fortune's Osmanthus
Osmanthus heterophyllus (E) Holly Osmanthus
Prunus laurocerasus (E) English Laurel cultivars
Raphiolepis indica (E) Indian Hawthorne cultivars
Rhododendron spp. (E) Azalea species and cultivars
Ternstroemia gymnanthera (E) Cleyera
Viburnum odoratissimum var. awabuki (E) Awabuki Viburnum
Viburnum utile (E) Service Viburnum
Viburnum macrocephalum Chinese Snowball Viburnum
Viburnum plicatum tomentosum Doublefile Viburnum
Viburnum setigerum Tea Viburnum
Viburnum x burkwoodi (SE) Burkwood Viburnum
Vitex agnus-castus Chastetree


Native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Aesculus parviflora Bottlebrush Buckeye
Aesculus pavia Red Buckeye
Agarista populifolia (E) Fetterbush
Calycanthus floridus Sweetshrub
Callicarpa americana Beautyberry
Clethra alnifolia Summersweet Clethra
Cyrilla racemiflora Red Titi
Eubotrys racemosa * Sweetbells Leucothoe
Fothergilla gardenii Dwarf Fothergilla
Fothergilla major Large Fothergilla
Hamamelis virginiana Common Witchhazel
Hydrangea arborescens Smooth Hydrangea
Hydrangea quercifolia Oakleaf Hydrangea
Hypericum densiflorum Bushy St. Johns-wort
Hypericum frondosum (E) Golden St. Johns-wort
Ilex decidua Possumhaw
Ilex glabra (E) Inkberry, Gallberry
Ilex verticillata Winterberry
Illicium floridanum (E) Florida Anise
Illicium parviflorum (E) Small Anise-tree
Itea virginica (SE) Virginia Sweetspire
Leucothoe axillariss (E) Dog-hobble cultivars
Lindera benzoin * Spicebush
Myrica cerifera (E) Southern Wax Myrtle
Pinckneya bracteata * Feverbark
Rhododendron austrinum Florida Azalea
Rhododendron canescens Piedmont Azalea
Rhododendron viscosum Sweet Azalea
Vaccinium virgatum Rabbiteye Blueberry cultivars
Vaccinium corymbosum Southern Highbush Blueberry
Viburnum acerifolium Mapleleaf Viburnum
Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood Viburnum
Viburnum nudum * Swamp-haw


Vines:

Invasive Non-native Vines
Botanical Name (category) Common Name
Celastrus orbiculatus (1Alert) Oriental Bittersweet
Hedera helix (1)(E) English Ivy
Lonicera japonica (1)(E) Japanese Honeysuckle
Lygodium japonicum (1) Japanese Climbing Fern
Pueraria montana (1) Kudzu
Wisteria sinensis (1) Chinese Wisteria

Suggested Vine Alternatives:

Non-native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Clematis armandii Evergreen Clematis
Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris Climbing Hydrangea
Parthenocissus tricuspidata Boston Ivy
Rosa banksiae (E) Lady Banks Rose
Schizophragma hydrangeoides Climbing Hydrangea
Stigmaphyllon ciliatum * Butterfly Vine
Trachelospermum jasminoides (E) Confederate Jasmine


Native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Aristolochia macrophylla * Dutchman's Pipe
Bignonia capreolata (E) Crossvine
Campsis radicans Trumpet Creeper
Clematis virginiana * Virgin's Bower
Decumaria barbara Climbing Hydrangea
Gelsemium sempervirens (E) Carolina Jessamine
Lonicera sempervirens Coral Honeysuckle
Parthenocissus quinquefolia Virginia Creeper
Passiflora incarnata Passion Flower
Wisteria frutescens American Wisteria


Groundcovers:

Invasive Non-native Groundcovers
Botanical Name (category) Common Name
Hedera helix (1)(E) English Ivy
Vinca major (2)(E) Bigleaf Periwinkle
Vinca minor (2)(E) Common Periwinkle

Suggested Groundcover Alternatives:

Non-native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Ajuga reptans (E) Ajuga
Hypericum calycinum (E) St. John's Wort
Ophiopogon japonicus (E) Mondo Grass
Pachysandra terminalis (E) Pachysandra
Rubus hayata-koidzumii Creeping Raspberry
Sarcococca hookeriana (E) Sweetbox
Saxifraga stolonifera Strawberry Geranium
Sedum spp. (E) Creeping Sedum
Trachelospermum asiaticum (E) Asiatic Jasmine


Native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Chrysogonum virginianum (E) Green and Gold
Heuchera americana (E) Alumroot cultivars
Mitchella repens (E) Partridge Berry
Onoclea sensibilis Sensitive Fern
Pachysandra procumbens Allegheny Spurge
Packera aurea (Senecio aureus) * Golden Ragwort
Phlox divaricata (SE) Woodland Phlox
Phlox stolonifera Creeping Phlox
Polystichum acrostichoides (E) Christmas Fern
Woodwardia areolata Netted Chain Fern


Ornamental Grasses:

Invasive Non-native Ornamental Grasses
Botanical Name (category) Common Name
Imperata cylindrica (1 Alert) (Includes variety rubra and cultivar 'Red Baron') Cogongrass, Japanese Bloodgrass
Miscanthus sinensis (2) Chinese Silvergrass
Phyllostachys aurea (2) Golden Bamboo

Suggested Ornamental Grass Alternatives:

Non-native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Acorus gramineus Sweetflag
Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Stricta' Feather Reed Grass
Cortaderia selloana Pampas Grass
Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubra' Red Fountain Grass


Native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Eragrostis spectabilis Purple Love Grass
Juncus effusus Common Rush
Muhlenbergia capillaris Muhly Grass
Muhlenbergia filipes Sweetgrass
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass cultivars
Schizachyrium scoparium Little Bluestem cultivars
Sorghastrum nutans Indian Grass
Tripsacum dactyloides Eastern Gamagrass


Herbaceous Perennials:

Invasive Non-native Herbaceous Perennials
Botanical Name (category) Common Name
Leucanthemum vulgare (2) Oxeye Daisy
Polygonum cuspidatum (1Alert) Japanese Knotweed

Suggested Herbaceous Perennial Alternatives:

Non-native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Ceratostigma plumbaginoides Perennial Plumbago
Dianthus gratianapolitanus Pinks cultivars
Glandularia canadensis Homestead Purple Verbena
Helleborus orientalis Lenten Rose
Hosta spp. Hosta
Iris sibirica Siberian Iris
Iris tectorum Japanese Roof Iris
Kalimeris pinnatifida Japanese Aster
Leucanthemum x superbum Shasta Daisy
Salvia guaranitica Blue Anise Sage
Veronica peduncularis Veronica cultivars


Native alternatives
Botanical Name Common Name
Aquilegia canadensis Wild Columbine
Aster divaricatus White Wood Aster
Baptisia australis Blue Wild Indigo
Coreopsis verticillata Threadleaf Coreopsis cultivars
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower cultivars
Gaura lindheimeri White Gaura
Phlox carolina Carollina Phlox
Phlox paniculata Garden Phlox cultivars
Phlox subulata (E) Moss Pink cultivars
Rudbeckia fulgida Black-eyed Susan cultivars
Stokesia laevis Stokes Aster
Stylophorum diphyllum Wood Poppy
Symphyotrichum laeve var. laeve Smooth Aster cultivars
Symphyotrichum oblongifolium Aromatic Aster cultivars