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Invasive plants are damaging California's wildlands

Invasive, alien, weeds -- these pesky plants have various nicknames, but the reality is that native habitat, especially in the wild promotes a more stable ecosystem -- which promotes air, water and land system health.

The California Invasive Plant Council says, "Across California, invasive plants are damaging wildlands. Invasive plants displace native plants and wildlife, increase wildfire and flood danger, consume valuable water, degrade recreational opportunities, and destroy productive range and timber lands."

How do invasive plants do all this? Basically, by growing so fast that they disrupt the balanced system of plants and animals that developed over thousands of years.

What can we do about it? Several things:

  • Don't buy or sell invasive plant or insect species. Research before buying.
  • Remove invasive species from your spaces before they escape into the wild by wind, birds or other sneaky modes of transport
  • Request your garden center to NOT carry invasives, or at least label them as non-natives, or "very aggressive". Know the law -- some plants are illegal.
  • Request that your garden center carry native plants and to label them as such. Give them a list you've researched for your local area.
  • Take responsiblity for your landscape and learn which native plants will enhance your enjoyment of native habitat and the wildlife that is nourished by this system.
  • Be careful about unwittingly carrying weedseeds and plants into wild areas. Clean your tires and boots before entering pristine or wild areas.
Everything is harder when we have millions of people living in a natural system! I know -- if there were only a few folks here and there, it would be a different story so we have to adapt, right?

Check the California Invasive Plant Council for the 2006 Invasive Plant Inventory database.


Native plants not only teach us about our local habitats, but they attract and nurture local, native wildlife. Enjoy the wonder of flutter and nibbles in your naturally politically correct habitat. The critters will reward you with their presence.


Learning about the web of life through native habitat is a hands-on adventure. Communities of plants work together to provide one another with nutrients, water, shade, and an army of animals who help them pollinate, convert cellulose into protein, and spread their seeds for the next generation's lifecycle. Fascinating!


Knowing what the top invasive plants in your area are will go a long way in sharing and caring for your native habitat. Pretty can also be poisonous to ecological balance.