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Invasive Plants of Kansas

About Invasive Species

The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC) defines an invasive species as:

  1. an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
  2. a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
  3. many alien species are non-invasive and support human livelihoods or a preferred quality of life.

The Threats from Invasive Species is described by the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

List of Plants

Many non-native Kansas plants are invasive.  The following plants are the most invasive in our state. 

Habit Common Name Scientific Name Noxious Quarantine Nuisance
aquatic curly pondweed Potamogeton crispus Nuisance
aquatic Eurasian water-milfoil Myriophyllum spicatum Nuisance
aquatic hydrilla Hydrilla verticillata Nuisance
forb bull thistle Cirsium vulgare County Noxious
forb Canadian thistle Cirsium arvense State Noxious
forb Chinese bush-clover Lespedeza cuneata State Noxious
forb common crown-vetch Securigera varia
forb common garlic-mustard Alliaria petiolata
forb cut-leaf teasel Dipsacus laciniatus
forb field bindweed Convolvulus arvensis State Noxious
forb fuller's teasel Dipsacus fullonum
forb Grecian foxglove Digitalis lanata Quarantine
forb heart-pod hoarycress Lepidium draba State Noxious
forb Japanese knotweed Fallopia japonica var. japonica
forb leafy spurge Euphorbia virgata State Noxious
forb musk-thistle Carduus nutans State Noxious
forb purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria Quarantine Nuisance
forb Russian knapweed Acroptilon repens State Noxious
forb yellow star-thistle Centaurea solstitialis
grass Caucasian bluestem Bothriochloa bladhii
grass common reed Phragmites australis
grass downy brome Bromus tectorum
grass Japanese brome Bromus japonicus
grass Johnson grass Sorghum halepense State Noxious
grass Kentucky blue grass Poa pratensis
grass meadow mountain-fescue Schedonorus pratensis
grass Quackgrass Elymus repens State Noxious
grass reed canary grass Phalaris arundinacea
grass smooth brome Bromus inermis
grass tall mountain-fescue Schedonorus arundinaceus
grass Turkestan bluestem Bothriochloa ischaemum var. songarica
shrub Amur honeysuckle Lonicera maackii
shrub autumn-olive Elaeagnus umbellata
shrub common buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica
shrub Japanese barberry Berberis thunbergii
shrub multiflora rose Rosa multiflora County Noxious
shrub salt-cedar Tamarix ramosissima Quarantine Nuisance
shrub small-flower tamarisk Tamarix parviflora Quarantine Nuisance
shrub Tatarian honeysuckle Lonicera tatarica
shrub winged burningbush Euonymus alatus
tree Bradford pear Pyrus calleryana
tree Russian-olive Elaeagnus angustifolia
vine common kudzu Pueraria montana var. lobata State Noxious
vine Japanese honeysuckle Lonicera japonica
vine winter creeper Euonymus fortunei


The "Noxious" column designates plants listed in the State Noxious Weed Law (PDF). The Kansas Department of Agriculture is responsible for the administration of the state Noxious Weed Law. Those that are noxious statewide are marked as "state noxious"  Those noxious by county are marked as "county noxious".

The "Quarantine" column designated plants that are prohibited from being moved into the state or moved within the state. Those species are regulated by the Kansas Department of Agriculture. Furthermore the state's Federal Noxious Weed Quarantine (PDF) prohibits the movement of Federal Noxious weeds into the state or within the state..

The "Nuisance" column designates plants determined to be Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) as defined by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, & Tourism. ANS are animals and plants not native to Kansas that can threaten lake and river ecology, harm native or desirable species, and interfere with our economy.

Books on Invasive Plant Control

These books provide more information on identification and control of invasive plants.

  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: An Illustrated Guide to Their Identification and Control –  Czarapata, Univ. of WI Press, 2005
  • The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook - Packard & Mutel, Island Press, 2005
  • Missouri Vegetation Management Manual - Smith, Missouri Department of Conservation, 1997

Identify & Control Invasive Plants

These external pages provide more information on identification and control of invasive plants.