Ramsey County’s 

 Most Unwanted Invasive Plants


Click the name of the plant to view the PDF with more information.

Black Swallow-wort

Black swallow-wort overtakes and smothers vegetation—event entire fields. Toxicity to grazing animals is suspected. 

Cutleaf Teasel

Cutleaf Teasel threatens pastures and natural areas. Young teasels form basal rosettes. Mature teasels send up flower stalks.

Grecian Foxglove

Grecian Foxglove (perennial) creates dense stands that threaten savanna and prairie communities. DANGER! May be fatal if eaten.

Oriental Bittersweet

Oriental bittersweet can spread in a short time period and is currently replacing native American bittersweet in the eastern U.S.

Poison Hemlock

Poison hemlock is a deadly poisonous plant of the carrot family. All parts are poisonous to humans and other animals.

Wild Parsnip

Wild parsnip invades disturbed areas, road and trail sides, edges, and open areas. CAUTION! Plant sap may cause serious skin burns.


Click the name of the plant to view the PDF with more information.

Common Tansy

Common tansy invades disturbed habitats, roadsides, grasslands, and waters by spreading seeds and rhizomes.

Narrowleaf Bittercress

Plants grow densely in deep shade and on banks and moist limestone rocks. 


Click the name of the plant to view the PDF with more information.

Amur Corktree

Amur corktree has spread from boulevard plantings into forested areas by producing chemicals that suppress nearby plants.

Amur Maple

Amur maple has “helicopter-like” seeds that are spread by wind. Often found in roadside plantings, hedges, and windbreaks.

Amur or Chinese Silver Grass

Amur or Chinese silver grass is incorrectly referred to as “pampas” grass. 

Flowering Rush

Flowering Rush spreads by seeds, rhizomes, and bulb-lets that float to new areas when disturbed by boat traffic, ice movements, or animals. 

Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard grows in shady areas and forms dense stands. It spreads by seed from its long thin pods and produces chemicals to prohibit nearby plant growth.

Greater Celendine

Greater Celandine is most often found in disturbed areas, especially with moist soil. Its seeds could be moved to other habitats by ants.

Japanese Knotweed

Knotweeds are often incorrectly referred to as bamboo because of the stem’s resemblance.

Stop the Spread 

Stopping the spread of invasive species is key!

Please remember to clean all gear (shoes, 4-wheeler tires, boats, fishing lines, etc.) on the way in and out of natural areas to make sure you’re not spreading anything. Many invasives are tiny—even microscopic—at certain stages in their life cycles.

Text that says check in and out every time with a magnifying glass with over a giant cartoon germ with a slash through it

Ramsey County’s Most Invasive Plants Linked to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

The below list of plants links to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website. Click on the plant name to learn identification, distribution, impacts, management, regulatory status, and native plant alternatives for those species. A  booklet-style guide of invasive plants is linked below the table. The asterisk (*) indicates plants where early detection is most important.

Flowering Plants & Grasses


Trees & Shrubs



        More Information: Invasive Plant booklets

        • Minnesota Noxious Weeds (link is external)  PDF (Minnesota Department of Transportation) – contains information on identification and management of species regulated by the noxious weed law. Note that regulatory status may change more frequently than the printed version changes, so always consult the
        • Noxious Weed List (link is external) for the most up to date regulations.
        • By Land And By Sea: Identification Guide To Non-native Species For Minnesota (link is external) (University of Minnesota) – contains identification and regulatory status information on aquatic and terrestrial non-native plant and animal species. The guide may be purchased from the University of Minnesota or information may be accessed through individual species webpages (link is external).
        • A Field Guide to Terrestrial Invasive Plants in Wisconsin (link is external)  PDF (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources) – contains information on identification, impacts, and management of 60 invasive plants found in Wisconsin. You may print the pdf file or there is a printed version available for purchase through the Wisconsin DNR.