Definition - What does Invasive mean?

An invasive is any plant species that is introduced to, thrives in, and spreads throughout an environment outside of its native region. Invasive plant species are naturally aggressive and may displace, harm, and/or cause the extinction of native plant life.

While invasive plant species may differ from one another a great deal, they all tend to have a few things in common. Most often, they produce a lot of seeds, making it easy for them to spread, even if some seeds do not germinate. Those seeds are often distributed by the wind, birds, or other means across long distances, allowing the plants gain a purchase on new territory. Many of them grow very well in disturbed soil, and they often have aggressive root systems that will not only strangle other plants’ root systems but will also spread out across great distances. Finally, some invasive plants also produce chemicals in their roots and leaves that will inhibit other plants from growing near them.

MaximumYield explains Invasive

An invasive plant is any plant that isn’t native to a given area or ecosystem that, when it is introduced, is likely to cause harm to the local ecosystem. Plants are usually not considered invasive unless they aggressively spread and cause economic or environmental harm to the area.

Invasive plants are a major problem in many areas of the United States, most notably in places with protected environments such as Hawaii. Across the United States, invasive plant species have had a major negative impact on 42% of the threatened and endangered native plant species. Also, as invasive plants take over, the overall plant diversity in an a given ecosystem can decline significantly, and this can have a negative impact on the area’s wildlife habitats.

Invasive species are generally not a problem for indoor gardeners, but it is important to understand if you are working with an invasive species and how to prevent the spread of these plant species in your area if you are.

Some common invasive plant species that have established themselves in the United States include kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, Scotch thistle, air potato, witchweed, and others.

This definition was written in the context of Horticulture
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