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Aggressive, Noxious and Invasive Weeds

Aggressive, invasive, or noxious weeds; these are terms that are often used interchangeably. Knowing the difference may help reduce your workload and improve the environment. 

Weed usually refers to a plant out of place. This could be a dandelion in the lawn or a columbine that seeded into the middle of a liatris.

Aggressive plants are bullies that crowd out their timid neighbors. They’ll take over the entire garden bed if left unchecked.  

Invasive plants do the same, but also leave the garden and invade our natural eco-systems. They crowd out native plants that birds, insects and wildlife depend upon. Don’t purchase and consider removing invasive plants from your landscape. 

Noxious weeds are plants that have been identified as harmful to people, animals, crops, livestock and the environment and should be removed.

As you may have guessed, some plants fit in all three categories.

A bit more information: You may have discovered some plants considered invasive in some regions may not be classified as invasive in yours. Always check with your local extension service or Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States before purchasing new plants. 

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