The Delaware Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture have published an online booklet for the Mid-Atlantic region, (from New Jersey to Virginia) that will help homeowners, and land managers with the difficult task of differentiting between problematic foreign invasive plants, and their native look-alikes.
The US Government spends billions of dollars each year trying to combat the rapid spread of invasive plants in waterways, national parks, and farmland, and the private industry spends equal that amount from their own budgets to do the same. The trouble with many invasive and rapidly growing plants is that they look much like their native cousins, who pose no ecological threat here in their home environment. For many land managers, including myself, differentiating between the native (and protected) plant, and the look-alike invasive plant can be difficult. This guide contains the best side-by-side compairisons between these plants that I have ever seen, including pictures, descriptions, and even reasons why the plant needs to be removed.
For those of us in the business who can’t tell the difference between “Giant Hogweed,” and a “Cow Parsnip,” this guide will help you properly identify the difference between the two, while giving you proven tips on the permanent erradication of the invasive. I particularly appreciate the hints it gives on handling some of the more noxious plants, for instance warning the reader that Hogweed sap on the skin causes chemicals burns when it’s exposed to sunlight.
The guide can be found online through this link and identifies 20 of the most common invasive plants that keep those of us in the ‘Green Industry’ on our toes. It’s a great link to bookmark on your browser, or to print out and have on hand during the growing season for quick identification.