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Kentucky’s Least Wanted Plants

Each year, Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council and the Environmental Resource Management Center at Northern Kentucky University publish a poster showing plants that have proven to be invasive of Kentucky’s native habitats.

“These invasive plants spread by birds and seeds and they take over,” says Judy Ferrell with the Garden Club of Kentucky.

Least-Wanted Plant of 2017:  Japanese barberry
Native Alternatives: Virginia sweetspire, arrowwood, black chokeberry


Least-Wanted Plant of 2016:  Chocolate vine or five-leaf akebia
Native Alternatives: trumpet honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, crossvine


Least-Wanted Plant of 2015:  Mimosa or silktree
Native Alternatives:  alternate-leaf dogwood, red buckeye, American witch hazel


Least-Wanted Plant of 2014:  Porcelain-berry vine
Native Alternatives
:  pepper vine, American wisteria, raccoon grape


Least-Wanted Plant of 2013Autumn olive and Russian olive
Native Alternatives: common elderberry, black chokeberry, blackhaw viburnum


Least-Wanted Plant of 2012Sweet autumn clematis
Native Alternatives: passionflower, Dutchman’s pipe, virgin’s bower


Least-Wanted Plant of 2011Lesser celandine
Native Alternatives: lobed tickseed, celandine poppy, green and gold


Least-Wanted Plant of 2010Privet
Native Alternatives: red chokeberry, ninebark, American holly


Least-Wanted Plant of 2009Callery pear (bradford pear)
Native Alternatives
: fringetree, rusty blackhaw, wild plum


Least-Wanted Plant of 2008Princess-tree
Native Alternatives: yellowwood, northern catalpa, serviceberry


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