Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

North-east, north-central, mid-Atlantic United States and southern Canada: Japanese hedgeparsley (Torilis japonica) - a new invasive species in the United States?

Abstract

Japanese hedgeparsley is an annual (or sometimes biennial) forb introduced from Eurasia and found throughout much of the eastern United States and parts of extreme southern Canada. In North America, Japanese hedgeparsley is commonly found in ruderal habitats, such as roadsides, railroad rights-of-way, forest edges, and urban waste spaces. This species has not yet been listed as a noxious invasive, but its expanding populations have caused concern in several Midwestern states. The primary threat from Japanese hedgeparsley is its vigorous growth habit, which creates dense patches, and its dispersal ability, facilitated by its clinging, burr-like fruits. Some confusion on identification exists within the Torilis genus, with similar species (particularly T. arvensis) frequently misidentified in herbaria and the literature. Here, we review aspects of the etymology, taxonomy, biology, distribution, and management of Japanese hedgeparsley with the objective of increasing awareness of the potential threat posed by this species and its closely related congeners.