Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Landscape improvement (pathway cause)



Landscape improvement (pathway cause)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Cause
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Landscape improvement (pathway cause)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Landscape improvement (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acacia longifolia (golden wattle)Used for landscaping in California and Argentina. Yes Dreistadt and Hagen, 1994; Stellatelli et al., 2014
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)Contaminated hay used for rehabilitation works. Yes Sanecki et al., 2003
Agave americana (century plant)Widely commercialized as ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Agrostis avenacea (Pacific bent grass)Introduced to areas outside its native range initially for landscape improvements. Yes Victorian Resources Online, 2015
Agrostis capillaris (common bent)particularly for lawns and golf courses Yes
Akebia quinata (five-leaf akebia) Yes Brand, 2001
Aleurotrachelus atratus (palm-infesting whitefly) Yes
Amelanchier spicata (dwarf serviceberry) Yes NOBANIS, 2009
Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine) Yes Yes
Aphanomyces astaci Yes Yes Oidtmann et al., 2005
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia) Yes PIER, 2009
Arthurdendyus triangulatus (New Zealand flatworm)Movement of topsoil Yes Christensen and Mather, 1995
Arundo donax (giant reed) Yes Yes Dudley, 2000
Asparagus asparagoides (bridal creeper) Yes Yes
Asparagus densiflorus (asparagus fern) Yes Yes
Atriplex semibaccata (Australian saltbush) Yes Yes
Austropuccinia psidii (myrtle rust)Accidental movement on infected plant material Yes Carnegie and Cooper, 2011
Avena barbata (slender oat)Has been a contaminant within amenity grassland seed mixtures Yes USDA-NRCS, 2012
Baccharis pilularis (coyote brush) Yes
Bauhinia monandra (Napoleon's plume)Often planted as ornamental Yes Yes Connor, 2002
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Not documented but possible Yes Yes
Bromus hordeaceus (soft brome) Yes USDA-NRCS, 2005
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail)In Hawaii inter-island movement of ornamental plants has been blamed for the movement of B. asiatica Yes Yes
Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush) Yes
Calopogonium mucunoides (calopo)Soil improver, erosion control Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2013
Candidatus Phytoplasma australiense Yes Yes
Canna indica (canna lilly) Yes Yes
Carpobrotus edulis (hottentot fig) Yes Yes
Cassia grandis (pink shower) Yes Yes ICRAF, 2014
Cedrela odorata (Spanish cedar) Yes Yes Cintron, 1990
Citharexylum ellipticum (anacahuita)Fences and gardens Yes Yes Fuentes, 2012
Clusia roseaPlants are mainly dispersed long distances by humans who use the tree in landscaping Yes Yes Wagner et al., 1999
Cocos nucifera (coconut)Hotels in coastal areas Yes Yes Chan and Elevitch, 2006
Cordia obliqua (clammy cherry)Often planted as barrier and support tree Yes Yes Parmar and Kaushal, 1982
Cordyline fruticosa (ti plant) Yes
Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood)Europe, Australia Yes Dreistadt and Hagen, 1994; Gardening Australia, 2009
Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass) Yes Yes
Cotoneaster horizontalis (wall-spray) Yes Yes Dickoré and Kasperek, 2010
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes Yes
Crataegus monogyna (hawthorn) Yes Yes Alverson and Sigg, 2008
Cuphea hyssopifolia (false heather) Yes Francis, 2004
Cyathea cooperi (australian tree fern)Spores are carried by wind Yes Yes Jones, 1987
Cyrtomium falcatum (Japanese holly fern) Yes Yes
Dactylis glomerata (cocksfoot) Yes Yes
Delonix regia (flamboyant) Yes Yes PIER, 2009
Deparia petersenii subsp. petersenii (Petersen’s lady fern)Purchases for outdoor horticulture can result in spore distribution in new and distant regions. Yes Yes
Desmodium incanum (creeping beggerweed)Likely to be transported on clothing of workers Yes Yes Mori and Brown, 1998
Discus rotundatus (rotund disc)Not explicitly mentioned in literature, but likely based on the species’ biology Yes Yes
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)Ornamental, hedge plant Yes Yes Munger, 2003
Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog)Adults, juveniles, and eggs are shipped long-distance and locally to nursery sites Yes Yes Dreistadt and Hagen, 1994; Ferreira et al., 2015; Meshaka et al., 2009
Epiphyas postvittana (light brown apple moth) Yes
Eremochloa ophiuroides (centipedegrass)Intentionally planted for lawns, parks and golf course Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Erigeron karvinskianus (Karwinsky’s fleabane)Widely used as an ornamental plant, especially in USA and Europe (F Barthelat, pers. obs.) Yes Yes
Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry) Yes Yes
Euphorbia tirucalli (Indian-tree spurge )Widely planted for ornamental purposes Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed)as contaminant of topsoil Yes
Fallopia x bohemica Yes
Ferrisia virgata (striped mealybug)Accidental introduction on plants Yes Yes
Ficus elastica (rubber plant)Specimen is useful as a screen, shade, patio or specimen tree Yes Yes Gilman and Watson, 2014
Ficus lyrata (fiddle-leaf fig)Cultivated as an ornamental, specimen tree, or shade tree. Yes Yes Flora of Nicaragua, 2014; Gilman and Watson, 2014; Hutchinson and Rendle, 1916; Madulid, 1995; Starr et al., 2003
Ficus microcarpa (Indian laurel tree)Has been introduced and cultivated beyond its native range for use as an ornamental and shade tree Yes Yes Hanelt et al., 2001; PIER, 2014; USDA-ARS, 2014
Ficus pumila (creeping fig) Yes Yes Britton, 1918; Floridata, 2014; Hooker, 1882
Forficula auricularia (European earwig)accidental; nymphs and adults Yes Yes
Fraxinus uhdei (tropical ash) Yes Yes
Furcraea foetida (Mauritius hemp)Xeric landscaping plant Yes Yes
Gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath) Yes Yes Darwent, 1975
Haplaxius crudus (American palm cixiid) Yes
Heliocarpus americanus (white moho)for reforestation Yes Motooka et al., 2003
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood) Yes Yes
Holmskioldia sanguinea (Chinese hat plant) Yes Yes Gilman, 1999
Jacaranda mimosifolia (jacaranda) Yes Yes
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush) Yes
Lagerstroemia indica (Indian crape myrtle)Widely cultivated as ornamental Yes Yes USDA-NRCS, 2014
Lemna perpusilla (duckweed) Yes Maki and Galatowitsch, 2004
Ligustrum lucidum (broad-leaf privet)Widely used as ornamental and hedge plants Yes Swarbrick et al., 1999
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet) Yes Dreistadt and Hagen, 1994; Hedges, 1918
Ligustrum sinense (Chinese privet)Widespread hedging plant Yes
Ligustrum vulgare (common privet) Yes Zhao, 2012
Limax maximus (leopard slug)Accidental transport with vegetation, soil, machinery and packaging Yes Yes
Limnocharis flava (yellow bur-head) Yes
Livistona chinensis (Chinese fan palm)Widely commercialized as ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2016
Lonicera maackii (Amur honeysuckle) Yes Yes Swearingen et al., 2010
Ludwigia grandiflora (water primrose) Yes Yes Okada et al., 2009
Lumbricus rubellus Yes Yes
Lumbricus terrestris Yes Yes
Lupinus polyphyllus (garden lupin)Deliberate Yes Yes NOBANIS, 2015
Lygodium microphyllum (old world climbing fern) Yes Yes
Mangifera indica (mango)Planted as a shade tree Yes Yes Bally, 2006
Marisa cornuarietis (giant ramshorn)Associated with aquatic plants Yes Yes
Melaleuca quinquenervia (paperbark tree) Yes Dray et al., 2006
Melinis repens (natal redtop)Used as an ornamental plant Yes Langeland et al., 2008
Miconia calvescens (miconia)Used as a fence post in Tahiti Yes Meyer and Smith, 1998
Mononychellus tanajoa (cassava green mite)Accidental introduction, rare pathway Yes
Morella faya (firetree) Yes
Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (wild olive) Yes Yes
Opuntia engelmannii (cactus apple) Yes
Opuntia stricta (erect prickly pear)As an ornamental Yes Yes
Pandanus tectorius (screw pine) Yes Yes
Paspalum vaginatum (seashore paspalum) Yes Yes
Passiflora caerulea (blue passionflower) Yes Yes
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit) Yes Yes Martin and Nakasone, 1970; Morton, 1967
Passiflora suberosa (corkystem passionflower) Yes
Pennisetum clandestinum (kikuyu grass)As a turf grass Yes Yes
Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass)New plantings and seeds carried on equipment Yes Yes Joubert and Cunningham, 2002
Phyllostachys aurea (golden bamboo)Sold as an ornamental Yes Yes Gucker, 2009
Phyllostachys aureosulcata (yellow groove bamboo)Sold as an ornamental Yes Yes USDA-APHIS, 2012
Phytophthora lateralis (Port-Orford-cedar root disease) Yes Yes Zobel et al., 1985
Piper aduncum (spiked pepper)In Papua New Guinea, P. aduncum was introduced to prevent soil erosion after land clearing in rubber Yes Yes Hartemink, 2010
Pistia stratiotes (water lettuce) Yes Yes Gherardi, 2007
Pittosporum undulatum (Australian cheesewood) Yes Binggeli and Goodland, 1997
Planococcus citri (citrus mealybug)Accidental introduction on imported plants Yes Yes Gerson, 2016
Populus alba (silver-leaf poplar) Yes Yes Jobling, 1990
Populus nigra (black poplar) Yes Yes
Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite)As a urban/street tree in native range Yes Pasiecznik et al., 2001
Prosopis juliflora (mesquite)Planted as a street tree Yes Pasiecznik et al., 2001
Pseudococcus viburni (obscure mealybug)On ornamental shrubs and trees Yes Yes
Pueraria montana var. lobata (kudzu) Yes Yes Shurtleff and Aoyagi, 1977
Pyrrhalta luteola (elm leaf beetle)Urban areas, street tree planting, gardens, parks etc. Yes Yes
Ralstonia solanacearum (bacterial wilt of potato)mud from cleaning waterways which is then spread on fields. Yes
Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) Yes Yes
Rivina humilis (bloodberry)Assumed Yes Yes
Rosa multiflora (Multiflora rose)Root-stock, and planted as a hedge and for conservation Yes Yes Munger, 2002
Rosa rugosa (rugosa rose) Yes Yes
Roystonea oleracea (Caribbean royal palm)The species has been widely cultivated worldwide since the 1500s Yes Yes Dreistadt and Hagen, 1994
Rubus rosifolius (roseleaf raspberry)Planted as ornamental Yes Yes ISSG, 2010
Russelia equisetiformis (firecracker plant)Introduced to Kuwait for greenery in urban and suburban areas Yes Yes Suleiman et al., 2007
Saccharum ravennae (ravenna grass) Yes
Salvia occidentalis (West Indian sage)As a cover crop in Java Yes Sorenson and Johannessen, 2004
Sansevieria hyacinthoides (African bowstring hemp)Commonly planted in gardens and yards Yes Yes Langeland et al., 2008
Sansevieria trifasciata (mother-in-law’s tongue)Commonly planted in gardens and yards Yes Yes Arnold, 2004
Scaevola taccada (beach naupaka)Landscaping in coastal areas Yes Yes Kaufman and Kaufman, 2007
Schefflera actinophylla (umbrella tree) Yes Yes Gucker, 2011
Senna multijuga (November shower)Intentionally cultivated as a hedge tree in tropical regions around the world Yes Yes Flora of Nicaragua, 2014; Hanelt et al., 2001; PIER, 2014
Solanum rostratum (prickly nightshade)Seed contaminant Yes Yes Wiersema and León, 1999
Solenopsis invicta (red imported fire ant)Equipment - accidental Yes ISSG, 2014
Solenopsis richteri (black imported fire ant) Yes Yes
Sphagneticola trilobata (wedelia) Yes Yes
Stenotaphrum secundatum (buffalo grass) Yes Yes
Tabebuia heterophylla (pink trumpet tree)eg Florida Yes Yes Weaver, 1990
Tamarix ramosissima (saltcedar) Yes Yes Gaskin and Schaal, 2003
Thespesia populnea (portia tree) Yes Yes
Thunbergia alata (black eyed Susan) Yes Yes Whistler, 2000
Tithonia diversifolia (Tithonia) Yes Yes Ng'inja et al., 1998
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)Planted to stablise eroded land and increase nitrogen of soils Yes Yes NatureServe, 2016
Triphasia trifolia (limeberry)Ornamental use Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2012
Typha x glauca (hybrid cattail)In North America, Typha spp. are planted in constructed wetlands, or they readily colonize these hab Yes Boers et al., 2007
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena) Yes Yes Royal Horticultural Society, 2015
Vespula pensylvanica (western yellowjacket)Christmas tree trade Yes Yes
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) Yes Trusty et al., 2008
Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet) Yes Smith et al., 2012
Zoysia matrella (Manila grass)Turfgrass Yes Yes FAO, 2015