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)
Acacia saligna (coojong)Species has been introduced beyond its native range as an ornamental and for its usefulness for binding moving sand, reclaiming eroded hillsides and wastelands and for stabilizing drift sands; useful for windbreaks, amenity plantings, beautification projects and roadside stabilization in semi-arid regions Yes Yes Duke (1983)
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)
Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)Often planted as a shade tree Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Aleurotrachelus atratus (palm-infesting whitefly) Yes
Amelanchier spicata (dwarf serviceberry) Yes NOBANIS (2009)
Amynthas agrestis (crazy worm)Movement with soil or other organic material accompanying plants Yes Yes Görres and Melnichuk (2012); Bellitürk et al. (2015)
Anredera cordifolia (Madeira vine) Yes Yes
Aphanomyces astaci Yes Yes Oidtmann et al. (2005)
Ardisia elliptica (shoebutton ardisia) Yes PIER (2009)
Ardisia humilis (low shoebutton)Used as ornamental Yes Yes
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
Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica (cane cactus) Yes Yes
Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s needle cactus) 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)
Cheilocostus speciosus (crepe ginger )Widely commercialized as an ornamental plant Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2015)
Chrysopogon zizanioides (vetiver)Often planted for soil and water conservation, soil improvement, habitat regeneration Yes Yes Gnansounou et al. (2017)
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)
Codiaeum variegatum (garden croton) Yes Griffin (1953); Hettiarachchi et al. (2003); Deng et al. (2010)
Coptotermes gestroi (Asian subterranean termite)May be present in any wooden structures used to transport seedling Yes Yes
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 EPPO (2009); 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)
Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) Yes Yes Dirr (2009)
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)
Dieffenbachia seguine (dumb cane) Yes Space and Flynn (2002)
Discus rotundatus (rotund disc)Not explicitly mentioned in literature, but likely based on the species’ biology Yes Yes
Duranta erecta (golden dewdrop) Yes Yes
Dypsis decaryi (triangle palm)Deliberate Yes PIER (2018)
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 Christy et al. (2007); 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
Euonymus japonicus (Japanese spindle tree) 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
Gomphrena globosa (globe amaranth) Yes Flora of Pakistan (2015)
Gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath) Yes Yes Darwent (1975)
Hakea sericea (silky hakea) Yes Yes
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)
Humulus scandens (Japanese hop) Yes Yes
Jacaranda mimosifolia (jacaranda) Yes Yes
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush) Yes
Kigelia africana (sausage tree)Used in landscaping Yes Yes Williams (1985)
Lagerstroemia indica (Indian crape myrtle)Widely cultivated as ornamental Yes Yes USDA-NRCS (2014)
Lemna perpusilla (duckweed) Yes Maki and Galatowitsch (2004)
Leptocybe invasa (blue gum chalcid) Yes Yes
Lespedeza cuneata (sericea lespedeza)Used for erosion control Yes Yes Ohlenbusch et al. (2001)
Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)Often grown in commercial landscapes Yes Yes Kahle et al. (2020)
Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese privet)Used in various gardens, on highways and in parking lots Yes Gilman and Watson (1993)
Ligustrum lucidum (broad-leaf privet)Widely used as ornamental and hedge plants Yes Swarbrick et al. (1999)
Ligustrum obtusifolium (border privet) Yes Brand (Ed) (2001); 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
Maconellicoccus hirsutus (pink hibiscus mealybug) 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
Noronhia emarginata (Madagascar olive)Deliberate Yes Gilman and Watson (2018)
Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (wild olive) Yes Yes
Opuntia engelmannii (cactus apple) Yes
Opuntia stricta (erect prickly pear)As an ornamental Yes Yes
Pachira aquatica (pachira nut)Grown as a landscape tree for its dense and spreading canopy Yes Yes Wong (2006)
Pandanus tectorius (screw pine) Yes Yes
Paracoccus marginatus (papaya mealybug)Long distance and local trade in infested ornamental plants Yes Yes Macharia et al. (2017)
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
Passion fruit woodiness virus (passionfruit woodiness disease)Accidental with exchange of live Passiflora plant material Yes Baker et al. (2014)
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)
Phyllostachys reticulata (giant timber bamboo) Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Phytophthora kernoviaePlanting of infected shrubs and trees Yes Yes EPPO (2013)
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)
Plumbago auriculata (cape leadwort) Yes Dave’s Garden (2017)
Podosphaera spiraeae (Japanese spiraea powdery mildew) Yes
Polyscias balfouriana (Balfour aralia)Cultivated as a landscape ornamental and indoor potted plant Yes Yes Lowry and Plunkett (2010)
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
Pteris multifida (spider brake)As a cultivated plant and also with the potential use for bioremediation Yes Yes Kawano (2015); Rahman et al. (2018)
Pteris tripartita (giant brake)Used as an ornamental Yes Yes Flora and Fauna Web (2019); PROSEA (2019)
Pterocarpus indicus (red sandalwood)Ornamental and shade tree Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Ptychosperma elegans (solitaire palm)Used for landscapes Yes Palmpedia (2017)
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 Zucaratto and dos Santos Pires (2014)
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)
Sesbania grandiflora (sesbania) Yes Yes
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
Solidago sempervirens (seaside goldenrod)Planted for habitat restoration and erosion control Yes Yes USDA-NRCS (2018)
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)
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)
Triplaris americana (ant tree)Planted along roadsides Yes Yes Grandtner and Chevrette (2013)
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
Wasmannia auropunctata (little fire ant)Soil Yes Yes ISSG (2014)
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)