Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Seed trade (pathway cause)



Seed trade (pathway cause)


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

  • Seed trade (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Abutilon hirtum (Indian mallow)Seeds available on the internet for conservation and restoration purposes. Yes Yes
Abutilon indicum (country mallow) Yes Yes
Acacia angustissima (prairie acacia)Seeds available to be shipped locally and internationally. Yes Yes
Acacia longifolia (golden wattle)Seeds for sale over the internet. Yes Yes
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)Seeds available locally and internationally for forage use, ornamental use. Yes Yes Rumball (2005)
Aegilops cylindrica Yes Yes
Ageratum houstonianum (Blue billygoatweed) Yes Yes
Agrostis capillaris (common bent) Yes
Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass)Contamination of grass seeds. No introduction information Yes Mackay (1964)
Alternanthera halimifolia (hairy joyweed)Seed contaminant
Alternaria japonica (pod spot of radish)infected seed Yes Yes Neergaard (1945); Petrie (1978); Tahvonen (1979); Tohyama and Tsuda (1990); Tohyama and Tsuda (1995)
Alternaria triticina (leaf blight of wheat) Yes Logrieco et al. (1990)
Amaranthus dubius (spleen amaranth) Yes Yes
Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed) Yes Yes
Ambrosia trifida (giant ragweed) Yes Yes
Anethum graveolens (dill) Yes Yes Jana and Shekhawat (2010)
Anguina tritici (wheat seed gall nematode)Rare, accidental Yes Yes
Antigonon leptopus (coral vine)Seeds sold online Yes Yes Burke and DiTommaso (2011)
Argemone mexicana (Mexican poppy)Seeds are available over the internet Yes Yes
Argyreia nervosa (elephant creeper)Seeds sold for cultivation of plants for ornamental purposes and as a “legal drug”. Yes Yes Csurhes (2009)
Aronia x prunifolia Yes Yes
Artemisia biennis (biennial wormwood)In flaxseed or grain Yes Jehlík (1984); Suominen (1979)
Arthraxon hispidus (small carpetgrass) Yes Yes
Asparagus falcatus (sicklethorn)Seeds and plants available for sale at nurseries and the Internet Yes Yes
Avena barbata (slender oat)Is a common contaminant in seed mixtures Yes
Axonopus fissifolius Yes Yes
Basella alba (malabar spinach)Available in seed catalogues Yes Yes PROTA (2017)
Bipolaris victoriae (Victoria blight of oats) Yes Yes Meehan (1950)
Bixa orellana (annatto) Yes Yes Morton (1960)
Blighia sapida (akee apple)Seeds sold online Yes
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea)Seeds available online Yes Yes
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Not documented but possible Yes Yes
Brassica juncea (mustard) Yes Yes
Brassica nigra (black mustard)deliberate Yes
Brassica rapa (field mustard)Seeds available for sale on multiple websites Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Bromus hordeaceus (soft brome)Common forage grass contaminate Yes Yes Smith (1968)
Bromus secalinus (rye brome)Principally spread as a contaminant of cereal seed Yes Hubbard (1954)
Buddleja asiatica (dog tail)Especially since the species is an ornamental and a medicinal plant Yes Yes Plants for a Future (2013)
Bunias orientalis (Turkish warty-cabbage) Yes Jehlik and Slavik (1968)
Carludovica palmata (Panama hat plant)Ornamental and economic use Yes Yes
Cavanillesia platanifolia (cuipo)Seeds available at the Tropical Agricultural Experiment Station Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2019)
Cenchrus biflorus (Indian sandbur) Yes Yes
Centaurea macrocephala (giant knapweed) Yes
Centratherum punctatum (lark daisy)Seeds sold online ( Yes Yes
Chromolaena odorata (Siam weed)As a seed contaminant Yes Yes Chevalier (1949)
Ciborinia allii (neck rot of onion) Yes Yes Lacy and Lorbeer (1995)
Cirsium mexicanum (Mexican thistle)Contaminant in crop seeds Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)
Clavibacter michiganensis (bacterial canker of tomato) Yes Yes
Clavibacter nebraskensis (Goss's bacterial wilt and leaf blight) Yes Yes
Clavibacter sepedonicus (potato ring rot) Yes Yes Boer et al. (2005); De Boer (1987)
Clavibacter tessellarius (bacterial mosaic of wheat) Yes Yes
Claviceps africana (ergot)presumed means of reaching Americas Yes Bandyopadhyay et al. (1998); Pazoutová and Frederickson (2005)
Claviceps fusiformis (pearl millet ergot) Yes Yes Pathak et al. (1984)
Claviceps sorghi (sorghum ergot) Yes Yes Bandyopadhyay et al. (1996)
Coconut cadang-cadang viroid (cadang cadang disease)Unrestricted movement of coconut germplasm from affected areas in the Philippines. Yes Yes
Codiaeum variegatum (garden croton) Yes Hettiarachchi et al. (2003)
Coix lacryma-jobi (Job's-tears)Fruits are sold online Yes Yes van den Bergh and Iamsupasit (1996)
Coniothyrium glycines (red leaf blotch) Yes Hartman et al. (1987)
Coptotermes gestroi (Asian subterranean termite)May be present in any wooden structures used for transportation Yes Yes
Cosmos caudatus (wild cosmos)popular garden plant Yes Yes
Cosmos sulphureus (sulphur cosmos) Yes Yes Kress et al. (2003); Jansen (2005)
Cowpea aphid-borne mosaic virusCABMV is seedborne in cowpea seeds Yes Yes
Cowpea mild mottle virus (angular mosaic of beans)
Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Yes Yes
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virusPrimary method of international movement of the virus Yes Yes
Cuphea hyssopifolia (false heather) Yes Francis (2004)
Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens (bacterial wilt of dry beans)very important Yes Yes Osdaghi et al. 2020
Cuscuta monogyna (eastern dodder)Accidental contaminant Yes CBD (2020)
Cylindropuntia fulgida (jumping cholla)Seeds of C. fulgida are easily found in online-shops to be shipped all over the world Yes
Cylindropuntia rosea (hudson pear)Seeds of C. fulgida are easily found in online-shops to be shipped all over the world Yes
Cynodon nlemfuensis (African Bermuda-grass)Seeds are widely commercialized Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Cynoglossum amabile (Chinese forget-me-not) Yes Dave’s Garden (2017); Johnny’s Selected Seeds (2017)
Dactylis glomerata (cocksfoot) Yes Yes
Daucus carota (carrot)Wild carrot occurs as seed or grain contaminant Yes Yes
Desmodium incanum (creeping beggerweed)Forage of hydro-mulch seeds sold for planting could contain this species either as the main forage o Yes Yes
Diaporthe gulyae (Phomopsis stem canker of sunflower)Collected from seed company nurseries in Australia Yes Yes Brumpton Thompson (2020)
Dichanthium aristatum (angelton bluestem)Commercially available in some of its range Yes Yes Encyclopedia of Life (2020)
Didymella fabae (leaf and pod spot)Infected seed Yes Yes Hewett (1966); Kaiser (1997)
Dieffenbachia seguine (dumb cane) Yes Dave's Garden (2017)
Digitaria insularis (sourgrass) Yes
Dimorphotheca sinuata (Cape marigold)Seeds sold online Yes Yes
Diplazium esculentum (vegetable fern)Spores available for sale Yes Yes
Dypsis decaryi (triangle palm) Yes
Echinochloa crus-pavonis (gulf cockspur grass)Contaminant in rice seeds Yes Yes Huelma et al. (1996)
Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber) Yes Lenda et al. (2014)
Elephantopus mollis (elephant's foot)Assumed Yes Yes
Emilia coccinea (scarlet tasselflower)Seeds sold online Yes Yes
Entada gigas (sea-bean) Yes Yes
Eragrostis amabilis (Japanese lovegrass)Deliberate introduction Yes PlantNet (2018)
Eragrostis ciliaris (gophertail lovegrass) Yes PlantNet (2018)
Eragrostis lehmanniana (Lehmann lovegrass)Used as a forage grass Yes Yes Uchytil (1992)
Eragrostis pilosa (India lovegrass) Yes Alien plants of Belgium (2018)
Eragrostis plana (South African lovegrass)Before it was recognized as an invasive species in Brazil Yes Reis (1993); Kissmann (1997)
Erechtites hieraciifolius (American burnweed)Seed contaminant of crops Yes Yes Darbyshire et al. (2012)
Erigeron karvinskianus (Karwinsky’s fleabane)Widely available on the Internet and in many dedicated shops and nurseries (F Barthelat, pers. obs) Yes Yes
Erodium botrys (long-beaked stork's bill)In grass or other seed Yes Yes
Erodium cicutarium (common storksbill) Yes Yes
Euonymus japonicus (Japanese spindle tree) Yes Yes
Fumaria muralis (common ramping-fumitory) Yes PROTA (2020)
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum (Fusarium wilt of watermelon)On infested seed Yes McLaughlin and Martyn; 1982; Michail et al.; 1989; Boughalleb and El Mahjoub; 2006
Glechoma hederacea (ground ivy) Yes Yes
Globodera pallida (white potato cyst nematode)Netherlands to Canada Yes Yes Franco et al. (1998)
Globodera rostochiensis (yellow potato cyst nematode)Netherlands to South America Yes DAO et al. (1971)
Glyceria declinata (small sweet grass) Yes Yes
Glyceria maxima (reed sweet-grass)Seed sold in Victoria in the 1940s Yes Yes Gippsland and Northern Co-operative CoLtd (1940)
Gossypium barbadense (Gallini cotton) Yes Yes
Gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath) Yes Yes Darwent (1975)
Harpophora maydis (late wilt of maize)on imported seed Yes Pécsi and Németh (1998)
Hedychium coccineum (scarlet ginger lily) Yes Yes Branney (2005); Dave's Garden (2014)
Hedychium coronarium (white butterfly ginger lily) Yes
Hedychium flavescens (wild ginger) Yes
Hedychium gardnerianum (kahili ginger) Yes
Helenium amarum (bitterweed) Yes Yes
Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed) Yes Yes Tiley et al. (1996)
Heteropogon contortus (spear grass) Yes Yes
Hibiscus cannabinus (kenaf) Yes
Holcus lanatus (common velvet grass)Has been found to make up as much as 10% of the seed base in forage seed mixtures sold in Britain Yes Yes
Humulus scandens (Japanese hop) Yes Yes
Hymenula cerealis (Cephalosporium stripe)The potential for seed transmission exists, but data are not available to document its significance. Yes Yes Murray (2006)
Hyoscyamus niger (black henbane)a potential source of invasion, as seed is available online Yes Yes
Hyptis brevipes (lesser roundweed) Yes Yes
Impatiens walleriana (busy lizzy)Seeds sold online Yes Yes
Indian cassava mosaic virus (Indian cassava mosaic)Cassava stem cuttings are commonly sold in unregulated ‘seed systems’. These cutting are largely untested for viruses. Yes Yes
Ipomoea cairica (five-fingered morning glory)Seeds for sale online Yes Yes
Ipomoea carnea subsp. fistulosa (bush morning glory)Seeds sold online Yes Yes Dave’s Garden (2017)
Iris domestica (blackberry lily)Seed sold by various internet sites and nurseries Yes Yes Dave’s Garden (2018); PROTA (2018)
Iva xanthiifolia (marsh-elder) Yes Jehlik and Dostalek (2008); Jehlik and Hejny (1974)
Jasminum fluminense (Brazilian jasmine)Plants and seeds are sold online Yes Yes
Jasminum simplicifolium (Australian wax jasmine)Not specified but possible as is used as an ornamental Yes Yes
Jatropha integerrima (peregrina)Seeds are available at some sites Yes Yes Dave’s Garden (2020)
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush)Seed sold for native plant restoration Yes NZPCN (New Zealand Plant Conservation Network) (2015)
Kigelia africana (sausage tree)Seeds are sold online Yes Yes
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)Major seed companies sell the seed Yes Yes
Lepidium virginicum (Virginian peppercress)Seeds are available for sale at various internet sites. Yes Yes
Leptochloa fusca (sprangletop) Yes Yes
Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy) Yes Yes
Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)Seeds sold online Yes Yes
Ligustrum japonicum (Japanese privet)Seeds available at various internet sites Yes Yes
Limnocharis flava (yellow bur-head) Yes
Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax)As contaminant in crop seed Yes Yes
Lolium perenne (perennial ryegrass)Commonly sown species Yes Yes
Luffa acutangula (angled luffa) Yes Yes PROTA (2016)
Lupinus polyphyllus (garden lupin)Accidental Yes
Medicago lupulina (black medick)Seed contaminant Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Melinis repens (natal redtop)Seeds available online Yes California Native Plant Link Exchange (2012)
Merremia aegyptia (hairy woodrose)seeds sold online Yes Yes Le Jardin Naturel (2016)
Merremia cissoides (roadside woodrose)seeds sold online Yes Yes Sunshine Seeds (2016)
Merremia umbellata (hogvine)Seeds sold online Yes Yes Sunshine Seeds (2016)
Microlaena stipoides (meadow rice grass, meadow ricegrass)as pasture seed contaminant (?) Yes
Mimosa diplotricha (giant sensitive plant) Yes DAF (2016); Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992)
Mirabilis jalapa (four o'clock flower)Seeds available for purchase locally and internationally. Yes Yes
Moniliophthora roreri (frosty pod rot)For cocoa production Yes
Mononychellus tanajoa (cassava green mite)Accidental introduction, common pathway Yes Yes
Moorochloa eruciformis (sweet signal grass)Crop seed contamination Yes Afridi et al. (2015)
Moringa oleifera (horse radish tree)Via internet and through organizations Yes Yes Palada et al. (2017)
Muntingia calabura (Jamaica cherry)Seeds sold online Yes Yes Top Tropicals (2016)
Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine)Seeds sold by various vendors Yes Yes
Mussaenda erythrophylla (red flag bush)Seeds and plants available online Yes Yes
Mussaenda philippica (Queen of Philippines)Seeds and plants available online Yes Yes
Nandina domestica (Nandina)Seeds available via internet Yes
Nopalea cochenillifera (cochineal cactus)Available at online sites Yes Yes Dave's Garden (2017)
Orobanche cernua (nodding broomrape)Potential introduction on contaminated crop seed Yes Yes
Orobanche cumana (sunflower broomrape) Yes Yes
Orobanche ramosa (branched broomrape) Yes Yes
Oryza barthiiPotential Yes Yes
Pachira aquatica (pachira nut)Seeds are sold online Yes Yes
Parentucellia viscosa (yellow glandweed)Difficult to detect among grass seed Yes Yes
Parmentiera aculeata (cucumber tree)Seeds are sold online Yes Yes
Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed) Yes Yes PAG (2000)
Paspalum urvillei (Vasey grass) Yes B & T World Seeds (2012)
Paspalum vaginatum (seashore paspalum) Yes Yes
Pectobacterium parmentieri (black leg disease of potato)
Pennisetum polystachion (mission grass) Yes Westbrooks (1989)
Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass)Listed by at least two online seed sellers and on E-Bay Yes Hazzard's Greenhouse (2012); World Seeds (2012)
Pentas lanceolata (Egyptian starcluster)Seeds sold online and in nurseries Yes Yes
Peronosclerospora philippinensis (Philippine downy mildew of maize)Movement of infected seeds Yes Yes Murray (2009)
Petrea volubilis (queen's wreath)Seeds available at USDA facilities and at various internet sites worldwide Yes Yes PROTA (2019); Dave's Garden (2019); USDA-ARS (2019)
Phaius tankervilleae (nun’s-hood orchid)Seeds are readily available from several outlets, inc. Yes Yes
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) Yes
Phomopsis vexans (Phomopsis blight of eggplant)infected seed Yes Edgerton and Moreland (1921); Porter (1943); Vishunavat and Kumar (1993)
Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry) Yes Yes
Plantago coronopus (Buck's-horn plantain) Yes Yes
Plectranthus scutellarioides (coleus) Yes Yes Missouri Botanical Garden (2014b); Wagner et al. (1999)
Plumbago auriculata (cape leadwort)Available for purchase online Yes Dave’s Garden (2017)
Polyscias fruticosa (ming aralia)Seeds for sale online Yes Yes
Pongamia pinnata (Indian beech) Yes
Pseudomonas cichorii (bacterial blight of endive) Yes Yes
Ptychosperma elegans (solitaire palm)Although seeds are not viable for long some seed trade is presumed to occur
Pyracantha coccinea (scarlet firethorn)Seeds are sold online and traded by gardeners. Yes Yes Dave’s Garden (2017)
Ralstonia solanacearum (bacterial wilt of potato) Yes Yes
Raoiella indica (red palm mite)Coconut seed found to carry R. indica when transported between regions Yes Yes
Rhamphicarpa fistulosaSeeds of invader can stick to (much) larger crop seeds. In theory this could disperse seeds over lon Yes
Rottboellia cochinchinensis (itch grass)Contaminated rice seed source of introduction in Campeche, Mexico Yes Yes Valverde et al. (1999); Valverde et al. (2001)
Sambucus canadensis (American black elderberry)Seeds and plants for sale online Yes Yes
Sclerophthora rayssiae var. zeae (brown stripe downy mildew of maize) Yes Yes Singh and Renfro (1971)
Sechium edule (chayote)Seeds available online Yes Yes
Senna occidentalis (coffee senna)Seeds were traded between Africa and Europe Yes PROSEA (2016)
Sesamia cretica (greater sugarcane borer) Yes Yes
Setaria parviflora (knotroot foxtail)Accidental Yes Milovic et al. (2010); NOBANIS (2013); Ryves et al. (1996); Seed Regulatory Testing Branch (2011)
Setaria verticillata (bristly foxtail) Yes Yes
Sida acuta (sida) Yes Smith (2002); Waterhouse and Norris (1987)
Silene gallica (common catchfly)Seed found in imported clover seed Yes Yes
Silene latifolia subsp. alba (white campion)Seed contaminant Yes Yes Alberta Weed Monitoring Network (2014)
Sisymbrium irio Yes Yes
Solanum capsicoides (cockroach berry)Seeds sold online Yes Yes
Solanum mammosum (nipplefruit nightshade)Intentionally cultivated as an ornamental or curiosity plant worldwide Yes Yes PBI Solanum Project (2014)
Solidago nemoralis (grey goldenrod)Hypothetical Yes Yes
Sporobolus africanus (rat’s tail grass)can occur as a seed contaminant Yes Yes
Sporobolus pyramidalis (giant rat’s tail grass) Yes Yes
Stachys arvensis (staggerweed)Potential seed contaminant Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2014)
Stachytarpheta cayennensis (blue snakeweed) Yes
Sterculia apetala (Panama tree)Seeds available over the internet Yes Yes
Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil) Yes Yes
Stictocardia tiliifolia (spottedheart)Possible as it is regarded as an ornamental, although not advertised online or nurseries Yes Yes PIER (2019)
Strawberry necrotic shock virus (Strawberry necrotic shock virus) Yes Yes
Thecaphora frezii (peanut smut)T. frezii can be dispersed through contaminated seeds Yes Yes Cazón (2015); Rago et al. (2016); Rago et al. (2017)
Thekopsora areolata (cherry spruce rust)With or without cones Yes Richardson (1990)
Thunbergia erecta (bush clockvine)Plants and seeds for sale online Yes Yes
Thymophylla tenuiloba (Dahlberg daisy)Seeds sold at various internet sites worldwide Yes Yes
Tithonia diversifolia (Mexican sunflower)Seed widely commercialized - available online Yes Yes
Tithonia rotundifolia (red sunflower)Widely commercialized as garden ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2018)
Tomato apical stunt viroid Yes Yes
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (Tomato brown rugose fruit virus)The main method for long distance movement of the virus Yes Yes
Tradescantia spathacea (boat lily) Yes Yes
Trichoconiella padwickii (stackburn disease) Yes Yes Agarwal et al. (2006); Lau and Sheridan (1975)
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) Yes Yes Clark and Malte (1913); Minnesota Wildflowers (2015); Online Atlas of the British and Irish Flora (2016); USDA-ARS (2016)
Triphasia trifolia (limeberry)Seeds sold online Yes Yes
Turbina corymbosa (Christmas vine)For both ornamental purposes and human consumption Yes Yes
Urochloa distachya (signal grass)Commerce of forage seeds Yes Yes New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (2015)
Urochloa platyphylla (broadleaf signalgrass)Introduced as a contaminant in grass and crop-seeds Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2014)
Urocystis agropyri (flag smut of wheat)wheat and grass seed Yes Yes Asaad and Abang (2009); Richardson (1990)
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle)occurs as a contaminant of grass seed lots Yes Yes Gooch (1963)
Verbena litoralis (blue vervain)Possible formerly carried as a contaminant in seed samples Yes
Verbena rigida (stiff verbena) Yes Royal Horticultural Society (2015)
Vitex agnus-castus (chaste tree)Seeds for sale online Yes Yes
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria)Web search results in numerous sites selling wisteria seeds Yes
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr) Yes Yes PIER (2013)
Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. alfalfae (bacterial leaf spot of lucerne) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. euvesicatoria (bacterial spot of tomato and pepper) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. perforans (bacterial spot of tomato) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas hortorum pv. gardneri (bacterial spot of tomato and pepper) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas translucens pv. cerealis (bacterial leaf streak of grasses) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas translucens pv. undulosa (bacterial leaf streak of wheat and barley) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas vesicatoria (bacterial spot of tomato and pepper) Yes Yes
Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet) Yes Yes Dave's Garden (2016)
Yucca gigantea (spineless yucca)Seeds for sale online Yes Yes