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)
  • There are no pictures available for this datasheet

    If you can supply pictures for this datasheet please contact:

    CAB International
    OX10 8DE

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Seed trade (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

Top of page
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
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
Bougainvillea spectabilis (great bougainvillea)Seeds available online Yes Yes Rumball, 2005
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
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 subsp. sepedonicus (Potato ring rot) Yes Yes Boer et al., 2005; Boer SHde, 1987
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
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
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
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
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
Didymella fabae (leaf and pod spot)Infected seed Yes Yes Hewett, 1966; Kaiser, 1997
Dieffenbachia seguine (dumb cane) Yes Rumball, 2005
Digitaria insularis (sourgrass) Yes
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 Rumball, 2005
Eragrostis amabilis (Japanese lovegrass)Deliberate introduction Yes PlantNet, 2018
Eragrostis lehmanniana (Lehmann lovegrass)Used as a forage grass Yes Yes Uchytil, 1992
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
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. niveum (Fusarium wilt of watermelon)On infested seed Yes Rumball, 2005; Rumball, 2005; Rumball, 2005; Rumball, 2005
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
Gypsophila paniculata (baby’s breath) Yes Yes Darwent, 1975
Harpophora maydis (late wilt of maize)on imported seed Yes Rumball, 2005
Hedychium coccineum (scarlet ginger lily) Yes Yes Branney, 2005; Rumball, 2005
Hedychium coronarium (white butterfly ginger lily) Yes
Hedychium flavescens (wild ginger) Yes
Hedychium gardnerianum (kahili ginger) Yes
Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed) Yes Yes Tiley et al., 1996
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
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 Rumball, 2005
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 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 Rumball, 2005; 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
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush)Seed sold for native plant restoration Yes Rumball, 2005
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)Major seed companies sell the seed Yes Yes Rumball, 2005
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
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 (creeping 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
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 Rumball, 2005
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
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; Rumball, 2005; 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
Pseudomonas cichorii (bacterial blight of endive) Yes Yes
Pyracantha coccinea (scarlet firethorn)Seeds are sold online and traded by gardeners. Yes Yes Rumball, 2005
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 Rumball, 2005; Valverde et al., 2001
Sclerophthora rayssiae var. zeae (brown stripe downy mildew of maize) Yes Yes Singh and Renfro, 1971
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
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
Tithonia rotundifolia (red sunflower)Widely commercialized as garden ornamental Yes Yes USDA-ARS, 2018
Tomato apical stunt viroid 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
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria)Web search results in numerous sites selling wisteria seeds Yes
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr) Yes Yes PIER, 2013
Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet) Yes Yes Rumball, 2005