Invasive Species

Whether accidentally or intentionally, new species of plants have come to western New York throughout history. Not all of these exotic species are considered “invasive.” Many — like the dandelion — have become naturalized parts of our ecosystem, and they do not pose serious harm to local environments.

Other species of exotic plants, however, overrun landscapes, drowning out native species to the detriment of the local food chains and animal habitat. According to the federal government, an “invasive species” is a species that is not native to the ecosystem and whose introduction the ecosystem causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. In Chautauqua County, we have several invasive species of plant that have a detrimental impact on our environment. The Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy works to remove these invasive species from our preserved lands, and we encourage property owners to be on the lookout for native species and remove them from their own properties.

Invasive Plant Species in Chautauqua County
Source: Western New York PRISM
Autumn Olive
Black Locust
Border Privet
Brittle Naiad
Burning Bush
Bush Honeysuckle
Canadian Thistle
Chinese Silver Grass
Common Buckthorn
Common Daylily
Common Privet
Common Reed
Creeping Myrtle or Periwinkle
Curly-leaf pondweed
Dames Rocket
Eurasian Watermilfoil
European Frog-bit
Flowering Rush
Garlic Mustard
Giant Hogweed
Glossy Buckthorn
Japanese Angelica Tree
Japanese Bamboo
Japanese Barberry
Japanese Stiltgrass
Lesser Celandine
Mile-a-Minute Vine
Multi-flora Rose
Narrowleaf and Hybrid Cattails
Norway Maple
Oriental Bittersweet
Purple Loosestrife
Reed Canarygrass
Slender False Brome
Spotted Knapweed
Tree of Heaven
Variable-leaf Watermilfoil
Water Chestnut
Water Hyacinth
Water Lettuce
Wild Parsnip
Yellow Flag Iris
Yellow Floating Heart