Ottawa NF Invasive Plants

Several non-native invasive plants are known to occur on the Ottawa National Forest. Some, such as garlic mustard and Eurasian water-milfoil, are uncommon and work is underway to treat all known infestations. Others, such as Japanese barberry and glossy buckthorn, are unfortunately quite abundant. Work is underway to contain these infestations and develop long-term treatment options. There are currently no known federally-listed noxious weeds on the Ottawa National Forest. To help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants, the Ottawa National Forest also has an active invasive plant prevention and education program. 

Non-native invasive plants of the Ottawa National Forest

High priority

New Invader/High Priority

  • Wild chervil - Anthriscus sylvestris
  • Autumn olive - Eleagnus umbellatus
  • Leafy spurge - Euphorbia esula
  • Giant hogweed - Heracleum mantegazzianum**
  • Dame's rocket - Hesperis matronalis
  • Japanese knotweed - Polygonum cuspidatum
  • Giant knotweed - Polygonum sachalinense
  • Curlyleaf pondweed - Potamogeton crispus
  • Stinking willie - Senecio jacobea
  • Japanese hedgeparsley  -  Torilis japonica
  • Garden valerian - Valeriana officinalis

Medium Priority

  • Goutweed - Aegopodium podagraria
  • Spotted knapweed - Centaurea maculosa
  • Canada thistle - Cirsium arvense
  • Crown vetch - Coronilla varia
  • Orange hawkweed - Hieracium aurantiacum
  • White sweet-clover -  Meliotus alba
  • Yellow sweet-clover - Melilotus officinalis
  • Reed canary grass - Phalaris arundinacea
  • Crack willow - Salix fragilis

Low priority: The following species were also ranked and were assigned a low priority: Artcium minus, Berteroa incana*, Brassica juncea*, B. kaber*, B. napus*, B. rapa*, Bromus inermis, Centaurea diffusa, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, Cirsium vulgare, Convolvulus arvensis, Dactylis glomerata, Daucus carota*, Hieracium piloselloides, Hypericum perforatum, Lapsana communis, Linaria vulgaris, Lotus corniculata, Lupinus polyphyllus, Myosotis scorpioides, Pastinaca sativa, Phragmites australis, Ranunculus acris, Rosa multiflora, Sonchus arvensis*, Tanacetum vulgare, and Vinca minor.

* = Michigan Noxious Weed,

** = Federal Noxious Weed


Priority guidelines

High priority: Record and map all sites, treat most sites.
New invaders/High: Record, map and treat all new invaders.
Medium priority: Record and map all sites in natural areas (i.e. not on roadsides); map larger sites anywhere. Treat under selected circumstances.
Low priority: Map only large infestations in natural areas. Treat only under special circumstances (e.g. wilderness).

The ONF invasive plant priority list was developed using the Alien Plants Ranking System (version 7.1), a computer program developed by the National Park Service, Northern Arizona Univerisity, Ripon College, University of Minnesota, and the U.S. Geological Survey. See links for more information. The list was approved by the Ottawa National Forest Management Team on April 13, 2005. Comments and questions on the list are welcome. The ranking and list may be revised as new information is gathered. 


Invasive Plant Priority List (1 page PDF) 

Map of invasive plants on the Ottawa National Forest 

Ottawa NF Invasive Plant Report Form

Invasive Plants of the Upper Peninsula Slide Show (Powerpoint, 28 MB)

Buckthorn, barberry and honeysuckle (slide show with notes)

Invasive plant educational materials

Don't judge species on their origins (Nature 2011)

Tenderfoot Creek exotic honeysuckle photos.

Ottawa National Forest knapweed biocontrol.


Ottawa National Forest Non-Native Invasive Plant Control Project



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Marlanea French-Pombier

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Mark Fedora

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Holly Jennings

Soil Scientist

Amy Amman

Botanist Program Cooridnator

Sue Trull

Botanist - Noxious Weed Coordinator

Ian Shackleford

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Jim Boyd