St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is an invasive plant with medicinal properties. Common Evening Primrose. In fact, once residents of such areas learn what these attractive invasive plants look like, they will be hard-pressed to take a drive in the summertime and not see some examples of them. Use the photos below as an aid in identifying some of these beautiful barbarians. Its pretty blue flowers and shade tolerance may make it attractive, but be aware that Vinca minor is considered an invasive plant. Pots of pink evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa). By the time folks realized there was a problem, they had spread out of control. A member of the Mustard family, the "family ties" of dame's rocket provides a clue as to the degree of its invasiveness. Missouri evening primrose is a favorite garden plant, particularly in sunny rock gardens, borders, and meadows, where it requires little care. As you can tell from the specific epithet, the plant is a biennial, the leaves forming a basal rosette the first year, then flowering and producing seed the second year. Privet isn't quite as attractive as some of the other invasive plants featured in these pictures, despite its dark blue berries in fall (so dark that they are practically black berries), as shown in this picture. That's too bad, as flowering groundcovers are highly valued in landscaping. Flowers are solitary, very large (up to 4 inches wide), 4-petaled, and bright lemon yellow. Blooms May through August. For example, garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is one of the worst invasive plants in North America and lacks the beauty that partially redeems dame's rocket. Picture of evening primrose. Grown in the latter, off-shoots from the original planting will have to be removed—constantly! Some people know water reed plants as "plumes," a common name bestowed upon them because of the feathery tufts that sit atop their tall stems. One example is gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides), a terribly invasive plant in its own right. A very simple way of thinking about the green world is to divide the vascular plants into two groups: woody and nonwoody (or herbaceous). Grow it in a sunny location to maximize the golden color of its leaves. This species was formerly called Oenothera missouriensis, and some sources still use that name. Unfortunately, they are invasive plants in North America. Incidentally, plants in the Lysimachia genus are also frequently referred to as "loosestrifes." An important word in that last sentence is "parts." Truly one of our fall foliage champions, maple trees are well worth including in your landscaping. "Butter and eggs" plant may be an innocent-sounding name (well, perhaps not if you are watching your cholesterol! But if you are aware of the concept of "invasive plants," the story of the common reed (Phragmites) will be an all-too-familiar story by now. In his book, Weeds, Mabey writes (p. 75), "During the Middle Ages, the Midsummer fires were appropriated by the Christian Church, and said to be lit in honor of St John.... And the distinction of receiving the saint's name fell on the most magical of all the plants in the fire-mix," namely, St John's wort. Incidentally, Vinca major ("bigleaf periwinkle" or "big periwinkle") has bigger flowers but is less tolerant of shade and not as cold-hardy. Like some of the other invasives considered here, it has been used medicinally in the past, including as a laxative. Here we have another example of an invasive plant that, although a weed, could easily escape persecution due to its alluring good looks. But the only thing ugly about yellow toadflax is its invasive quality. Flowers are solitary, very large (up to 4 inches wide), 4-petaled, and bright lemon yellow. For all its beauty, this bittersweet is a menace to trees, constricting around their trunks tighter than any python could and eventually damaging them through girdling. Common. A yellow wildflower (take careful note that "wildflower" is not synonymous with "native plant"), it serves as a wild groundcover. Many homeowners, having discovered what an uncommonly difficult task it is to eradicate common ivy, hate this groundcover as much as they would any weed. Other types of evening primrose function as garden plants; for example, Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa), or "Ozark Sundrop.". The common name derives from the fact that, in its native Europe, the plant was observed to have bloomed at about the time of the birthday of St. John the Baptist. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Consult local experts if you are unsure of the plant's status in your own region. Purple loosestrife flowers are hard to miss. This latter common name, along with the specific epithet, nummularia (Latin for "coin-like"), refers to the shape of the leaves. Have you ever driven past a marsh and remarked upon the masses of pretty purplish blossoms growing in it? Chances are what you saw was this handsome invasive plant, which goes by the scientific name of Lythrum salicaria. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. I also grow a white variety of Mexican evening primrose that doesn’t seem to be as invasive. Vinca minor groundcover, or "common periwinkle," is widely used as a landscape plant to suppress weeds in parts of one's landscaping dominated by shade. Hey, don't blame me for these derivations; apparently, Linnaeus (and botanists who have followed in his footsteps) had a very good imagination! They reach a height of over 6 feet (height will depend on the climate of the region where they are growing). In fact, "touch-and-heal" is one of its other common names. It doesn't do as well in wet and poorly drained soils. To achieve the same Good 'N' Plenty look without invasive plants, grow white and pink garden phlox, instead. That was a very special occasion in pagan times, marked, for example, by bonfires, upon which highly prized herbs would have been tossed, according to Richard Mabey. Nor is evening primrose an easy weed to pull out of the ground: the stems tend to break off, leaving the roots intact (from which evening primrose will continue to grow). The primrose had naturalized nearby, but was safely (or so I thought) on the other side of a pathway. There is a reason that "privacy" (as in "privacy fence") and "privet" sound a lot alike. Blooms May through August. Often seen festooning the tops of bluffs and rocky road cuts. It would be tempting (although inaccurate) to think that the name of this vine originated from the dual nature of Oriental bittersweet, as in a "bittersweet victory". That is, the plant is one of North America's worst invasive plants, yet undeniably a sweet sight in the autumn. The numerous, small, rounded leaves resemble a pile of coins, supposedly. White evening primrose (Oenothera speciosa) has aggressive roots that can form colonies quickly. OMG. Invasive plants, mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) or "silk" trees are, nonetheless, unquestionably elegant and fast-growing. Statewide, but especially in the Ozarks south of the Missouri River. It also goes by the common names of "yellow toadflax" and "wild snapdragon." "Common ivy" and "English ivy" are common names for Hedera helix. Often there are many blooming at once, making this a very showy plant. The foliage in fall is also golden. Does creeping jenny sound too good to pass up? ), and the flowers are pretty, albeit small; but this delicate-looking beauty is considered an invasive plant. Wisconsin Horticulture Extension, Oriental Bittersweet. Many are drawn to another fact about them, as well: namely, the fact that they, like most of the oak trees, hold onto their foliage later into the autumn season than do many trees (thereby helping to extend the fall foliage season).. As you can tell from the specific epithet, the plant is a biennial, the leaves forming a basal rosette the first year, then flowering and producing seed the second year.
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