Definition of Exotic Plants


Exotic plants are a problem in many areas of North America as well as the rest of the world. Sometimes called invasive, exotic plants can wreak havoc on ecosystems by out-competing native plants and disrupting food chains.


  • Exotic plants are any plants that do not naturally grow in an area. They find their way to an ecosystem from a completely separate area, often via animals or human intervention.


  • Exotic plants out-compete native plants for space and sunlight, and often have no natural predators to control their populations.


  • Garlic mustard is a small shrub from Europe that has invaded North American forests. It sprouts earlier in the spring than most native shrubs, and its thick growth prevents other low shrubs from growing.


  • The easiest way to prevent the spread of exotic plants is to refrain from planting them in your yard and landscaping. If you want exotic plants, plant them in containers and keep them inside, if possible.


  • To help stem the spread of exotic plants, local ecological groups rely on volunteers to chop and clip exotics before they flower and spread their seeds.


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