Home / Categories / Exotic and Invasive Species / Natural Encounters

The Invasion of Alien Species

Exotic or alien plant species are non-native plants which have been introduced intentionally or accidentally to a geographic region in which they did not previously exist. Because they are foreign to the locale, they are not kept in check by the local predators and competitors. Once naturalized in the ecosystems, they often become very invasive. These invasive species displace the native species that should inhabit the area. If a native plant disappears, all the insects, birds, and other animals that depend on it are also imperiled.

As a homeowner, you can help prevent the spread of invasive plants by removing them from your landscape and replacing them with native species that are adapted to your region. Not only are native plants quite beautiful, they also require much less upkeep with reduced watering and minimal pest management. You can view a few of Florida's pest plants in our invasive plant species gallery. You can also visit the website of the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council to view the latest list of invasive and pest plants. For more information about “going native,” visit the Florida Native Plant Society website where you can find the nearest Chapter whose members are always glad to help newcomers learn about native plants. You can locate sellers of native plants at the website of the Association of Florida Native Nurseries.