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10 Most Unwanted Plants
Broward County > Parks > Find Nature > 10 Most Unwanted Plants

Air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) – A vigorously non-native twining vine with heart- shaped leaves. Produces aerial bulbils. Both bulbils and subterranean tubers are toxic. Trimming wet vines may cause dermatitis. Introduced in 1905 for medical research. Present or historical in 10 natural areas. Dispersed by humans. This plant has been labeled as one of the worst human-fostered invasions. Origin – Tropical Asia, East Africa

Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia and glauca)  – A large non-native tree with shallow root system that is easily blown over during a wind storm or hurricane. Introduced in the late 1800s as an ornamental and wind break. Seeds dispersed by wind, water, and birds, especially exotic parrots and parakeets. Present or historical in 19 natural areas. Origin – Australia

Bischofia or bishopwood (Bischofia javanica) – A large non-native tree. Introduced as an ornamental in the early 1900s. Present or historical in 15 natural areas. Seeds dispersed by birds.
Origin – Tropical Asia, Pacific Islands

Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) – A small non-native tree that produces large amounts of fruit. Trimming the tree may cause an itchy dermatitis. Introduced in the 1800s as an ornamental. Present or historical in 23 natural areas. Per the Global Invasive Species Database, this tree is on the list of “One Hundred  of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.” Dispersed by birds. Origin – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay

Carrotwood (Cupaniopsis anacardioides) – A small non-native tree that produces a lot of seeds. Introduced in 1968 as an ornamental. Present or historical in 20 natural areas. Dispersed by birds. Origin – Australia

Earleaf acacia (Acacia auriculiformis) – A tall non-native tree that fruits prolifically. Introduced by 1932 as an ornamental. Present or historical in 21 natural areas. Seeds dispersed by several bird species, including the introduced European starling. Origin – Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia

Lantana or shrub verbena (Lantana camara) – A shrub that produces flowers of various colors. Hybridizes with the endangered native lantana depress. All parts of this plant are toxic. Long recognized as highly toxic to grazing animals. Introduced as an ornamental in 1804. Present or historical in 14 natural areas. Per the Global Invasive Species Database, this scrub is listed as one of “One Hundred of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.” Dispersed by songbirds. Origin – West Indies

Lygodium or Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) – A non-native vining fern. Introduced as an ornamental in the 1960s. Present or historical in five natural areas. Dispersed by wind, humans, animals, vehicles, and fire. Origin – Eastern Asia

Melaleuca or Cajeput (Melaleuca quinquenervia) – A large non-native tree that was introduced in 1906 as an ornamental. One tree produces up to 20 million windborne seeds per year. This tree may release a massive quantity of seeds all at once when stressed. Seeds were dropped from an airplane to dry up the Everglades in the early 1900s. Present or historical in 12 natural areas. Dispersed by wind and water. Per the Global Invasive Species Database, this tree is listed as one of “One Hundred of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species.” Origin – Australia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands

Schefflera or umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla) – A medium-size non-native tree that produces a large, red, showy inflorescence at stem tips. Introduced as an ornamental in 1927. Present or historical in 21 natural areas. Origin – Northern Australia, New Guinea, Java

All of the above plants are listed as Category I on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council’s List.

Please help us protect the 3,200 acres of natural areas in Broward County by removing these seed sources from your property and replacing them with natives or other plants not known to be invasive.

For more information: www.broward.org/NaturalResources/Naturescape, www.broward.org/extension.