General Invasive Species Information

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With enormous environmental, economic, and health costs, invasive species are second only to habitat destruction as a cause of global biodiversity loss.

Learn more about invasive plants, animals, and diseases at the Invasive Species Node and at

Invasive Plant Species in the Mountain Prairie Region

Ecosystems across the United States are being adversely affected by invasive species, and the regional ecosystems that make up the Mountain Prairie region are no different. Learn more about the invasive plants in Mountain Prairie:

Checklists and Identification Guides for Invasive Plants in Mountain Prairie
Showing 20 Results
CollapseArkansas State-listed Noxious Weeds
Description: This is a list of invasive and noxious weeds in Arkansas from the USDA PLANTS database. Quote: "Click on an accepted name below to view its PLANTS Profile with more information, and web links if available. Noxious weeds that are synonyms are indented beneath the current PLANTS accepted name."
Resource Type: Bibliographies and Web Indexes, Checklists and Identification Guides
Resource Format: URL
Publisher: United States Department of Agriculture
ExpandFlora Identification CDs
ExpandInvaders Database System State / Provincial Noxious Weed Lists
ExpandInvasive Plant Responses to Silvicultural Practices in the South
ExpandInvasive Plants of the Thirteen Southern States
ExpandKansas State-listed Noxious Weeds
ExpandKnow Your Knapweeds
ExpandMontana Noxious Weed Program
ExpandMontana State-listed Noxious Weeds
ExpandMontana Weed Control Association
ExpandNebraska Department of Agriculture Noxious Weed Program
ExpandNebraska State-listed Noxious Weeds
ExpandNebraska's Watch List for Invasive Species
ExpandNorth Dakota State-listed Noxious Weeds
ExpandRavalli County Listed Noxious Weeds and Montana Noxious Weed List
ExpandSouth Dakota State and Local Noxious Weeds and Pests
ExpandSouth Dakota State-listed Noxious Weeds
ExpandState Noxious- Weed Seed Requirements Recognized in the Administration of the Federal Seed Act
ExpandWyoming Pest Detection Program
ExpandWyoming State-listed Noxious Weeds

Invasive Species Spotlight

Leafy Spurge

Leafy Spurge
Euphorbia esula

Description: Leafy spurge is an erect, branching, perennial herb 2 to 3.5 feet tall, with smooth stems and showy yellow flower bracts. Stems frequently occur in clusters from a vertical root that can extend many feet underground. The leaves are small, oval to lance-shaped, somewhat frosted and slightly wavy along the margin. Leafy spurge is an ecological threat. It displaces native vegetation in prairie habitats and fields through shading and by usurping available water and nutrients and through plant toxins that prevent the growth of other plants underneath it. Leafy spurge is an aggressive invader and, once present, can completely overtake large areas of open land.

Life History: Leafy spurge reproduces readily by seeds that have a high germination rate and may remain viable in the soil for at least seven years, enhancing its chances of recovery over time. Its seed capsules open explosively, dispersing seed up to 15 feet from the parent plant and may be carried further by water and wildlife. Leafy spurge also spreads vegetatively at a rate of several feet per year. The root system is complex, can reach 15 or more feet into the ground, and may have numerous buds.

Habitat: In the United States, leafy spurge tolerates moist to dry soil conditions but is most aggressive under dry conditions where competition from native plants is reduced. It is capable of invading disturbed sites, including prairies, savannas, pastures, abandoned fields and roadside areas.


leafy spurge distribution map

Leafy spurge occurs across much of the northern U.S., with the most extensive infestations reported for Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. It has been identified as a serious pest on a number of national parks and on preserves of The Nature Conservancy in eleven northern states.

Leafy spurge's native range is Europe and Asia.


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