Canadian Invasive Plant Lists

Invasive plants don't respect borders

Plants regulated by the federal government are largely those that impact agriculture and are regulated as contaminants of seed. Very few invasive ornamental plants are regulated despite the many threats they pose to our economy, environment, and human health.

Regulations vary greatly by jurisdiction, with several provinces and territories having no regulations. Overall, there are 238 plants regulated by Canada and the provinces. The US border states regulate over 500 plants and include many more ornamental plants.

We compiled a list of high-risk plants currently regulated in parts of Canada and in the 13 US Border States. We have added lists of high-risk aquatic plants identified by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and compared these lists to the plants that currently appear in the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Weed Risk Assessment documents. Based on these lists, we have identified over 90 high-priority plants that should be assessed or reassessed by the CFIA. Here is the file containing those spreadsheets (download here). As we have likely made errors in the arduous compilation process, you can confirm data using the primary sources found on our Province and territory regulations page and State regulations page.

Additionally there are many invasive ornamental plants that are not currently regulated. Some of those appear on the lists developed by plant councils below. Some of the ornamental terrestrial and aquatic invasive plants currently identified by invasive plants councils and included in the Invasive Alien Plants in Canada – Technical Report:

Velvetleaf (Abuliton theophrasti)

Amur Maple (Acer ginnala)

Norway Maple (Acer platanoides)

Sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus)

Goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria)

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima

Garlic mustard (Ailliaria petiolata)

Bugleweed (Ajuga reptans)

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Woodland Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)

Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii)

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii)

Flowering Rush (Butomus umbellatus)

Carolinian Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)

Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides

Siberian Peashrub (Caragana arborescens)

Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Knapweeds: Bachelor’s Buttons, Big Knapweed Mountain Bluet (Centaurea Centaurea cyanus, C. macrocephala, C. montana)

Yellow Clematis (Clematis tengutica)

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum officinale)

Broom (Cystitis scoparius)

Spurge-Laurel (Daphne laureola)

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Blueweed (Echium vulgare)

Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) 

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Russian and Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia & E. umbellata)

Wintercreeper and burning bush (Euonymus alatus, E. fortunei)

Spurges – Leafy, Myrtle, and Cypress (Euphorbia esula, E. myrsinites, E. cyparissias

Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus

Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata)

English Ivy (Hedera helix)

Daylily (Hemerocallis fulva)

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum

Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) 

Introduced Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp. including H. aurantiaccum, H. pilosella)

Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides)

Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata)

European Frog-Bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum

English Holly (Ilex aquifolium)

Himalayan Balsam (Impatiens glandulifera)

Smallflower Touch-Me-Not (Impatiens parviflora) 

Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) 

African oxygenweed  (Lagarosiphon major)    

Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon

Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum) 

Oxeye Daisay (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Toadflax (Linaria dalmatica, L. vulgaris, L. genistifolia subsp. dalmatica

Japanese Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica)

Bush Honeysuckles: Tartarian, Amur, Morrow, Bells, European Fly Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica, L. maackii, L. morrowii, L x bella, L. xylosteum)

Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)

Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria, L. virgatum

White sweet clover (Melilotus alba)

Miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis, M. sacchariflorus)

White mulberry (Morus albą)

Parrot’s Feather and Eurasian milfoils (Myriophyllum aquaticum, M. spicatum, M. heterophyllum*)

Nodding star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum nutans)

Brittle waternymph (Najas minor)

European waterlily (Nymphaea alba

Yellow Floating Heart (Nymphoides peltata

Himalayan knotweed (Persicaria wallichii

Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)

Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris

Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes)

Silver Poplar (Populus alba)  

Curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus)    

European bird cherry (Prunus padus)

Japanese, Giant, Bohemian Knotweed (Reynoutria japonica syn Fallopia japonica, R. sachalinensis, R. × bohemica)

Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Multiflora and Rugosa Rose (Rosa multiflora and R. Rugosa)

Goldmoss Stonecrop (Sedum acre)

False Spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia)

European mountain ash (Sorbus aucuparia)

Water soldier (Stratiotes aloides)

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Salt Cedar (Tamarix spp. T. ramosissima, T. chiniensis, T. parviflora or any cultivars, variety, or hybrids)

Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)

Water Chestnut (Trapa natans)

Narrow Leaf and White Cattail (Typha angustifolia, T. x glauca)

Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

European high-bush cranberry (Viburnum opulus)

Periwinkle (Vinca major, V. minor)

Black and pale swallow-worts (Vincetoxicum nigrum; syn. Cynanchum louiseae & V. rossicum)

Wildflower Mixes that contain invasive species

*native and introduced variants

Invasive species council and agency lists used to form the above list:

Additional Invasive Plant Lists:

Invasive Plant Atlas (US and Canada) Plant Species Reported to be Invasive in Natural Areas (1405 Records, 2018)
Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas (Swearingen, J., B. Slattery, K. Reshetiloff, and S. Zwicker. 2010. Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas, 4th ed. National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Washington, DC. 168pp.)

Invasive Species Centre (ISC) Plant Lists

British Columbia:

Official BC Ministry of Forests invasive species list 


Auditor General of Ontario – Value for Money Audit (2022)

Credit Valley Conservation Invasive Plant List 2021

Upper Thames Conservation Non-native plants

CABI Invasive Species Compendium