Fall Species

The species listed below are predominately detected in during the fall months in New York State.  Contact your local PRISM to find out what priority species have been identified for your region. 

Pale swallowwort

Black swallowwort

Giant hogweed

 (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Look for tall stems (up to 14 feet) supporting large heads of flattened, oval seeds. 

Photo Courtesy: Jan Samanek, www.invasive.org

Oriental bittersweet

(Celastrus orbiculatus),

The fruit of this woody vine consists of a yellow capsule that splits open upon ripening to reveal a reddish fleshy-orb made of three compartments. Leaves are alternate and round, with finely toothed margins.

Photo by: Martin LaBar, CC By-NC 2.0

Japanese knotweed

(Fallopia japonica var. japonica)

Look for stems of lacy white flowers sticking up from the stalks of alternating leaves.

Photo Courtesy: Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board, www.co.stevens.wa.us

Water soldier

(Stratiotes aloides)

Aquatic plant with sword-shaped, serrated leaves. Overall shape similar to an aloe plant or spider plant. Not known in NY, but has been found in Ontario. 

Photo Courtesy: Krejčík S., Meloidae, www.meloidae.com

Japanese angelica tree

(Aralia elata)

Look for large, stout clusters of small white flowers emerging from the top of the trunk of this spiny tree. 

Photo Courtesy: David G. Smith, www.delawarewildfowers.org

Chinese silvergrass

(Miscanthus sinensis)

Look for the flowering heads right now. These fan-shaped panicles are 6-24 inches long and can be silvery to pale pink in color.

Photo Courtesy: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Japanese virgin's-bower

(Clematis terniflora)

Clusters of white, star-shaped flowers can be very showy right now on these semi-evergreen vines.

Photo Courtesy: Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org


(Pueraria montana var. lobata)

Purple, fragrant flowers on long hanging clusters will turn into hairy, flattened seed pods. Although the trifoliate leaves of this legume are very similar to poison ivy, kudzu leaves have hairy stems and edges. 

Photo Courtesy: David J. Moorhead, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Pale and Black Swallowworts

(Cynanchum spp.)

The slender, drying pods of pale and black swallowwort are visible in the fall. As pods burst open, they release fluffy seeds that are wind dispersed. Swallowwort are twining vines that have opposite, oval-shaped leaves. 

If you cannot distinguish black from pale swallowwort, enter the observation into iMap as "Swallowwort (species unknown)".

Photo Courtesy: John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org

Chinese wisteria

(Wisteria sinensis)

Look for the green to brown, velvety seedpods forming on this woody vine in the fall. Leaves are alternate and compound with 9-11 leaflets. 

If you cannot distinguish this species from Japanese wisteria, enter the observation into iMap as "Wisteria (species unknown)". 

Photo Courtesy: James H. Miller & Ted Bodner, www.invasive.org

Slender false brome

(Brachypodium sylvaticum ssp.  sylvaticum)​

Flower spikelets attached directly to the main flower branch. Fringe of fine hairs along edge of leaf.

Photo by: Steve Young, New York Natural Heritage Program, www.nyimapinvasives.org


(Persicaria perfoliata)

This twining vine has distinctive arrow-shaped leaves and recurved spines along stems and leaf undersides. Clusters of blue berries are now forming at the tips of branches, subtended by a cup-shaped leafy structure around the stem.

Photo Courtesy: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Policeman's helmet

(Impatiens glandulifera)

This tall, flowering plant is distinguishable from the native Impatiens by its large size and sharply serrated leaves (as opposed to the scalloped leaves of jewelweed).The pink to purple flowers are visible now, and are forming seed capsules (~ 0.75 inches long), which burst open when ripe.

Photo Courtesy:  Jan Samanek, State Phytosanitary Administration, Bugwood.org

Wild boar

(Sus scrofa)

Although these animals are elusive, the signs they leave behind can be quite obvious. Boars can cause extensive rooting damage overnight, looking like someone used a tiller machine. This is especially noticeable on turf and planted agricultural fields.  

Photo Courtesy: WikiCommons

Porcelain Berry

(Ampelopsis brevipedunculata)

Porcelain berries form dense mats, reducing light penetration to other vegetation.  It seems to be most invasive is areas of edge disturbance, gaps and riparian areas.  It is not usually found in dense forest. Seed spread is through birds, small mammals, and water.

To distinguish from native grapvines, see Mistaken Identity (published by the Delaware Department of Agriculture). 

Photo Courtesy: Bill Johnson

Spotted lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is one of New York State's high priority agricultural pests.  Discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, this pest threatens many woody and non-wood plant species.  Grapes, apples and stone fruits are some of the agricultural crops that are highly susceptible to this invasive species.   

Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

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Contact Us:

New York Natural Heritage Program 

625 Broadway 5th Floor 

Albany, NY  12203

T: 518-402-8913

E: imapinvasives@dec.ny.gov

iMapInvasives is managed by the New York Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP), which is a partnership between SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, with funding from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund.

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Photo by Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org CC-NC 3.0