Non-native plants are those that have been introduced to a location(s) outside their native or natural range. Generally, these plants were introduced from another continent or region, ecosystem or habitat within an ecosystem (Swearingen 2004). These introductions have been either purposeful or accidental. Many non-native plants have been introduced into new areas because they are beneficial plants that are used in agriculture and horticulture, thus are depended upon for food, fiber and aesthetic reasons. Other non-native plants can become problematic.

Non-native plants are virtually everywhere. These plants (also known as introduced, non-indigenous, alien, or exotic) are found in many different urban and rural settings. In urban environments, non-native plants are found in residential and commercial landscapes, recreation areas (parks, open spaces and play fields), flower and vegetable gardens, sidewalk cracks, and along transportation corridors (roads, highways, railways, trails). In rural environments, non-native plants can be found in agricultural fields, irrigation ditches, and in natural areas (deserts, rangelands, forests, meadows, etc.). These plants now can be found in virtually every terrestrial and aquatic environment.

Introductions of non-native plants that are unintentional occur when reproductive plant parts hitch rides on cargo ships and watercraft, vehicles and aircraft in packing material or ballast water, or on equipment or animals. Once they arrive in a new location, they spread, especially through roadways or migration corridors, and by wind or water.

Many non-native plants arrive in new environments and disappear shortly after their arrival, unable to tolerate the new environmental conditions. Many of these need human assistance to survive and propagate with special planting, watering and fertilization needs. Some become established, and spread into new areas when favorable conditions occur. There are many non-native plants, however, that become established, spread quickly and easily and are aggressive in nature. The latter are referred to as exotic invaders (D’Antonio and Haubensak 1998).

Non-native exotic invaders are usually very difficult to control. Substantial attention has been given to these plants because their impacts are far reaching and potentially harmful. Invasive plants are defined as those that are non-native to the ecosystem under consideration, and their introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health (Executive Order 13112).

Non-native exotic invaders usually exhibit the following characteristics:

  1. They display rapid growth and spread quickly.
  2. They establish over large areas.
  3. They persist in new environments.

Owners and managers of land and waterbodies are especially concerned about invasive plants. Because they are very difficult to control, their management often requires a combination of methods and tools to be effective. Often management costs are high and several years of continual commitment are required to control or eradicate these plants.

Non-native invasive plants are extremely destructive and costly. They impact many environmental values such as the beauty of an area, wildlife habitat, native ecosystem structure and function. They compete with native plants; use precious soil and water resources; can be toxic or injurious to humans, pets and livestock; affect pollinators; and diminish recreational values.

The following is a checklist of the non-native plants that have been documented in southern Nevada (i.e., Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties). The list includes beneficial, naturalized, nuisance, or exotic invaders.

Checklist of the Non-native Plants of Southern Nevada Monocots (Grasses and Grass-like Plants)
Latinized Binomial Publishing Author Common Name A/P/B/S/T
Phoenix dactylifera L. Date palm T
Washingtonia filifera (L. Linden) H. A. Wendl Fan palm T
Cyperus esculentus L. Yellow nutsedge P
Asparagus officinalis L. Asparagus P
Aegilops cylindrical Host Jointed goatgrass A
Agropyron desortum (Fischer) Schultes Desert crested wheatgrass P
Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. Crested wheatgrass P
Agropyron elongatum (Host) Beauv. Tall wheatgrass P
Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv. Quackgrass  
Agrostis semiverticillata (Forsk.) C. Christens. Bent grass P
Agrostic gigantean Roth Redtop P
Agrostis viridis Gouan Water bent grass P
Agrostis stolonifera L. Creeping bentgrass P
Arundo donax L. Giant reed P
Avena barbata Pott ex. Link Slender wild oat A
Avena fatua L. Wild oat A
Avena sativa L. Cultivated oat A
Bromus diandrus Roth Ripgut brome A
Bromus hordeaceus L.   A
Bromus inermis ssp. inermis Leysser Smooth brome P
Bromus japonicus Murr. Japanese brome A
Bromus madritensis ssp. rubens (L.) Husnot Red brome A
Bromus mollis L. Soft chess A
Bromus rigidus Roth Ripgut grass A
Bromus tectorum L. Cheatgrass A
Bromus trinii Desv. Chilean chess A
Bromus willdenovii Kunth Rescuegrass A
Bouteloua barbata Lagasca Six weeks grama A
Cenchrum incertus M.A. Curtis Cenchrum A
Cenchrus longispinus (Hackel) Fern Mat sandbur A
Chloris virgata Swartz Feather fingergrass A
Cortaderia jubata (Lemoine) Stapf Pampas grass P
Crypsis schoenoides (L.) Lam. Swampgrass, Swamp Timothy A
Cynodon dactylon L. Pers Bermudagrass P
Dactylis glomerata L. Orchard grass P
Desmazeria rigida (L.) Tutin Desmazeria, Stiffgrass A
Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. Crab, Hairy crab, Large crab A
Digitaria ischaemum (Schreber) Muhlenb.   A
Echinochloa colona (L.) Link Jungle rice A
Crypsis schoenoides (L.) Lam. Swampgrass, Swamp Timothy A
Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) Beauv. Barnyard grass A
Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertner Goose grass A
Elytrigia intermedia ssp. intermedia (Host) Nevski Intermediate wheatgrass P
Eragrostis barrelieri Daveau. Annual lovegrass A
Eragrostis pilosa (L.) Beauv Indian lovegrass P
Eriochloa gracilis (Fourn.) Gould Southwestern cupgrass P
Festuca arundinaceae Schreb. Tall fescue P
Festuca myuros L. Rat’s tail fescue P
Festuca rubra L. Red fescue P
Holcus lanat us L. Velvetgrass P
Hordeum arizonicum Covas   A
Hordeum glaucum Steud. Barley A
Hordeum jubatum L. Foxtail barley A/P
Hordeum leporinum Link Wild barley A
Hordeum vulgare L. Barley A
Hordeum marinum ssp. gussoneanum Hudson (Parl.) Thell. Mediterran ean barley A
Hordeum murinum ssp. leporinum (Link) Rabbit barley, Mouse barley A
Leptochloa uninervia (Presl.) Hitch/Chase Straggletop A
Lolium perenne ssp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husnot Italian ryegrass A
Panicum miliaceum L. Hog millet A
Paspalum dilat atum Poir Dallisgrass P
Paspalum distichum L. Knotgrass P
Pennisetum setaceum (Forssk.) Chiov Green fountaingrass P
Phalaris minor Retz Little canarygrass A
Phleum pratense L. Cultivated Timothy P
Poa annua L. Annual bluegrass A
Poa bulbosa L.   A
Poa compressa L. Canadian Bluegrass P
Poa paulustris L. Fowl bluegrass P
Poa pratensis L. Kentucky bluegrass P
Polypogon interruptus H.B.K. Ditch beard grass P
Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf Rabbitfoot, Annual beard grass A
Schismus arabicus Nees Mediterranean grass A
Schismus barbatus (L.) Thell Mediterranean grass A
Secale cereale L. Rye A
Setaria faberii Herm.   A
Setaria glauca (L.) Beauv. Yellow foxtail A
Setaria verticillata (L.) Beauv Bristly foxtail A
Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. Green foxtail, Green bristlegrass A
Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench Sorghum, Milo, Sudan grass A
Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers. Johnson grass P
Sorghum X almum Parodi Almum sorghum P
Stenotophrum secundatum (Walt.) Kuntze St. Augustine grass P
Taeniatherum caput -medusae (L.) Nevski Medusahead A
Triticum aestivum L. Wheat A
Vulpia megalura Nutt. Rydb. Foxtail fescue A
Vulpia myuros (L.) C Gmelin Zorro fescue P
Vulpia bromoides (Festuca bromoides) (L.) Gray Brome sixweeks fescue, Desert fescue A
Vulpia octoflora spp. hirtella (Walter) Rydb.   P
Checklist of the Non-native Plants of Southern Nevada Dicots
Latinized Binomial Publishing Author Common Name A/P/B/S/T
Amaranthus albus L. Tumble amaranth A
Amaranthus deflexus L. Low amaranth A
Amaranthus retroflexus L. Rough pigwee d A
Cotinus coggygria Scop. Smoketree S/T
Anthriscus caucalis Bieb Chervil A
Apium graveolens L. Celery P
Apium leptophyllum (Pers.) F. Meull Celery A
Conium masulatum L. Poison hemlock  
Daucus carota L. Wild carrot B
Nerium oleander L. Oleander P
Vinca major L. Periwinkle P
Acroptilon repens (L.) DC. Russian knapweed P
Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. Common Ragweed A
Arctotis stoechadifolia Berg. African Daisy P
Bellis perennis L. English Daisy P
Cardaria chalepensis (L.) Hand. – Mazz. Lens-podded Hoary cress P
Cardaria draba (L.) Desv. Heart-podded Hoary cress P
Carduus nutans (L.) Musk thistle P
Centaurea biebersteinii DC. Spotted knapweed B/P
Centaurea calcitrap a L. Purple star-thistle A/P
Centaurea diffusa Lam. Diffuse knapweed A/P
Centurea iberica Spreng Iberian star -thistle A/P
Centaurea maculosa Lam. Spotted knapweed B
Centaurea melitensis L. Tocalote, Malta starthistle A
Centaurea solstitialis L. Yellow star-thistle A/B
Centaurea triumfettii All. Squarrose knapweed P
Chondrilla juncea L. Rush skeletonweed P
Chrysanthemum frutescens L.   P
Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. Canada thistle P
Cirsium vulgare (Savi) Tenone Bull thistle B
Cotula australis (Sieber) Hook.   A
Crupina vulgaris Cass. Bearded creeper, C ommon crupina A
Dimorphotheca sinuata DC. African daisy A
Eclipta alba (L.) Hassk.   A
Gaillardia pulchella Foug. Gaillardia A
Gazania linearis (Thnb.) Druce Gazania P
Gnaphalium luteo -album L. White cudweed A
Grindelia squarrosa (Pursh) Dunal Gumplant B
Helianthus annuus   Annual sunflower A
Helianthus ciliaris DC. Blueweed P
Helianthus petiolaris Nutt. Prairie sunflower A
Heterotheca grandiflora Nutt. Telegraph plant A/P
Heterotheca suba xillaris (Lam.) Britt. & Rusby Telegraphweed A/B
Heterotheca psammophila Wagenkn. Camphorweed A/B
Lactuca serriola L. Prickly lettuce A
Leontodon leysseri (Wallr.) G. Beck Lion’s tooth P
Matthiola biconis (Sibth. & Smith) DC.   A
Onopordum acanthium L. Scotch thistle B
Silybum irio (L.) Gaertn.   A/B
Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. Milk thistle A/B
Sonchus arvensis L. Field sow thistle P
Sonchus asper (L.) Hill Prickly sow thistle A
Sonchus asper (L.) Hill Prickly sow thistle A
Sonchus oleraceus L. Common sowthistle A
Taraxacum officinale Wigg. Dandelion P
Tragopogon dubius Scop. Goatsbeard, Y ellow salsify P
Tragopogon pratensis L. Meadow salsify P
Xanthium strumarium L. Cocklebur A
Cynoglossum officinale L. Hound’s tongue B
Lappula echinata Gilib. Stickseed A/B
Brassica juncea (L.) Czernov. Indian mustard A
Brassica kaber (DC) Wheeler Wild mustard A
Brassica napus L. Rape A
Brassica oleraceae L. Flower kale P/B
Brassica rapa L.   A
Brassica tournefortii Gouan Sahara, Desert, Moroccan mustard, Tourneforts birdrape A
Camelina microcarpa Andrz. Small seeded false flax A
Capsella bursa -pastoris (L.) Medikus Shepherd’s purse A
Cardamine oligosperma Nutt. Little bittercress A/B
Chorispora tenella (Pall.) DC. Blue mustard A
Coronopus didymous (L.) J.E. Smith Lesser swine cress A/B
Descurainia sophia (L.) Webb. Flixweed A
Eruca sativa Hill Garden rocket A/B
Erysimum repandum L. Spreading wallflower A/B
Hirschfeldia incana (L.) Lagr. Fossat Mediteranean, Shortpod mustard ABP
Isatis tinctoria L. Dyer’s wood B/P
Lepidium latifolium L. Perennial pepperweed , Tall whitetop P
Lepidium perfoliatum L. Shield cress , Clasping pepperweed A/B
Lepidium repens (Schrenk) Boiss. Heartleaf hoarycress A
Lobularia maritima (L.) Desv. Sweet alyssum P
Malcolmia africana R. Br. African malcomia, P urple mustard A
Raphanus raphanistrum L. White charlock P
Raphanus sativus L. Wild radish A/B
Rapistrum rugosum (L.) All. Wild Turnip A
Rorippa nasturtium -aquaticum (L.) Hayek   P
Sinapis arvensis L. Charlock A
Sisymbrium orientale L. Oriental hedge mustard A/B
Sisymbrium altissimum L. Tumble mustard A
Sisymbrium irio L. London rocket A
Thlaspi arvense L. Pennycress , Fan weed A/B
Cleome serrulata Pursh Rocky Mountain bee plant A
Polanisia dodecandra (L.) DC Clammyweed A
Cerastium vulgatum L. Mouse-ear chickweed P
Polycarpon tetraphyllum L.   A
Spergularia bocconei (Scheele) Merino Sandspurrey A
Stellaria media (L.) Vill Common chickweed A
Atriplex rosea L. Red Scale A
Atriplex semibaccata R. Br. Australian saltbush P
Bassia hyssopifolia (Pall.) Kuntze Bassia, Fourhorn smotherweed A
Chenopodium album L. Lamb’s quarter A
Chenopodium pumilio R. Br.   A
Halogeton glomeratus (M. Bieb) C. A. Meyer Halogeton A
Kochia sc oparia (L.) Schrad. Kochia, Mexican fireweed A
Salsola paulsenii Litv. Summer cypress, B arbwire A
Salsola tragus L. Russian thistle, t umbleweed A
Calystegia sepium (L.) R. Br. Hedge bindweed P
Convolvulus arvensis L. Field bindwee d, Wild morning - glory P
Dichondra repens Forst. & Forst. Dichondra P
Ipomoea purpurea (L.) Roth Tall morning glory A
Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsumura & Nakai Citron A
Dipsacus fullonum L. Common teasel, Wild teasel B
Elaeagnus angustifolia L. Russian olive S/T
Euphorbia esula L. Leafy spurge P
Euphorbia hyssopifolia L. Euphorbia A
Euphorbia peplus L. Petty spurge A
Euphorbia prostrate (Ait.) Small Prostrate spurge A
Ricinus communis L. Castor bean S
Alhagi pseudalhagi (M. Bieb.) D esv. Camelthorn P
Caesalpinia gilliesii (Wall. Ex Hook.) A. Dietr. Yellow bird of paradise S
Cercidium floridum Benth. Ex Gray Blue palo verde T
Colutea arborescens L. Bladder sinna S/T
Coronilla varia L. Crown vetch P
Desmanthus illinoensis (Michx.) MacM. Desmanthus P
Hoffmanseggia glauca (Ortega) Eifert Rush pea P
Lotus corniculatus L. Birds-foot trefoil P
Medicago lupulina L. Black medic, Y ellow trefoil A
Medicago polymorpha L. California burclover A
Medicago sativa L. Alfalfa P
Melilotus albus Medikus White sweetclover A
Melilotus indicus (L.) All. Sourclover A
Melilotus officinalis (L.) Pall Yellow sweetclover A
Parkinsonia aculeata L. Jerusalem thorn S/T
Spartium junceum L. Weaver’s broom S
Trifolium fragiferum L. Strawberry clov er P
Trifolium repens L. White clover P
Erodium botrys (Cav.) Bertol   A
Erodium cicutarium (L.) L’Her. Filaree A
Hypericum perforatum L. Klamath weed, St. Johnswort P
Marrubium vulgare L. White horehound P
Mentha arvensis L. Wild mint P
Mentha x piperita L. Peppermint P
Salvia aethiopis L. Mediterranean Sage P
Lythrum salicaria L. Purple loosestrife P
Althaea rosea (L.) Cav. Hollyhock B/P
Malva parviflora L. Cheeseweed , Little mallow A
Malva sylvestris L. Tree mallow B/P
Melia azedarach L.   T
Mollugo verticillata L. Green carpetweed A
Morus nigra L. Black mulberry T
Nymphaea odorata Ait. Sweet-scented waterlily P
Gaura parviflora Dougl. Lizardtail, Velvetweed B
Oxalis corniculata L. Yellow woodsorrel P
Papaver rhoeas L. Corn poppy A
Plantago lanceolata L. English plantain P
Plantago major L. Common plantain P
Polygonum argyrocoleon Kunze Silver-sheathed knotweed A
Polygonum aviculare L. Knotweed, Chivalrygrass, Dishwatergrass A
Polygonum convolvulus L. Black bindweed A
Polygonum lapathifolium L. Willow-weed A
Polygonum pensylvanicum (L.) Small Pennsylvanian smartweed A
Polygonum ramosissimum Michaux Knotweed A
Rumex crispus L. Curly dock P
Portulaca oleraceae L. Purslane A
Anagallis arvensis L. Scarlet Pimpernel A
Ranunculus testiculatus Crantz Bur buttercup A
Ziziphus jujube P. Mill. Jujube T
Potentilla recta L. Sulfur cinquefoil P
Rubus discolor Weihe & Nees Raspberry , Himalayan blackberry S
Sanguisorba minor Scop. Burnet P
Galium aparine L. Common bedstraw A
Rubia tinctoria L. Madder P
Sherardia arvensis L. Blue fieldmadder A
Linaria dalmatica (L.) P. Mill Dalmation toadflax P
Linaria vulgaris P. Mill Yellow toadflax P
Veronica persica Poir. Tourefort speedwell A
Verbascum thapsis L. Common mullein, Wooly mullein B
Veronica anagallis-aquatica L. Water speedwell P
Ailanthus altissima (P. Will) Swingle Tree of Heaven T
Nicotiana bigelovii (Torr.) S. Wats. Indian tobacco A
Nicotiana glauca Graham Tree tobacco T
Physalis angulata L. Lanceleaved groundcherry A
Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav. White horse-nettle P
Solanum nodiflorum Jacq. Solanum A/P
Solanum rostratum Dunal Buffalobur A
Solanum sarrachoides Sendt. Hairy nightshade A
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karsten Athel tamarisk T
Tamarix chinen sis Lour. Chinese saltcedar T
Tamarix parviflora DC. Smallflower tamarisk S/T
Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb. Saltcedar, Tamarisk S/T
Ulmus minor Mill. Smooth-leaved elm T
Ulmus parvifolia Jacq. Chinese elm S/T
Ulmus pumila L. Siberian elm T
Galandularia tenuisecta (Briq.) Small   P
Parthenocissus inserta (Kerner) Fritsch Thicket creeper V
Glycyrrhiza lepidota Pursh American licorice P
Tribulus terrestris L. Puncturevine, Puncture weed A
Checklist of the Non-native Plants of Southern Nevada Aquatic Plants
Latinized Binomial Publishing Author Common Name A/P/B/S/T
Vallisneria americana Michx. Tape grass, E elgrass, Water celery P
Myriophyllum spica tum L. Spiked watermilfoil , Eurasian watermilfoil P
Potamogeton crispus L. Crispateleaf pondweed P
  Mitchell Giant salvinia P
Rorippa nasturtium -aquaticum (L.) Hayek   P
Typha dominigensis Pers. Southern cattail P
Veronica persica Poir. Tourefort speedwell A


Brooks, M. and T. Esque. 2002. Alien Plants and Fire in Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizzi), Habitat of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts. Chelonian Conserv. Biol. 4(2).

Cronquist, A., A. H. Holmgren, N. H. Holmgren, J. L. Reveal, P. A. Holmgren. 1994. Intermountain Flora - Vascular Plants of the Intermountain West, U.S.A. New York Botantical Garden, NY.

DiAntonio, C. M. and K. Haubersak. 1998. Community and Ecosystem Impacts of Introduced Species. Fremontia 26(4).

Executive Order 13112 of February 3, 1999 - Invasive Species. Fed. Reg.: February 8, 1999 (Vol. 64 No. 25).

Hickman, James, ed. The Jepson Manual - Higher Plants of California. 1996. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA.

Nevada Plant List. 1998. Natural Resources Conservation Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Powell, E. 2001. Checklist of Vascular Plants of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. National Park Service.

Swearinger, J. M. 2004. What the Heck Is an Invasive Plant? National Park Service, National Capital Region, Center for Urban Ecology.

Ryan, M. and M.L., Robinson 2005, Checklist of the Non-native Plants of Southern Nevada, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, SP-05-05

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