invasive and naturalized plants
What is the difference between a noxious weed, invasive plant and a naturalized plant? For example early settlers brought over dandelions which have naturalized into our land. Just looking for a definition or comparisons of naturalized plants, noxious weeds and invasive plants.
Great question! This page from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides an explanation of these different plant definitions: invasive, noxious, and naturalized. https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ct/technical/ecoscience/invasive/?cid=nrcs142p2_011124
There are six noxious weeds that are regulated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). https://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Documents/weed_brochure.pdf
MDA also regulates several invasive plants that threaten native plant health and biodiversity in both agricultural and natural systems in Maryland. https://mda.maryland.gov/plants-pests/Pages/maryland_invasive_plants_prevention_and_control.aspx
Here is a page on our website that goes into detail about why invasive plants are problematic. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/invasive-plants-cause-ecosystem-level-changes