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.
Baltimore County Maryland
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