An exotic plant is one that was not native to our region when the settlers arrived. Invasive plants are exotics that spread quickly and are creating harm to the environment. If left unmanaged, invasives can overtake the native population and destroy it. In the US alone invasive species do over $35 billion dollars of damage annually. Invasive plants decrease the recreational value, property value and diversity level of both plants and animals.
In our area the most common and damaging invasive species are: Garlic Mustard, European Buckthorn, Bush Honeysuckle, Common Reed, Teasel, Reed Canary grass, Burdock, and Multiflora Rose. For a complete list, search for Invasive Species of Illinois in your favorite web browser or visit these links:
Other sites regarding invasive species
Chicago Botanic Garden
Illinois Dept of Natural Resources
Center for Invasive Species