Recognizing Invasive Species

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Invasiveness Ranking

invasive lesser celandine
Though pretty, lesser celandine ( Ficaria verna ) can choke out native species


The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) ranks invasive species (I-rank) based on their level of threat to forests and other natural communities and native species. Invasiveness rank increases for species that:

  • Alter natural processes, such as water flow or soil chemistry.
  • Invade undisturbed natural areas.
  • Cause substantial impacts on rare or vulnerable native species or natural areas.
  • Are found widely distributed and generally abundant where present.
  • Disperse readily to new places.
  • Require significant resources to manage and control.



High-Ranking Invasive Plants

These plants rank "High" on the DCR Invasive Plant List. Find them in the Fairfax County Park Authority's Invasive Plants Identification and Control Booklet or Blue Ridge Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) PRISM Fact Sheets for identification and control options. Early Detection and Rapid Response lists emerging invasive species in Fairfax County.

EDDMaps and Apps


Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System (EDDMapS) is a web-based mapping system for documenting invasive plants, insects, diseases and wildlife. Using common or scientific names, you can click on each species to view information, image and references.

Plant Lists and Databases
Fairfax Virtual Assistant