Page 152 - A Field Guide to Fairfax County's Plants and Wildlife
P. 152
rFax County’s ten most (un)wanted

invasive speCies

Mile-a-Minute Weed

A vine with sharp spiny stems and leaves (also called “tearthumb”).

Native to Japan, China and southeast Asia.

Grows very fast, forming dense mats that smother native plants.

Fruits float easily in water; storm events increase the likelihood of

spreading by seed throughout watersheds.

Considered a highly invasive weed in Virginia.

(Polygonum perfoliatum) Multiflora Rose

Thorny flowering shrub from Japan, Korea and eastern China. (Rosa multiflora)
Intentionally introduced in the mid-1800’s to control erosion.

Invades both disturbed and natural habitats and outcompetes

native plants. Produces large quantities of pollen which cause

allergic reactions in some people. Considered a highly invasive

plant in Virginia.

Chestnut Blight

Parasitic fungus from China.

Accidentally introduced around 1900 on chestnuts imported from

Chinese nurseries.

The magnificent American Chestnut (Castanea dentate) has been

almost wiped out by the blight. Few trees are left in the county; the

Fairfax County Park Authority works with the American Chestnut

Foundation to protect these.

(Cryphonectria parasitica) Bradford Pear

Small tree native to China and Vietnam.

Widely planted as an ornamental.

Easily escapes from cultivation and outcompetes native

plants and trees.

European Starling (Pyrus calleryana,
variety “Bradford”)

Stocky robin-sized songbird from Europe and western Asia.
Released in New York City in 1800’s by an eccentric group that
wanted to introduce all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays.
Damages crops and native plants; bullies and even kills native birds.
Considered a nuisance bird in Virgina.

(Sturnus vulgaris)

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