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Invasive species are plants that are not native to an area, which are capable of causing harm. While most non-native plant species are not a problem, a few, such as Purple Loosestrife (pictured below) harm ecosystems and impede water recreation. Purple loosestrife, once sold and used because of its beautiful flowers, has invaded thousands of Minnesota wetlands, displacing native plants and reducing food and habitat for native species.

Other non-native plants, such as Yellow Iris and Pink Water Lilies, have spread in a few Minnesota waters and appear to have invasive characteristics. Once introduced, invasive species can spread to new areas and can rarely be eliminated. Once established, the costs to reduce their harmful impacts can be considerable.

Minnesota Prohibited Invasive Species may not be sold, purchased, or possessed in Minnesota. Nevertheless, some of these species are available for sale through catalog and Internet sales. If you see any Minnesota Prohibited Invasive Species for sale in Minnesota, please report it to the DNR.

gardening84_Prohibited Invasive Aquatic Plants

  • Ambulia (Limnophila sessiliflora)
  • Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus)
  • European frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae)
  • Indian swampweed (Hygrophila polysperma)
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria, Lythrum virgatum and all cultivars) (pictured on the left)
  • Watermoss, Giant salvinia, caterpillars (Salvinia molesta, Salvinia auriculata)
  • Water Velvet (Azolla pinnata)



natural waterPlanting in a Natural Water

Native species may be planted in natural waters, but a permit is needed to plant below the ordinary high water line in “public” waters. If you wish to plant in a natural water, please contact the DNR Info Center (toll-free 1-888-646-6367) to find out if the water body is public, to determine if your plants are natives, and to obtain a permit.

Native Plants for Landscaping & Restoration in MN (pdf)
Native plant communities are groupings of many plant species that occur naturally in a given environment.

It is important for shoreline owners to understand the role of native plants and the difference between native, non-native, and invasive non-native species.

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed

Joe Pye Weed (pictured) is one of Minnesota's royal native species.

What Every Gardener Should Know (pdf)
Important information for the water gardener and shoreline restorer.

Native Plant Encyclopedia (pdf)

Minnesota Handbook to Aquatic Invasive Species (pdf) (takes a little while to load - big file) (but worth the wait).

If you have questions about planting near the water's edge, need the assistance of a Water Planner or Shoreline Technician, or to obtain a permit to excavate, contact the Douglas County Land & Resource Management Office @ 320-762-3864.

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