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| Last Updated:: 26/09/2016

Invasive Alien species

 

 

 

INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES

 

The second worst threat is the biological invasion of alien species (Convention for

Biological diversity, 1992)”

 

An alien plant also referred to as exotic, introduced, foreign, non-indigenous or non-native, is one that has been introduced by humans intentionally or otherwise through human agency or accidentally from one region to another. An alien plant that has escaped from its original ecosystem and is reproducing on its own in the regional flora is considered a naturalized species. Those naturalized aliens that become so successful as to spread in the flora and displace native biota or threatens valued environmental, agricultural or personal resources by the damage it causes are considered invasive.

Humans have been transporting animals and plants from one part of the world to another for thousands of years, sometimes deliberately for social or personal gain and sometimes accidentally. In most cases, such introductions are unsuccessful, but when they do become established as an invasive alien species (defined by IUCN (2000) as “an alien species which becomes established in natural or semi-natural ecosystems or habitat, is an agent of change, and threatens native biological diversity”), the consequences can be catastrophic. According to the Convention for Biological Diversity, invasive alien species are the second largest cause of biodiversity loss in the world and impose high costs to agriculture, forestry, and aquatic ecosystems. In fact, introduced species are a greater threat to native biodiversity than pollution, harvest, and disease combined.

The global extent and rapid increase in invasive species is homogenising the world’s flora and fauna (Mooney & Hobbs, 2000) and is recognized as a primary cause of global biodiversity loss. Bio-invasion may be considered as a form of biological pollution and significant component on global change and one of the major causes of species extinction (Mooney and Drake, 1987; Drake et al., 1989).

Foresters, taxonomists and ecologists are now well aware of the problems caused by the invasion of alien species into natural areas and the associated negative effects on global patterns of native biodiversity. Once established, some alien species have the ability to displace or replace native plant and animal species, disrupt nutrient and fire cycles, and cause changes in the pattern of plant succession. Studies are underway to better understand the impacts of these species on native ecosystems.

Many invasive plants continue to be admired by people who may not be aware of their weedy nature. Others are recognized as weeds but property owners fail to do their part in preventing their spread. Some species do not even become invasive until they are neglected for a long time. Invasive plants are not all equally invasive. Some only colonize small areas and do not do so aggressively. Others may spread and come to dominate large areas in just a few years. The loss due to invasive species in United States estimated to be $125-150 billion each year and 25% of US agriculture gross national product lost due to foreign pests and weeds (McNeely et al. 2001). Alien plants can spread rapidly because of our mobile society and the intentional transportation of ornamental and forage plants (Randall and Marinelli, 1997).

 

Characteristic features of Invasive species:

Invasive species possess characteristic features like “pioneer species” in varied landscapes, tolerant of a wide range of soil and weather conditions, generalist in distribution, produces copious amounts of seed that disperse easily, grows aggressive root systems, short generation time, high dispersal rates, long flowering and fruiting periods, broad native range, abundant in native range. Preliminary data from one interesting study shows that invasive species are likely to have relatively small amounts of DNA in their cell nuclei. Apparently, the cells in these plants are able to divide and multiply more quickly and consequently the entire plant can grow more rapidly than species with higher cellular DNA content. This gives them a leg up in disturbed sites.

According to World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), 1,604,000 species have been described at the global level. Thus India accounts for 8% of the global biodiversity existing in only 2.4% land area of the world. According to Nayar (1989) the number of flowering plant species endemic to the present political boundaries of this country is 4900 out of a total of 15000, i.e. 33%. Hajra & Mudgal (1997) report 5400 endemics in 17000 angiospermous species of India, which comes to 31.76 %. India is an important center of agri-biodiversity having contributed 167 species to the world agriculture and homeland for 320 species of wild relatives of crops. The present study focuses on 173 species of invasive alien plants in India. These include the most serious invasives, such as Alternanthera philoxeroides, Cassia uniflora, Chromolaena odorata, Eichhornia crassipes, Lantana camara, Parthenium hysterophorus, Prosopis juliflora and others.

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LIST OF INVASIVE ALIEN PLANT SPECIES IN INDIA

 

A   B   C   D     F   G   H    J   K   L   M  N   O  P   Q  R  S   T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

 A

 

Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd. (Mimosacceae)

Habit: Tree

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Acacia mearnsii De Wild. (Mimosacceae)

Habit: Tree

Nativity: South east Australia

 

Acanthospermum hispidum DC. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Brazil

 

Aerva javanica (Burm.f.) Juss. ex Schult. (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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Aeschynomene americana L. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ageratina adenophora (Spreng.) King & Robinson (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ageratum conyzoides L. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ageratum houstonianum Mill. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Alternanthera paronychioides A. St. Hil (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Alternanthera pungens Kunth (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Alternanthera tenella Colla (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Antigonon leptopus Hook. & Arn. (Polygonaceae)

Habit: Climber

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Argemone mexicana L. (Papaveraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Central & South America

 

Asclepias curassavica L. (Asclepiadaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Asphodelus tenuifolius Cav. (Liliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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B

 

 

Bidens pilosa L. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Blainvillea acmella (L.) Philipson (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Blumea eriantha DC. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Blumea lacera (Burm.f.) DC. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Blumea obliqua (L.) Druce (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Borassus flabellifer L. (Arecaceae)

Habit: Tree

Nativity: Trop. Africa

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C

 

 

Calotropis gigantea (L.) R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. Africa

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Calotropis procera (Ait.) R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Cardamine hirsuta L. (Brassicaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cardamine trichocarpa Hochst. ex A.Rich. (Brassicaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cassia absus L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cassia alata L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: West Indies

 

Cassia hirsuta L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cassia obtusifolia L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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Cassia occidentalis L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Cassia pumila Lam. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

Cassia rotundifolia Pers. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Cassia tora L. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Cassia uniflora Mill. (Caesalpiniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Catharanthus pusillus (Murray) Don (Apocynaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Celosia argentea L. (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Chamaesyce hirta (L.) Millsp. (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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Chamaesyce indica (Lam.) Croizat (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Chloris barbata Sw. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Chromolaena odorata (L.) King & Robinson (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Chrozophora rottleri (Geis.) Spreng. (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Cleome gynandra L. (Cleomaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cleome monophylla L. (Cleomaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

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Cleome rutidosperma DC. (Cleomaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cleome viscosa L. (Cleomaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Clidemia hirta (L.) D. Don (Melastomataceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Conyza bipinnatifida Wall. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Corchorus aestuans L. (Tiliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Corchorus fascicularis Lam. (Tiliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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Corchorus tridens L. (Tiliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Corchorus trilocularis L. (Tiliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Crassocephalum crepidioides (Benth.) Moore (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Crotalaria pallida Dryand (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Crotalaria retusa L. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Croton bonplandianum Boil. (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Temperate South America

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Cryptostegia grandiflora R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Madagascar

 

Cuscuta chinensis Lam. (Cuscutaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Mediterranean

 

Cuscuta reflexa Roxb. (Cuscutaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Mediterranean

 

Cyperus difformis L. (Cyperaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cyperus iria L. (Cyperaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Cytisus scoparius (L.) Link (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Europe

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D

 

Datura innoxia Mill. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Datura metel L. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Dicoma tomentosa Cass. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Digera muricata (L.) Mart. (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: SW Asia

 

Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 
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E

 

 

Echinochloa colona (L.) Link (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

 

Echinochloa crusgalli (L.) Beauv. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Echinops echinatus Roxb. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Afghanistan

 

Eclipta prostrata (L.) Mant. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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Eichhornia crassipes (C. Martius) Solms-Loub. (Pontederiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Emilia sonchifolia (L.) DC. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Euphorbia cyathophora Murray (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Euphorbia heterophylla L. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Evolvulus nummularius (L.) L. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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F

 

 

Flaveria trinervia (Spreng.) C. Mohr. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Central America

 

Fuirena ciliaris (L.) Roxb. (Cyperaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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G

 

Galinosoga parviflora Cav. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Glossocardia bosvallea (L.f.) DC. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: East Indies

 

 Gnaphalium coarctatum Willd. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Gnaphalium pensylvanicum Willd. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Gnaphalium polycaulon Pers. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Gomphrena serrata L. (Amaranthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Grangea maderaspatana (L.) Poir. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

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H

 

Hyptis suaveolens (L.) Poit. (Lamiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

I

Impatiens balsamina L. (Balsaminaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raensch. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Indigofera astragalina DC. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Indigofera glandulosa Roxb. ex Willd. Papilionaceae

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Indigofera linifolia (L.f.) Retz. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Indigofera linnaei Ali (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

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Indigofera trita L.f. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Ipomoea carnea Jacq. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ipomoea eriocarpa R.Br. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Ipomoea hederifolia L. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ipomoea obscura (L.) Ker.-Gawl. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Ipomoea pes-tigridis L. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. East Africa

 

Ipomoea quamoclit L. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ipomoea staphylina Roem. & Schult. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

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L

 

 

Lagascea mollis Cav. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Central America

 

Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Leonotis nepetiifolia (L.) R.Br. (Lamiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit (Mimosacceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 Ludwigia adscendens (L.) Hara (Onagraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ludwigia octovalvis (Jacq.) Raven (Onagraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

 

Ludwigia perennis L. (Onagraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Africa

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M

 

 

Macroptilium atropupureum (DC.) Urban (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Climber

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Macroptilium lathyroides (L.) Urban (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Climber

Nativity: Trop. Central America

 

Malachra capitata (L.) L. (Malvaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Malvastrum coromandelianum (L.) Garcke (Malvaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Martynia annua (Houstoun & Martyn) L. (Pedaliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Mecardonia procumbens (Mill.) Small (Scrophulariaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. North America

 

Melilotus alba Desv. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Europe

 

Melochia corchorifolia L. (Sterculiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Merremia aegyptia (L.) Urban. (Convolvulaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

Mikania micrantha Kunth (Asteraceae)

Habit: Climber

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Mimosa pigra L. (Mimosacceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. North America

 

Mimosa pudica L. (Mimosacceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Brazil

 

Mirabilis jalapa L. (Nyctaginaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Peru

 

 

Monochoria vaginalis (Burm.f.) C. Presl. (Pontederiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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N

 

Nicotiana plumbaginifolia Viv. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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O

 

Ocimum americanum L. (Lamiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Opuntia stricta (Haw.) Haw. (Cactaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Oxalis corniculata L. (Oxalidaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Europe

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P

 

Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. North America

 

Passiflora foetida L. (Passifloraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Pedalium murex L. (Pedaliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

Pennisetum purpureum Schum. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Peperomia pellucida (L.) Kunth (Piperaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Peristrophe paniculata (Forssk.) Brummitt (Acanthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Phyllanthus tenellus Roxb. (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Mascarene Islands

 

Physalis angulata L. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Physalis pruinosa L. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Pilea microphylla (L.) Liebm. (Urticaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Pistia stratiotes L. (Araceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Portulaca oleracea L. (Portulacaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Portulaca quadrifida L. (Portulacaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. (Mimosacceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Mexico

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R

 

 

Rhynchelytrum repens (Willd.) C.E. Hubb. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

Rorippa dubia (Pers.) Hara (Brassicaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Ruellia tuberosa L. (Acanthaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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S

 

 

Saccharum spontaneum L. (Poaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. West Asia

 

Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitch. (Salviniaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Brazil

 

Scoparia dulcis L. (Scrophulariaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Sesbania bispinosa (Jacq.) Wight (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Sida acuta Burm.f. (Malvaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Solanum americanum Mill. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Solanum seaforthianum Andrews (Solanaceae)

Habit: Climber

Nativity: Brazil

 

Solanum torvum Sw. (Solanaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: West Indies

 

Solanum viarum Dunal (Solanaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Sonchus asper Hill (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Mediterranean

 

 

Sonchus oleraceus L. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Mediterranean

 

Spermacoce hispida L. (Rubiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Spilanthes radicans Jacq. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America

 

Stachytarpheta jamaicensis (L.) Vahl (Verbenaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Stachytarpheta urticaefolia (Salisb.) Sims (Verbenaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Stylosanthes hamata (L.) Taub. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Synadenium grantii Hook. f. (Euphorbiaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Synedrella nodiflora (L.) Gaertn. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: West Indies

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T

Torenia fournieri Linden ex E. Fournier (Scrophulariaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Australia

 

Tribulus lanuginosus L. (Zygophyllaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Tribulus terrestris L. (Zygophyllaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Tridax procumbens L. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. Central America

 

 

Triumfetta rhomboidea Jacq. (Tiliaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Turnera subulata J.E. Smith (Turneraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

Turnera ulmifolia L. Turneraceae Herb Trop. America

Habit:

Nativity:

 

Typha angustata Bory. & Choub. (Typhaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

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U

 

Ulex europaeus L. (Papilionaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Western Europe

 

Urena lobata L. (Malvaceae)

Habit: Shrub

Nativity: Trop. Africa

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W

 

 

Waltheria indica L. (Sterculiaceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

X

Xanthium strumarium L. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. America

 

 

Y

Youngia japonica (L.) DC. (Asteraceae)

Habit: Herb

Nativity: Trop. South America


[Source: C. Sudhakar Reddy, G. Bagyanarayana, K.N. Reddy & Vatsavaya S. Raju. 2008. Invasive Alien Flora of India. National Biological Information Infrastructure, Usgs, USA]

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