Organisms of all kinds, including plants, insects, mammals, and diseases, have been moved, intentionally and unintentionally, by humans since we started traversing the planet. When one of these organisms isn’t native to the area it’s moved to, it’s known as non-native. The speed of non-native introduction has increased as global trade between continents is more common.
While there are over 1,800 native plant species in Michigan, there are also 800 non-native species that have been introduced to Michigan and are now established. Some of these species are crops that we rely on and landscaping plants we enjoy that do not survive outside of the gardens where they are planted. Others have escaped from cultivation and spread naturally. Some of these grow aggressively and are known to change the ecosystems they become part of. Most of them change the ecosystem by becoming dominant species in the ecosystem, outcompeting native species. This class of non-natives are known as non-native invasives. Native species may also grow aggressively, and some are considered to be invasive. The species we recommend you start with (see our plant facts) are not known to grow in this way.
For more information on the most common non-native invasive plant species in the Midwest, go to the Midwest Invasive Species Network.