Why These Fact Sheets

When the Pepperell Invasive Plant Advisory Committee (IPAC) was set up, one of our first concerns was which species to include as being of most concern in Pepperell. With that, deciding how to let people in town know about the invasive species in town has been ongoing. We looked at many websites focused on invasive species, and specifically invasive plants. (a list of websites that we have found particularly useful is included as another page on our website).

 We chose plant species listed as invasive in Massachusetts (MDAR, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources), and specifically a subset of the species on that list that we thought are a problem in Pepperell. IPAC’s list is at the end of this cover sheet.

We found many excellent information pages (fact sheets) available on each invasive species from conservation groups, towns, state and provincial governments, and national governments including multiple branches of the United States government.  We wanted to provide accessible information with good photos for identification and succinct descriptions of the species, the problems they cause, and some control methods, from relatively local sources.

We are providing fact sheets from the State of New Hampshire because the Commonwealth of Massachusetts doesn’t actually have full sets of fact sheets on any equivalent state webpages.  Being neighbors, New Hampshire and Massachusetts share many of the same conditions that control the distributions of plants so that the information from New Hampshire is quite relevant to a town on the border. And New Hampshire has created a remarkable, full set of consistently formatted and illustrated descriptions of the plants we have found to be most invasive in Pepperell. These fact sheets cover the information our committee finds important and they say what we want to say.

The Pepperell Invasive Plant Advisory Committee is very grateful to the Division of Plant Industry of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, for use of their admirable invasive species fact sheets, and their readily granted permission to use those fact sheets on our website. We want to specifically thank Douglas Cygan, New Hampshire’s invasive plant expert for his assistance. 

 With New Hampshire’s agreement, we have modified language on our fact sheets about herbicide use and removed links to a chart for Integrated Pest Management that includes discussion of herbicide use which is regulated differently in the two states. Although the original New Hampshire fact sheets don’t actually discuss the legalities of pesticide (herbicide) application, use and licensing rules in Massachusetts are different from those in New Hampshire. Because the IPAC is not versed in the Massachusetts pesticide application rules and decided to avoid appearance of recommending herbicide use that might or might not be compliant with state laws, we have removed the main references in each fact sheet to herbicide use.

 However, the fact sheets were written by and primarily for New Hampshire and we wanted it to be clear where our town committee made changes. The redacted phrases about herbicide use in the Description paragraph are covered up, and under 'Control Options', we added text to reflect that they were modified by our committee.  

 Control options include mechanical and cultural. In Massachusetts, chemical control (herbicide) options are regulated by the Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Pesticide Program. https://www.mass.gov/orgs/pesticide-program

 An additional point about the original New Hampshire text: each species fact sheet includes the information that that species is on the New Hampshire Prohibited Species list. After consideration we decided to leave that text (not ask New Hampshire for permission to change it on our town versions) because that phrase is part of the original fact sheets and reinforces the point that these species are regional, if not continent-wide, problems. All these species are also on Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List https://www.mass.gov/massachusetts-prohibited-plant-list. In Massachusetts the “Prohibited Plant List” means “The Massachusetts Prohibited Plant List prohibits the importation, sale, and trade of plants determined to be invasive in Massachusetts. This ban also covers the purchase and distribution of these plants and related activities, and includes all cultivars, varieties and hybrids of the species listed.”  Just to  reassure landowners, “prohibited” does not mean that they are required to remove the plants from their property – of course, the IPAC hopes that they would decide to control these species on their property and we provide this information of the plants to assist in any such efforts.

 Fact sheets included here are for plants that the Committee feels are a problem in Pepperell at this time. All of the plants are on the official Massachusetts list of Invasives plants, which are regulated (to move, buy or sell) (https://www.mass.gov/massachusetts-prohibited-plant-list Updated 3/2021)


Acer platanoides, Norway maple

Ailanthus altissima, tree of heaven


Berberis thunbergii, Japanese barberry

Elaeagnus umbellata, autumn olive

Euonymus alatus, burning bush

Lonicera spp., bush honeysuckles (individually listed, L. morrowii, L. tatarica, L.x bella)

Rhamnus cathartica, common buckthorn

Rhamnus frangula /  Frangula alnus, glossy buckthorn

Rosa multiflora, multiflora rose


Celastrus orbiculatus, Oriental bittersweet


Alliaria petiolate, garlic mustard

Cynanchum spp., swallow-wort (individually listed, C. louiseae, C. rossicum)

Hesperus matronalis, dames’s rocket

Polygonum cuspidatum, Japanese knotweed (including its several scientific names, Fallopia japonica; Polygonum cuspidatum; Reynoutria japonica)

Reynoutria x bohemica, Bohemian knotweed (not listed separately in MA but included as a hybrid with Japanese knotweed as a parent species ).)

  (we, IPAC are currently not including as urgent in town, although at least some of the species  are here or in nearby towns)

Berberis vulgaris, European barberry

Ligustrum obtusifolium, blunt-leaved privet

Lonicera japonica, Japanese honeysuckle

Polygonum perfoliatum, Mile-a-minute vine

Centaurea biebersteinii, spotted knotweed

Lepidium latifolium, perennial pepperweed

Micostegium vimineum, Japanese stilt-grass

 P. S. Rice, for IPAC, June 23, 2021