There are many plants that grow in Cumberland County that are not native to the county. Many were brought and planted by people, a few were spread by birds and other animals. Any plant that is not native to an area is called an "exotic" species. This does not necessarily mean that the plant causes problems for the natural vegetation. For example, fruit trees, strawberries, and many common ornamental flowers and shrubs are not native but don't cause problems because they don't spread into natural areas and crowd out the native plants.
An exotic plant that does have these harmful characteristics are called "invasives" because they are readily able to spread into natural areas and can out compete and crowd out native plants. Unfortunately many of the plants on the invasive list (available for download in a word document below) were formerly sold at nursery centers and at retail stores. Some on the list are now banned for retail sale in Tennessee, but others are still available.
Fortunately, there are native plants that have similar flower or leaf color that can be used instead in landscaping. Help protect our native plant community by not planting invasives and by eliminating those which are on your property.
In addition to the Cumberland County-specific resources provided on this page, the National Park Service has created fact sheets on an extensive array of invasive species.