Question: What are invasive species (also defines the terms “exotic” and “native”)?
Answer: To understand what an invasive species is, one must first understand the difference between an exotic species and a native species. An exotic species is any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that habitat. Other terms sometimes used for exotic species include “non-native.” “non-indigenous,” and “alien.” A native species is a species that, other than as a result of an introduction, historically occurs/occurred in that particular habitat.
An invasive species is an exotic species whose introduction into an ecosystem in which the species is not native causes or is likely to cause environmental or economic harm or harm to human health. It is important to note that when we talk about a species being invasive, we are talking about ecosystem or environmental boundaries, not political ones. In addition to the many invasive species from outside the U.S., there are many species from within the U.S. that are invasive in other parts of the country because they are not native to the ecosystem in which they have become established.
Here is a link to the current list of invasive species in Missouri
Common Landscape Plants