The Village of Glenview

Invasive Plants

What they are and what you can do

‚ÄčOur green spaces and backyards are being invaded by plant species that are not native to Illinois, and can cause environmental damage.

These invasive species crowd out many native wildflowers and gain an ecological edge that impacts natural landscapes, including woodlands, savannas, prairies and wetlands.

The Village of Glenview Natural Resources Commission and the Glenview Park District schedule restoration work days throughout the year, where volunteers work to remove invasive, non-native plants along the North Branch of the Chicago River and in The Grove Natural Historic Landmark and Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie. But these removal efforts can't remain effective if the invasive plants are allowed to thrive on private properties or continue to be planted by gardeners.

Landowners and residents can help rout invasive plants by recognizing them, eliminating them from the outset and not planting them or encouraging their growth.

Here are just a few of the invasive plants that can be easily found in the Glenview area:


This European species forms thickets which are almost impenetrable. It can be recognized by its fine-toothed, opposite leaves and dark, berry-like fruits.


Canada thistle


A serious invader in fields and pastures, Canada thistle is difficult to eradicate. A small patch can soon turn into a large colony if left unchecked. This robust plant grows to 5 feet-tall and the stem and leaves are covered with prickly spines.


Garlic mustard


This noxious plant spread through woodlands and primarily shaded urban areas by seeds. Small white, four petal flowers bloom in spring, and when the leaf is crushed or the stem of the plant is broken, a strong onion-like smell is evident. Garlic mustard takes over parks, yards, nature preserves and other natural habitats




Also known as a common reed, this wetland plant grass can grow to 15 feet in height and create tall, dense stands that crowd out native plants.



Purple loosestrife


Long a prized perennial because of its pinkish-purple flower, Purple loosestrife grows in dense stands and seeds are easily spread. Because it re-sprouts from root fragments, it is aggressive and can't be easily removed by hand. It can overtake wetlands and stream beds.





This plant grows a basal rosette, then sends up a tall flowering stalk. A single teasel can produce over 2,000 seeds that can remain viable for at least two years. The tap root may be more than 2 feet in length. 


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