List of invasive plant species in the Indiana Dunes

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Purple loosestrife

The Indiana Dunes is an area of land beside Lake Michigan, in the State of Indiana, United States. It includes the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park. This article is about non-native plant species, specifically the invasive species which have colonized that area. Invasive plants are those plants that aggressively spread throughout an area and out-compete other plant species, normally those that are native to the area.

"These species can have a negative affect on the local economy, the environment and public health. Most non-native plants were introduced as farm products or for home gardens. Others have arrived on the feet, hull, or tires of people and animals passing through. While many non-native plants are relatively harmless, the term invasive has been reserved for the most aggressive of species." [1]

Invasive plant species can have, and have had, several negative impacts:

  1. Some of these plants can overgrow trails and roads,
  2. Some can entangle bike chains, e.g. knapweed
  3. They can displace the variety of flowering plants, substituting a monoculture
  4. They can introduce toxins into the environment, e.g. the sap of the leafy spurge
  5. In some cases they have spines or thorns, e.g. thistles
  6. Some invasive aquatic plants can smoother ponds, killing fish
  7. Some invasive plants can create navigation barriers for small boats

Plants of special interest[edit]

Species established within the Dunes[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m The Singing Sands; National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Summer 2009, Vol. 30 No.1