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Forest Service updates free guide to 'Invasive Plants in Southern Forests'

ASHEVILLE, NC USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Director Jim Reaves today announced that gardeners, foresters, landowners and others concerned about nonnative invasive plants in the South can now request free copies of "A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests." The long-awaited book is an update of the very popular "Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control," published by the Station in 2003.

"The book's lead author, Jim Miller, is one of the foremost authorities on invasive plants in the South, so we're delighted to offer this enhanced field guide at no cost to anyone interested in learning about and identifying invasive plants in the region," said Reaves. "The Forest Service has distributed nearly 160,000 copies of Jim's first book on invasive plants, and with the spread of exotic species across region, we expect there will be even more demand for this expanded version."

SRS Research Ecologist Jim Miller co-authored "Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" with SRS Research Technician Erwin Chambliss and Research Fellow and Extension Specialist at Auburn University Nancy Loewenstein.

"Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" gives users a more comprehensive identification guide to nonnative trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns and forbs invading the region's forests and other natural areas. The updated field guide added:

  • 23 more plant species with updated information on the original 33 species;
  • 241 new photos and images;
  • Enhanced photo clarity and color; and
  • A new "Resembles" section so users can identify plant "look-alikes."

The book's appendix contains the most complete list of nonnative invasive plants in the 13 Southern states, providing common and scientific names for 310 other invading species including, for the first time, aquatic plant invaders. Also, the authors updated the "Sources of Identification Information" section to include the latest books, manuals and articles on invasive plants. The ever-expanding website section lists Internet resources that provide useful information on identification and efficient management.

At the same time, "Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" retains features that attracted users to Miller's first book, such as detailed descriptions of select plants, their stems, leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds, ecology, history and use, and distribution.

"Invasive Plants in Southern Forests" differs from Miller's first book in that the update focuses solely on the "identification" of exotic plants and does not include "control" methods. Jim Miller and co-authors Steven Manning, president of Invasive Plant Control, Inc., and Stephen Enloe, weed management extension specialist at Auburn University, cover methods for controlling invasive plants in a new, companion book titled "A Management Guide for Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests," available October, 2010.


Contact: Stevin Westcott
USDA Forest Service ‑ Southern Research Station

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