There are hundreds of educational resources available that examine invasive plants. Below is an overview of our favorites. To see the educational material that MIPN has created itself, check out our Products & Publications page.


Invasive Plants Field Guide - Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species, by Sylvan Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman

This easy-to-use, wide ranging guide to invasive plants in North America features full-color photos and descriptions of more than 175 alien species. Text for each species describes the plant's environmental and economic impacts as well as management techniques used to control it. To order books from Stackpole, visit or call 1-800-732-3669



The Morton Arboretum's adult education and natural areas conservation training programs began publishing invasive plant identification videos in the spring of 2019. Check out their YouTube playlist here. We encourage you to subscribe because new videos are being added. The videos focus on some "usual suspects" like bush honeysuckles and buckthorn as well lesser known invaders like lily-of-the-valley and reed canary grass.

The herbarium staff at The Morton Arboretum, working as part of the Great Lakes Invasives Network, recently released a guide called Aquatic Invasive Plants and their Look-Alikes. The guide is available in both web quality (4MB pdf) and print quality (24MB pdf) *note - this version of the guide was revised to correct distribution map errors on 5/31/18*. It contains photos of the invasives and look-alikes, and distribution maps according to digitally submitted records and voucher records.  The Great Lakes Invasives Network is a partnership of collection-based institutions working to digitize voucher records of invasive species in the Great Lakes Region. These digital images are searchable via their website.

Interactive Weed Identification Database - created by Mark Renz, University of Wisconsin, the database contains 280 of the most common weeds/invasive plants found in agricultural, urban, and natural settings in Wisconsin. The database is organized to ask questions about the unknown plant, and, based on the user's input, the website will produce a list of plants (scientific and common names) along with thumbnail images that match the information entered.

Check out this handy Guide to Honeysuckles - Lonicera sp. (pdf) developed by Minnesota Department of Transportation. It can help you identify the four most common invasive bush honeysuckle species and hybrids to the species level. It also includes a photographic guide to native honeysuckle species of the northern Midwest.

If you come across flowers in the wild that you can't identify, here is a database that will help narrow down the list based on characteristics you select in ten different categories, such as leaf shape, flower color, number of petals, and range (location). Using Ficaria verna as a test subject, we provided seven characteristics and received a list of six possible species, including F. verna. The species page parsed live information from various sources, including USDA, many of which noted its invasive status. (This resource was forwarded to MIPN by Natalie, an environmentally minded fifth grade student from upstate New York, who used our links page in her research.) 


The University of Wisconsin-Madison Agronomy Department and UW-Extension has created a series of videos for the identification of invasive plants. These videos can be found at the new UW-Extension Weed Science website. Current species covered include

  • Black swallow-wort
  • Bush honeysuckles
  • Canada thistle
  • Common tansy
  • Creeping bellflower
  • Dame's rocket
  • Garlic mustard
  • Hill mustard
  • Japanese hedge
  • Japanese hop
  • Leafy spurge
  • Perennial pepperweed
  • Plumeless thistle
  • Poison hemlock
  • Spotted knapweed
  • Teasel
  • Wild chervil
  • Wild parsnip

Identification and control of garlic mustard. This video may also be ordered on DVD at

The Outsmart Invasive Species Project has put together several great videos to aid invasive species and invasive plant identification, including Japanese knotweed, multiflora rose, glossy buckthorn, and autumn olive. Check out these helpful and short videos on their YouTube Channel.


Water garden poster created by the Minnesota Sea Grant


Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants - fact sheets, images, invasive plant management plans, invasive plant recognition cards, and identification videos.


Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Invasive Plant Species Fact Sheets

National Park Service Alien plant invaders fact sheets


Meet the Knapweeds - 1MB This brochure was created by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and provides an overview of the 4 invasive knapweed species confirmed in the Midwest.

Oriental Bittersweet Brochure - 1 MB (high resolution file with crop marks here)


MIPN Conference Presentations

IPAW (Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin) has a library of PowerPoint presentations available for anyone who would like to use them.


Water garden information developed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources targeting consumers & retailers

Handout for consumers

Handout for retailers

MIPN compiled a listing of invasive plant books, posters, videos, CDs, & websites. Download a PDF of this comprehensive listing to discover more available resources.