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Noxious Weeds Program Risk Assessments

PPQ conducts weed risk assessments (WRA) as part of its process for safeguarding U.S. agriculture and natural resources from weeds and invasive plants. A weed risk assessment is a science-based evaluation of the potential of a plant species to establish, spread, and cause harm in the United States. PPQ may initiate an assessment for any number of reasons, including: evaluation of commodity import requests, detection of a new weed in the United States, and petitions for listing from stakeholders.

Below is a list of all of the available WRAs that PPQ has conducted. They are provided for interested stakeholders and may be useful in setting local policies or informing resource managers. While most of the risk assessments were prepared by PPQ using the current weed risk assessment process [Guidelines Coming Soon], others were prepared using an older process (prior to 2010). We continue to provide these for interested stakeholders. Below, species are listed alphabetically by their scientific name. If a species has a common name, it is provided. New entries to this website are also indicated. Listings may be associated with one or two designations, noted below, that describe their current regulatory status.

  • FNW – The species is currently regulated as a Federal Noxious Weed. For a complete list of all species regulated as Federal Noxious Weeds, see the FNW program home page.
  • NAPPRA – The species is currently Not Authorized (import) Pending Pest Risk Analysis. For a complete list of all pest plant species listed under this category see the NAPPRA web page.

Reference Files

  • APHIS-PPQ Weed Risk Assessment Guidelines: (Check back to this web page for guidelines.)
  • Summary of WRA results (except old formats): (MS Excel - 4.9 MB or PDF - 18 Kb)

Weed Risk Assessments

Scientific Name Common Name PDF FNW NAPPRA Recently Posted
Acacia nilotica Thorny acacia 92 Kb FNW
Acalypha australis Asian copperleaf 279 Kb
Achyranthes japonica Japanese chaff flower 321 Kb Yes
Ageratina riparia Mistflower 62 Kb FNW
Althaea armeniaca Marshmallow 346 Kb
Anubias barteri (none) 181 Kb
Araujia sericifera Cruel plant 308 Kb
Arctotheca calendula Capeweed 94 Kb FNW
Ardisia crenata Coralberry ardisia 291 Kb
Arundo donax Giant reed 439 Kb
Austroderia richardii New Zealand pampas 337 Kb Yes
Bacopa australis (none) 204 Kb
Cardiospermum grandiflorum Balloon vine 295 Kb
Carex breviculmis Short-stem sedge 531 Kb
Carex pendula Pendulous sedge 483 Kb
Caulerpa taxifolia Killer algae, Mediterranean strain 726 Kb FNW
Cestrum laevigatum Inkberry 250 Kb
Chrysanthemoides monilifera Boneseed, Bitou bush 461 Kb
Chrysopogon aciculatus Golden false beardgrass 814 Kb FNW
Colophospermum mopane Mopane 1,110 Kb
Cordia curassavica Black sage 428 Kb NAPPRA
Cortaderia jubata Jubata grass 342 Kb Yes
Cortaderia selloana Pampas grass 310 Kb Yes
Crassula helmsii Swamp stonecrop 272 Kb
Delairea odorata Cape ivy 271 Kb
Dittrichia graveolens Stinkwort 309 Kb
Dolichandra unguis-cati Cat's-claw 299 Kb
Echinochloa pyramidalis Antelope grass 303 Kb NAPPRA
Echinodorus uruguayensis Uruguay sword plant 227 Kb
Euphorbia terracina False caper 62 Kb FNW
Falcaria vulgaris Sickleweed 403 Kb
Geranium lucidum Shining cranesbill 325 Kb
Gladiolus undulatus Wavy gladiolus 571 Kb
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides Senegal tea plant 250 Kb
Hakea gibbosa Rock hakea 315 Kb
Hakea salicifolia Finger hakea 275 Kb NAPPRA
Hakea sericea Bushy needlewood 267 Kb NAPPRA
Homeria spp Cape tulip 36 Kb FNW (only 5 species)
Hedychium gardnerianum Kahili ginger lily 370 Kb
Impatiens parviflora Smallflower touch-me-not 494 Kb NAPPRA
Inula britannica British elecampane 180 Kb
Ipomoea aquatica Chinese water-spinach 953 Kb
Iris pseudacorus Yellow flag iris 277 Kb
Leptochilus pteropus Java fern 230 Kb
Ligustrum sinense Chinese privet 299 Kb
Limnobium laevigatum South American spongeplant 681 Kb NAPPRA
Luziola subintegra Tropical American watergrass 346 Kb
Lygodium flexuosum Maidenhair-creeper 669 Kb FNW
Lygodium japonicum Japanese climbing fern 669 Kb
Lygodium microphyllum Old world climbing fern 669 Kb
Mikania micrantha Mile-a-minute 297 Kb FNW
Nassella neesiana Chilean needlegrass 425 Kb
Neptunia oleracea Water mimosa 255 Kb
Nymphoides cristata Crested floating heart 306 Kb NAPPRA
Nymphoides indica Water snowflake 213 Kb
Nymphoides peltata Yellow floating heart 225 Kb
Onopordum acaulon Stemless thistle 53 Kb FNW
Onopordum illyricum Illyrian thistle 57 Kb FNW
Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. undulatifolius Wavyleaf basketgrass 380 Kb
Persicaria chinensis Chinese knotweed 444 Kb
Phyllanthus maderaspatensis Canoe weed 490 Kb NAPPRA
Phyllostachys aurea Golden bamboo 495 Kb
Phyllostachys aureosulcata Yellow groove bamboo 342 Kb
Pilea hyalina (none) 247 Kb
Pistacia chinensis Chinese pistache 532 Kb
Rottboellia cochinchinensis Itch grass 86 Kb FNW
Rumex sagittatus Climbing dock 305 Kb NAPPRA
Sagittaria sagittifolia Arrowhead 189 Kb FNW
Senecio angulatus Cape ivy 287 Kb NAPPRA
Senecio inaequidens South African ragwort 278 Kb FNW
Senecio madagascariensis Madagascar ragwort 278 Kb FNW
Sideritis montana Mountain ironwort 455 Kb
Solanum sisymbriifolium Sticky nightshade 345 Kb
Solanum viarum Tropical soda apple 528 Kb FNW
Thymelaea passerina Spurge flax 966 Kb
Toona sinensis Chinese toon 426 Kb
Tridax procumbens Coat buttons 264 Kb
Triplaris melaenodendron Long John 245 Kb
Vitex rotundifolia Beach vitex 1,131 Kb
Wikstroemia indica Tiebush 259 Kb NAPPRA
Xanthoceras sorbifolium Yellowhorn 213 Kb


For information on weed risk assessments contact:
Anthony L. Koop, Ph.D.
Weed Risk Assessment Lead / Botanist, Ecologist
Telephone: (919) 855-7429
Email: Anthony.L.Koop@aphis.usda.gov

- Or -

Barney P. Caton, Ph.D.
Assistant Lab Director / Ecologist
Telephone: (919) 855-7504
Email: Barney.P.Caton@aphis.usda.gov

For information on FNW policies contact:
Jonathan Jones
National Policy Manager / Botanist
Telephone: (301) 851-2128
E-mail: Jonathan.M.Jones@aphis.usda.gov

For information on plants for planting listed under NAPPRA contact:
Al Tasker, Ph.D.
Regulatory Specialist / Weed Scientist
Telephone: (301) 851-2224
E-mail: Alan.V.Tasker@aphis.usda.gov

Additional Information