IMAGES: Plants Unbound

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Science  21 Oct 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5747, pp. 415
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5747.415d

Invasive plant species thrive along roadsides and in other disturbed habitats, but they have also forced their way into protected environments such as parks and wilderness areas. Aimed at land managers, researchers, and the general public, Weeds Gone Wild from the U.S. National Park Service provides fact sheets on more than 50 aliens that have taken root in natural areas. The profiles explain where species such as the sprawling mile-a-minute vine (Polygonum perfoliatum) came from, where they've settled in the United States, and how they are affecting native species. The vine, a native of Asia, has spread to nine states in the east and Midwest and grows so rapidly that it can leave other plants in the shade.

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