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Our friends at Mass Wildlife and the Department of Agricultural Resources are educating people about invasive plants in their November issue of MassWildlife News, so we thought we would help them spread news, not species (especially invasive ones)!

Close-Up of Bittersweet courtesy of Mass Wildlife

Close-Up of Bittersweet courtesy of Mass WildlifeCascading branches of multiflora rose courtesy of Mass WildlifeCascading branches of multiflora rose courtesy of Mass Wildlife

With the approaching holiday season, decorations all over homes, offices, and businesses may come in the form of wreaths or swags. The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) encourage everyone to avoid using exotic, invasive plants such as Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) and Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) for decorating. We know the wreaths may look nice, but they can result in invasion of open fields, forests, wetlands, meadows and backyards. The fruits on the bittersweet and multiflora rose decorations can be spread by birds or sprout if thrown out in the yard after the holidays. Oriental bittersweet crowds out native plants and can even overtake and kill mature trees. All invasive plants are extremely difficult to control; even when cut from a root, the remaining segment in the ground will re-sprout. It is illegal to import or sell Oriental bittersweet or Multiflora rose in any form in Massachusetts.


To learn more about invasive plants, read DFW’s “A Guide to Invasive Plants” (see link below) The guide includes invasive plant descriptions, photographs, the plant’s regulatory status, key identification characteristics, habitats where the plant is likely to be found, type of threat the plant poses to native species and their habitats, its current distribution and place of origin.


To purchase a guide, stop by the Field Headquarters office in West Boylston during business hours or send a request to:

“Invasive Plant Guide”


100 Hartwell Street, Suite 230,

West Boylston, MA, 01583 Please include a check for $5 (per copy) payable to: Comm. of Mass.-NHESP. Sorry, but DFW does not accept credit cards.


Learn more about invasive plants from DFW’s Natural Heritage webpage at

You can find this and other NHESP publications at:

Written By:

Senior at Suffolk University (undergrad) studying Government and Environmental Studies. Originally from Vermont. Hobbies include scaling mountains and trees, as well as cooking. Interested in being part of a global power switch. Would like to be involved somehow with energy policy.

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