This information is provided for documentation purposes only. The current Prohibited Plant List can be found here .

Public Notice and Request for Comment (July 2005)
Proposed Prohibited Plant List

To: All Interested Parties
From: Brad Mitchell, Director of Regulatory and Consumer Services
RE: Ban/Phase-Out - Noxious and Invasive Plants
Dated: July 11, 2005


The Department of Agricultural Resources (The Department) is proposing to ban/phase-out the importation and sale of more than 140 plants identified as either noxious and/or invasive in the Commonwealth. The Department is seeking comment and will hold public meetings on this action.

The Department derives its authority to take this action under Massachusetts General Law including, but not limited to, Chapter 128 Section 2 and Sections 16 through 31A.

The list of plants is derived from:

  • Federal Noxious Weed List, USDA. Please note that several species have been omitted from this list as they are not considered to pose significant risk in Massachusetts due to climatic conditions.
  • The Evaluation of Non-Native Plant Species for Invasiveness in Massachusetts, Mass. Invasive Plant Advisory Group (MIPAG). MIPAG is a collaboration of government, industry and environmental organizations concerned with invasive plants. The MIPAG list is a product of scientific analysis, and represents the scientific consensus of groups and individuals with a broad range of perspectives on the subject of invasive plants.

A list of species proposed for ban/phase-out was provided during the public comment period (7/15/2005 - 9/30/2005)


The proposed action consists of three basic components:

  1. Under the proposed action, the Department would prohibit the importation of all listed plants into the Commonwealth as of January 1, 2006; and
  2. All listed plants will be prohibited from sale, trade, distribution, and related activities within the Commonwealth as of January 1, 2006 with the exception of 12 species. These 12 species are commonly sold as ornamental plants. In order to minimize financial impacts on agricultural businesses in Massachusetts, the Department is proposing a  phase-out period during which species currently within the commonwealth can be sold  until:
    • January 1, 2007 for herbaceous species.
    • January 1, 2009 for woody species.

The 12 species for which additional phase out times are proposed are clearly identified on the above mentioned list.
    3. Finally, the Department proposes to allow the importation, sale, trade, and related activities of listed plants under permit when:

  • There is a significant public benefit in doing so; and
  • Where the risks posed by these species can be adequately controlled.

The Department would anticipate that such a scenario might occur where someone chose to import listed plants for the purposes such as research or education.

Please note that this action in no way impacts on existing plantings of any of the listed species, but is limited to the importation, sale, trade, distribution and related activities, of these plants.

Public Meeting Dates and Comment Process

The following locations and times have been chosen for the public meetings:

Tuesday September 13, 2005 (10-12 PM)
Waltham Field Station (Auditorium)
240 Beaver Street Waltham, Massachusetts

Thursday September 15, 2005 (1-3PM)
Notch Visitors Center
1500 West Street Amherst, Massachusetts

The Department will be accepting written comments until close-of-business on September 30, 2005.