The Long Island Invasive Species Management Area

Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants Guidebook

Long Island, NY is one of many locations throughout the U.S. that has taken progressive steps towards improving the environment by reducing the spread of invasive plants.  Invasive plants have damaged Long Island’s unique woodlands by replacing native flora, and in turn, negatively impacting wildlife and natural ecosystem processes.  Invasive species are among the top causes of biodiversity loss across the globe. 

You can be part of the solution, by growing and planting alternatives to ornamental invasive plants!  These plants were selected based upon their similar ornamental characteristics and cultural requirements compared to the invasives.  Alternative plants may be native or non-native, but are not invasive.  Alternative plants are well-adapted to Long Island, and many are readily available at Long Island nurseries.  You can help make the future of Long Island greener by growing these “native-friendly” plants! 

To download Cornell Coop. Extension's new book on alternative plants, click here

You are welcome to see some of these alternative plants at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center.  A small, “Native-Friendly” Garden was created as a research and demonstration site for horticulture professionals & homeowners.  The Native-Friendly Garden was designed and installed by Alexis Alvey, Nursery & Landscape Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.

Visit the garden at:

            Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research & Education Center   

            3059 Sound Avenue

            Riverhead, NY 11901


For more information, contact Mina Viscera at 631-727-7850 ext. 213, or


Invasives FAQs


American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is a great native alternative to some non-native vines.