Invasive Species Growing Cycles

Invasive species come in all shapes and forms and also vary in lifespan. There are three main categories that plants fall into:
  • Annuals
  • Biennials
  • Perennials
The first life cycle, Annuals, live for about one year. They are planted as seeds, emerging in the spring and dying back in the fall or winter.
Biennials become established in the first year. They then produce seeds and die off in their second year of life.
Lastly, Perennials live for more than two years and produce seed almost every year. These types of plants can end up causing the greatest number of problems as they are producing seed annually and live longer, allowing them to spread further throughout their already established zone.
A common invasive species in Wisconsin that is considered a Perennial is Common Buckthorn, which has already taken over much of the state.
-Andrew Baranowski, Environmental Specialist