The North Carolina Regulated Weeds Program

North Carolina’s climate makes it home to a great variety of different plant species, due to its geographic placement (latitude) and the different regions within the state (coast to mountains). Most plant species come nowhere near the status of being noxious. Only a select few gain this status and as a result, rules are written against them, prohibiting their propagation, sale and movement. This is when a plant becomes regulated. It can therefore be said that a noxious weed does not represent your garden variety weed.

If you have questions regarding common, garden variety weeds, then your best option is to contact your local county extension office for further education and control recommendations. All 100 counties in the state have either an agriculture or horticulture agent or both and are better equipped to answer those questions.

The main intent of the Regulated Weeds Program is to prevent establishment of regulated plant species within the state and to limit further spread of current infestations through active managing, controlling or eradication procedures. This state-wide program also works with our field staff to help with these infestations and provide assistance where necessary for nursery inspections.

List of Regulated Noxious Weeds for North Carolina

Three noxious classes separate our regulated weeds: A, B and C. This simply refers to how common each weed is for our state. For example, a class A noxious weed is less common than a class B noxious weed so we could expect to find fewer class A noxious weed locations in North Carolina.

Class A

1.    African elodea, all species (Lagarosiphon spp.)
2.    Crested floating heart (Nymphoides cristata)
3.    Swamp stonecrop (Crassula helmsii)
4.    Water fern (Salvia spp.)
5.    Water chestnut (Trappa spp.)
6.    Water snowflake (Nymphoides indica)
7.    Yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata)
8.    All Federal noxious weeds listed on the federal noxious weed list. For reference, all weeds listed under Title 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 360.200. NC has ongoing eradication/management projects with several federally listed weeds. These are denoted by asterisk below.
          * Benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis)
          * Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica
          * Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum
          * Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata
          * Itchgrass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis 
          *Orobanche (Orobanche spp.)
          *Tropical soda apple (Solanum viarum)
          *Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta)
          *Witchweed (Striga spp.)

Class B

1.    Beach vitex (Vitex rotundifolia)
2.    Bushkiller (Cayratia japonica)
3.    Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
4.    Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
5.    Mile-a-minute (Persicaria perfoliata)
6.    Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)
7.    Plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides)
8.    Puncturevine (Tribulus terrestris)
9.    Purple loosestrife (Lythrum spp. not native to NC)
10.    Uruguay waterprimrose (Ludwigia hexapetala)
11.    Yellow fieldcress (Rorippa sylvestris)

Class C

  1. Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus)

Helpful links

Chapter 48A Plant Protection Section-rules and regulations

NC noxious weed regulated areas (02 NCAC 48A .1703)

NC Plant Pest Law-Article 36

NC Aquatic Weed Control Act of 1991-Article 15

Federal noxious weed list







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Regulatory Weed Specialist

Jarred Driscoll

Mailing Address
1060 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
United States