Somerville’s Strategy for Public Plantings

The City of Somerville Parks & Open Space and Urban Forestry (UF) divisions consider many factors when developing urban spaces. We prohibit the use of invasive plants and would like your help removing them. There are many factors that go into choosing the right plant for the right space, including but not limited to: the challenges of urban conditions, management of urban plantings, the need to consider and plan for climate change, and the desire to achieve a balanced approach while encouraging plant diversity and resilience.

  • Unwanted Plant Guide

  • More Information

Somerville's Most
UN-Wanted Plants

Click here for a printable PDF.

Please note: This list was compiled to assist non-gardeners/volunteers who are working within City-led work days in identifying non-intentional plants in our parks. It is not comprehensive, nor is it a value judgment about which plants are weeds or not, or their ecological value. 

Black swallow wort



Field Bindweed

Green Foxtail

Japanese Knotweed

Pennsylvania Smartweed

Quack Grass

Sow Thistle

Canada Thistle

Common Burdock


Garlic Mustard


Norway Maple Seedling

Purple Clover

Shepherd's Purse

Annual Fleabane

Sources: Canadian Thistle (left): (CC BY-SA 2.0) F.D. Richards via Flickr; Chickweed (left): (CC BY 2.0) Simon via Flickr; Chickweed (right): (CC BY-SA 4.0) Lazaregagnidze via Wikimedia Commons; Common Burdock: (CC BY 2.0) Homer Edward Price via Flickr; Dandelion © 2010 (CC BY 2.0) Rev Stan via Flickr; Dead-nettle (right): (CC BY-SA 2.0) hadera.baltica via Flickr; Garlic Mustard (right): (CC BY 2.0) Katja Schulz via Flickr; Green Foxtail: (CC BY-SA 2.0) Matt Lavin via Flickr; Horseweed (left): (CC BY 2.0) Jim Kennedy via Flickr; Horseweed (right): (CC BY-SA 2.0) F.D. Richards via Flickr; Japanese Knotweed: (CC BY-SA 2.0) Gordon Joly via Flickr; Norway Maple Seedling (left): (CC BY 2.0) Gilles Gonthier via Wikimedia Commons; Pennsylvania Smartweed (left): (CC BY-SA 2.0) F.D. Richards via Flickr (left): (CC BY 2.0) Phil Sellens; Swallow-wort: (CC BY-SA 3.0 (left), CC BY-SA 4.0 (right)) R.A. Nonenmacher via Wikimedia Commons; Emerald Ash Borer: David Cappaert, Michigan State University