What Is a Weed?

In the most basic terms, a weed is any plant that grows on its own where it is not wanted. There are groups of weeds which are of most concern. 

Noxious weeds are those that are harmful enough to be outlawed by a level of government, be it national, state or county. Generally, it is illegal to grow, process or transport noxious weeds.

California Noxious Weeds 

US Noxious Weeds

Invasive weeds are weeds that tend to spread and take over an area. They tend to displace plants that wildlife depends on and often are high fire risk plants. The California Invasive Plant Council analyzes plants, gives them a score and lists the most harmful.

Non-native plants that may not be invasive, may be relatively useless for wildlife. These can also be considered a weed in a native habitat.

Native plants may also be weeds if they interfere with a human endeavor, like farming.

Our focus tends to be on non-native plants since these are most likely to pose a fire risk while decreasing habitat value. 


...return to Habitat Restoration