US-Parks.com: America's National Parks and Road Trip Planning Find Your Park Road Trip Activities Nature

Yosemite National Park Exotic Vegetation

Yosemite National Park has documented more than 130 non-native plant species within park boundaries. These non-native plants were introduced into Yosemite following the migration of early Euro-American settlers in the late 1850s. Natural and human-caused disturbances, such as wildland fires and construction activities, have contributed to a rapid increase in the spread of non-native plants. A number of these species aggressively invade and displace the native plant communities, resulting in impacts on the park's resources. Non-native plants can bring about significant changes in park ecosystems by altering the native plant communities and the processes that support them. Some non-native species may cause an increase in the fire frequency of an area or increase the available nitrogen in the soil that may allow more non-native plants to become established. Many non-native species, such as yellow star thistle ( Centaurea solstitialis ), are able to produce a long tap root that allows them to out-compete the native plants for available water. A volunteer removes bull thistle in Sentinal Meadow.

Bull thistle ( Cirsium vulgare ), common mullein ( Verbascum thapsus ), and Klamath weed ( Hypericum perforatum ) have been identified as noxious pests in Yosemite since the 1940s. Additional species that have been recognized more recently as aggressive and requiring control are yellow star thistle ( Centaurea solstitialis ), sweet clovers ( Melilotus spp.), Himalayan blackberry ( Rubus discolor ), cut-leaved blackberry ( Rubus laciniatus ) and periwinkle ( Vinca major ).

Additional Nature and Science Topics for Yosemite

Featured Outdoor Gear

$124.95
Falcon Zoom PA 15/22mm Quickdraw - 5-Pack...
Price subject to change | Available through Backcountry.com

National Park Spotlight
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Featured Wildlife
Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins


Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.

Currently Viewing
Yosemite National Park Exotic Vegetation
Outdoor Gear
Featured National Parks
Popular Activities