Nevada Weed Management Association, PO Box 150033, Ely NV 89315
Nevada Weed Management Association

Noxious weed basics


What is a noxious weed?

The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) defines a noxious weed as "any  species of plant which is, or likely to be, detrimental or destructive  and difficult to control or eradicate." Legally, a noxious weed is any  plant designated by a Federal, State or county government as injurious  to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife or property.  (Sheley, Petroff, and Borman,1999) A noxious weed is also commonly  defined as a plant that grows out of place and is "competitive,  persistent, and pernicious." (James, et al, 1991). All noxious weeds in  Nevada are regulated by the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA).

Are invasive plants the same as noxious weeds?

Not necessarily, although many noxious weeds are invasive. Invasive  plants include not only noxious weeds, but also other plants that are  not native to this country or to the area where they are growing. The  BLM considers plants invasive if they have been introduced into an  environment where they did not evolve. As a result, they usually have no  natural enemies to limit their reproduction and spread (Westbrooks,  1998). Some invasive plants can produce significant changes to  vegetation, composition, structure, or ecosystem function. (Cronk and  Fuller, 1995).

Are all weeds noxious weeds?

No. The term "weed" means different things to different people. In  the broadest sense, it is any plant growing where it is not wanted.  Weeds can be native or non-native, invasive or non invasive, and noxious  or not noxious. Some weeds are simply known as common or nuisance  weeds, which are weeds that have varying levels of negative impact and  are normally not particularly invasive or difficult to control. Although  these are plants are seen as bothersome and are ordinarily found  throughout the state, they are are not regulated by the state.

Relevant links

For detailed information and photos of all noxious weeds listed in Nevada, see the NDA Noxious Weed List

You can also view the list of designated noxious weeds in NAC 555.010 by clicking here

For a glossary of plant terms used to describe noxious weeds, see the NDA Noxious Weeds Terms List


Cronk, Q., and J. Fuller. 1995. Plant Invaders: The threat to natural ecosystems. Chapman & Hall. New York

James, L., J. Evans, M. Ralphs, and R. Child, editors.1991. Noxious Range Weeds. Westview Press. Boulder, CO.

Sheley, R.,J. Petroff, M.. Borman, 1999. Introduction to Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds, Corvallis, OR.

Westbrooks, R. 1998. Invasive plants, changing the landscape of America:  Fact book. Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious  and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW). Washington, DC.