Similar Climate of Origin
  Lack of Natural Enemies
  Prolific Reproduction
  Seed Dispersal
  Fast, Early Growth
  Novel Weapons

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Similar Climate of Origin

Wilted flowerheadEver wonder why some plants grow where they do? Maybe you’ve tried transplanting a wildflower you found on a hike, only to find it doesn’t fare well in your garden. There may be several explanations for this, but one reason might be that the climate is different. Plants are adapted to specific environmental conditions. Some plants will survive in a different climate, but early cold or warm temperatures, not enough precipitation, or other factors might keep them from reproducing. Even if a plant is introduced to a new area, it will not become a weed if it isn’t able to reproduce and spread without human help.

Image depicting the Eurasian origin of many weeds in the Great Basin

Invasive weeds often arrive pre-adapted to their new climate because they originated in areas with a similar climate. This is precisely why most of the invasive weeds in the Great Basin come from Europe and Asia.

Simply coming from this Eurasian region doesn’t imply a plant will become an invasive weed in the Great Basin. In fact, exotic restoration species like crested wheatgrass and forage kochia also come from Eurasia. The similar climate has adapted them to grow in the Great Basin as well.