Florida Water Star
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Florida Water Star Technical Manual

Landscape criteria

General practices for a Florida Water Star landscape design

Exotic invasive plants


Exotic, invasive plant species are capable of outcompeting adjacent landscape plants and spreading out of urban landscapes into natural areas. The spread of invasive exotic species has decimated many ecosystems throughout Florida. Therefore, the restriction of scientifically documented, invasive exotic plants in landscape design is critical to helping prevent any further decline of Florida’s natural ecosystems.

Florida Water Star requires that applicants consult the following references when evaluating whether or not a plant is listed as an invasive exotic species for Florida.

The following resources can used to identify exotic invasive plants:

Requirements and certification

No invasive exotic plant species are on-site.







Depending on the location, some exotic, invasive plant species are more aggressive and prolific than others. Differentiation by relative aggressiveness is reflected in the plants listed by Florida Department of Agriculture (FDAC) and Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). Both sources list three categories of invasive plants, ranging from least invasive (C in FDAC and 3 in FLEPPC) to most invasive (A in FDAC and 1 in FLEPPC). Florida Water Star prohibits the installation of any category A or 1 invasive plant.

An example of a plant that is invasive in one region but not in another is cane grass (Neyraudia reynaudiana), which is invasive in south Florida, but not central or northern Florida.

Plant species that may be invasive should be assessed with reference to Proper Uses of FLEPPC’s List of Invasive Species.

Program tip

Inspectors must be knowledgeable of the invasive exotic species within their regions. Sterile species of listed invasive species must receive a variance from the Florida Water Star program administrator prior to use. In this case, applicants must be provided documentation that validates the sterility of the species in question.

St. Johns River Water Management District
4049 Reid Street, Palatka, FL 32177