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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

Native and Invasive Plants

Local Resources

   Identification Cards  

Riparian Plant ID card — Line drawings of common riparian plants organized by trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, and ferns/horsetails. Use with a plant identification activity.  

Leaf Characteristics Card — Use this card to help teach basic botany vocabulary like simple/compound and opposite/alternate leaf arrangement. Use with a plant identification activity.

Portland Parks Native Plant Photo CardsFrom Portland Parks and Recreation’s Stewardship Program. Photos and descriptions of common natives planted in Portland’s natural area parks. Use with a plant identification activity or native plant research.

Gardening with Native Plants Poster-- You can make a difference by simply landscaping with native plants. Learn about naturescaping and choosing the right plant for the right spot in a garden with this poster.

Invasive Plants Poster-- Invasive plants reproduce rapidly and can spread quickly from yards and roadsides into parks and natural areas. Once there, they can make it hard for native plants to get established. The city is working to control invasive plants and Portland residents can help by identifying and managing them in their own yards


I am a Plant (1st-3rd grades) — Use this worksheet to focus on observation skills using plants.

Plant Identification Practice Sheet (4th grade and above) — Practice identifying common native plants and practice close observation skills. Use this with the Riparian Plant ID card and Leaf Characteristics Card.

Plant Patterns in My Neighborhood (3rd grade and above) — Invite students to practice close observation skills while looking in their neighborhood for different leaf types. Pair this worksheet with the Leaf Characteristics Card.

Tribal History-Shared History Curriculum

Tribal History-Shared History (Senate Bill 13)Passed in 2017, Senate Bill 13 directs the Oregon Department of Education to create K-12 Native American Curriculum for inclusion in Oregon public schools and provide professional development to educators. It includes place-based curriculum created by the nine federally recognized tribes in Oregon. Find connections to plant studies in the following lesson plans:

5th grade: Food, Energy and Seasonal Rounds

8th grade: Native Nutrition

10th grade: Food Sovereignty and Environmental Sustainability.

10th grade: Land Management and Partnerships

10th grade: Natural Resources Management: Historical and Contemporary


The Silent Invasion (58 min.)
From an OPB special: “Something troubling is taking hold in Oregon. Strange, exotic plants and animals are showing up in places where they don't belong. They are invasive species, and they're taking over landscapes, driving native wildlife away, and making everyone from ranchers to fishermen to wildlife managers nervous. What are these invaders? Where do they come from? And what can we do to stop them?”

Today on Slough School: Oregon Grape (10 min.) — The Columbia Slough Watershed Council's Slough School program has a YouTube channel called Today on Slough School. This video is a lesson on Oregon Grape and includes a comparison to invasive English Holly.


Hands-On Restoration 
From Metro's 2018 issue of Our Big Backyard. Learn how Indigenous culture and land conservation go hand in hand in a camas restoration project at Canemah Bluff near Oregon City.

Silent Invasion: An OPB Special Investigation
Oregon Public Broadcasting published a series of seven short articles about invasive species and their consequences throughout Oregon. Articles include: what are invasive species, environmental and economic impacts, unintended consequences, prevention, and more.

Icon for website  Background Information and Plant Research

BES Invasive Plant Strategy 2020-2030 and Invasive Strategy Fact PageThese documents describe how the City of Portland is charting a new course for how the city and community address invasive species and the impacts they cause.

BES Early Detection-Rapid Response (EDRR) list — Check out the plants we are looking to contain or eradicate before they get out of control. The EDRR program focuses on controlling weeds while their distribution is limited and patches are small.

SOLVE’s invasive plant list — Information about SOLVE’s top nine invasive plants to identify and remove. Includes photos and descriptions of common invasive plants. Great for students researching native plants.