“Vibrant stands of purple loosestrife(Lythrum salicaria) that border many lakes, rivers, and wetland areas of BC are often selected by gardeners for their dramatic display of colour.” Unfortunately, this beautiful showpiece is actually an aggressive invasive plant that severely disrupts water flow in rivers and canals, and causes a sharp decline in biodiversity.
Active harvest and tillage is critical to the success of farm operations, but when an invasive plant like rush skeletonweed (Chondrilla juncea)comes into the path of machinery, farmers can expect down time, loss of productivity, and if allowed to continue its spread, a drastic reduction in forage crop yields.
Scentless chamomile (Matricaria Maritima) is a bright cherry flower that is commonly referred to as ‘wild daisy’ or ‘barnyard daisy.’ This weed was introduced to Canada in the 1930’s. The plant is believed to have been transferred as an ornamental or contaminate of crop seed.
The 19th century brought about more than the popularity of brick ovens among bakers, consumption of imported whiskey among gold miners, and trading of ornamentals among gardeners. Trading among settlers also drove the invasion of Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) into North America, which, after more than 150 years since it was introduced, is still rapidly invading coastal regions of British Columbia.
Often mistaken for marijuana and ornamental strawberry plants because of its five stalky leaflets, sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta) is known among First Nations for its edible fruit and healing properties on open sores. Making it less popular, however, is its invasiveness in southern British Columbia rangelands and pastures.
The daisy-like, yellow ray flowers of tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobeae) give it a friendly appearance; but make no mistake, this invasive plant is highly poisonous to livestock, and one plant can produce over 150,000 seeds, allowing it to spread swiftly to new areas.
Many wetlands, ponds, lakes, and backyard gardens of southern British Columbia are rimmed with a beautiful water-loving plant called yellow flag-iris (Iris pseudacorus). Seemingly harmless and eye-catching at first glance, this plant poses a significant threat to surrounding ecosystems.
It’s time to start winterizing, and for boat owners and lakeside residents, this involves removing piers, docks, and boats from the water. Beware of invasive hitchhikers!