The Flowering Rush plant, an invasive species of aquatic plant that can easily spread in B.C. waters. (Image credit: Invasive Species Council of B.C.)

Help stop the spread of invasive plants in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Ensure species such as Flowering Rush aren’t accidentally bought from garden stores

While those plants you looked up online might look beautiful in your garden, it’s important to do your research and ensure you don’t end up with a flower-bed full of invasive weeds.

The cost of invasive species to Canada is between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion per year. In British Columbia, just six invasive plant species caused an estimated combined damage of at least $65 million in 2008. With further spread, impacts will more than double to $139 million by 2020.

With the warm weather bringing out gardeners in full force, the Columbia-Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) has a reminder to be careful when selecting plants for the garden, as well as aquatic plants for their ponds.

“Water garden species can be lovely, but those with invasive tendencies can cause major problems in your garden as well as the wider environment” says Sue Davies, aquatic program coordinator of CSISS. “When aquatic plants and animals begin to invade, they can totally take over and are extremely difficult to remove. They can create havoc within natural ecosystems and also for human use of waterways. It’s really important to prevent these species getting a toe-hold, and knowing what not to bring into your garden is the key.”

Related: Province issues funds to combat invasive species

Despite being listed on the provincial noxious weed list, certain invasive plants such as the Flowering Rush can be found in some garden stores throughout B.C. Flowering Rush is a species to be on the alert for, as it has already been found in British Columbia but is not yet established. The public is asked to help prevent the spread of this high priority plant by reporting any sightings and by never planting flowering rush in water gardens.

Related: Funds target invasive plants

Flowering rush is regarded as one of the top five worst invasive plant species in Canada due to its major ecological impact. The plant takes root and quickly reproduces, taking up space and competing for resources needed by plants natural to the area.

Other common water garden species that are considered invasive and should be avoided include Knotweed, Purple Loosestrife, Yellow Flag Iris, Parrot’s Feather, Mountain Bluet, Periwinkle, Goldfish, Red-eared Slider Turtle, and American Bullfrog.

While the spread of Flowering Rush is limited in B.C. so far, CSISS hopes the public will help them further prevent the spread by reporting any sightings and ensuring they are not bought by accident from garden stores.

Following the Invasive Species Council of BC’s popular PlantWise and Don’t Let It Loose programs, CSISS urges the public to garden using only non-invasive species to prevent the spread of unwanted and invasive plants and animals into the environment. The public can access resources and information by visiting CSISS’s website at www.columbiashuswapinvasives.org.


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED 6:15 P.M.: Serious accident closes portion of Highway 6 in Vernon

Car and pickup involved in collision near Pottery Road just after 5 p.m.; detours around scene

Vernon baseball players land U.S. deals, help teammate battle cancer

Four Vernon players on Okanagan Athletics heading south to play ball at college

Vernon tattoo fundraiser draws tons of support

Lineup around the block for start and beginning of Five Fathoms Tattoo event for Children’s Hospital

Vernon Tigers, South Okanagan Flames play to wild draw

Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League match ends 17-17; overtime solves nothing

Okanagan adventurer continues motorcycle trip around the world

Vernon local James Leigh recently completed the third of five legs of the journey, travelling through China and Kazakhstan

Weather holds up for Rutland May Days

60th annual May Day midway, market and entertainment saw hundreds of attendees

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

Okanagan Springtime Regatta draws more than 50 sailboats

Sailors treated to windy, excellent long weekend conditions on Okanagan Lake in Kelowna

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read