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

Vernon to show shoreline some love to celebrate BC Rivers Day

Volunteers wanted to help with riparian restoration on O’Keefe Ranch

Section of 27th Street in Vernon closed

The street has been closed from 30th Avenue to Highway 6 due to weather disrupting repaving

Cyclist struck on Vernon highway

Emergency crews responding, more information to come

New Vernon pastry chef has real sweet tooth

Caken Me Crazy’s owner left the dental industry to pursue the culinary arts

Vernon retirement home holding open house

Orchard Valley will open doors to the public on Saturday, Sept. 21

VIDEO: Police interview with Sagmoen made public

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

VIDEO: B.C.’s famous cat Grandpa Mason has died

The story of the feral cat that started fostering kittens touched people around the world

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Codling moths remain a problem for Okanagan apple growers

Problem areas for pest include Summerland, Penticton and Naramata

WFN elects new chief

Westbank First Nation members elected Christopher Raymond Derickson Thursday night

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen works to control mosquito populations

Control efforts in the region have been starting earlier each year

Columbia-Shuswap governments promised voice in caribou recovery

Population of Frisby-Boulder herd northeast of Sicamous at 11 animals and declining

PAW Patrol Live! adds third Penticton show due to pup-ular demand

Fans can now see the heroic pooches at three different showtimes at the SOEC

Most Read