The flowering rush ( Butomus umbellatus) is on the provincial noxious weed list and it can also be found in some retail garden centres. Photo supplied

Invasive plant species for sale in Kootenay region

Warning issued by watchdog council

  • Jun. 29, 2018 6:00 a.m.

With the warm weather favouring B.C.’s backyard and water garden enthusiasts, the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) and the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society (CKISS) are reminding the public to be careful when selecting plants for their ponds and gardens.

“Over 60% of invasive plants are spread by people through our everyday activities including our hobbies such as gardening and water garden landscaping. We can make ‘plant wise’ choices and ensure that we do not purchase or trade invasive plants. By doing so we then don’t have to spend years trying to control or remove them” says Gail Wallin, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC).

Species listed on the provincial noxious weed list, such as flowering rush, can be found in some local retail garden centres. Flowering rush is regarded as one of the top five worst invasive plants in Canada due to its major ecological impact on natural ecosystems. Flowering rush is an ‘alert’ species as it has 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 to the CKISS and by never planting flowering rush in water gardens. Other common garden and water garden species that are considered invasive and should be avoided include periwinkle, English ivy, yellow archangel, mountain bluet, and yellow flag iris.

The cost of invasive species to Canada is between $16.6 billion and $34.5 billion per year. In British Columbia, just six invasive plants 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.

In an effort to mitigate the harmful impacts of invasive species on our economy and ecosystems, the CKISS has collaborated with the ISCBC to deliver the provincial wide PlantWise program in the Kootenay region. The outreach program educates gardening enthusiasts about horticulture’s most “unwanted” invasive plants in BC while providing a variety of non-invasive alternatives in order to prevent the spread of invasive plants into the environment.

“Prevention is our best tool when it comes to invasive species management. Our hope is that by promoting the PlantWise program we are encouraging gardeners to make positive behaviour changes that result in invasive free gardens. We also provide retail shops with free PlantWise brochures so customers can make informed choices when it comes to plant selection,” states CKISS Education Program Director, Laurie Frankcom.

If you would like some free PlantWise resources in your retail store, gardening club or upcoming event please contact Laurie Frankcom, 1-844-352-1160 ext. 208.

CKISS is a non-profit society that delivers education and awareness programs, and promotes coordinated management of invasive species in the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Area A and B. CKISS gratefully acknowledges the support of its funder, the Columbia Basin Trust, to allow us to be ambassadors for the PlantWise program in our region.

Just Posted

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Grand Forks daycare now part of universal childcare program

The spaces will now cost a maximum of $200 per month.

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Children’s books needed for Christmas hampers

Considering donating some books this Christmas.

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Extreme Education and Career Fair helps give back to the community

It’s estimated that there will be one million job vacancies in the next nine years in B.C.

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Judge rules against ALC on rural B.C. subdivision

The ALC can’t change the definition of an acre, the judge ruled.

Most Read