Okanagan residents encouraged to battle invasive plants

The Canada thistle is considered a noxious plant under the B.C. Weed Control Act. The thistle has purple or white flowers with spiny, dark green leaves.

With plenty of sunshine and rain the past few weeks, it’s been a banner growing season in the Central Okanagan for invasive weeds.

With that in mind, the Regional District of the Central Okanagan sent out a reminder on Wednesday on how to keep invasive weeds in check.

The regional district says its noxious weed program “encourages every property owner to be a good steward of the land and help reduce the threat posed by these invading species that choke out our native plants.”

READ MORE: Being aware of the invasive plant known as wild parsnip

As an example, did you know that the Canada thistle is considered an invasive species in the Okanagan?

According to the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society, the lavender-headed thistle is native to southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. The thistle is said to infest crops of all kinds throughout B.C., which reduces forage yields.

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Other invasive weeds seen in the Okanagan include purple loosestrife, diffuse and spotted knapweed, Russian knapweed, Puncturevine and the Scotch thistle.

Specifically, the regional district said some of the season’s biggest threats are the Western Goat’s Beard, which looks like a tall dandelion with a much larger, round seed ball, and Wild Mustard, which has small, bright yellow flowers.

WATCH BELOW (Aired June 26, 2019): Goats chomping down on invasive weeds this summer in Lethbridge

Click to play video: 'Goats chomp down on invasive weeds this summer in Lethbridge'
Goats chomp down on invasive weeds this summer in Lethbridge

The regional district also said that “residents can easily arm themselves with information to help keep invasive weeds in check,” adding “a little information and knowledge can go a long way in identifying species that, if left unchecked in our yards and properties, can prevent native plants from growing.”

For more about invasive species in B.C., visit the Invasive Species Council of B.C., and the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society.


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