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

Nelson CARES to buy Hall-Front development for affordable housing

A $4.5-million investment from the provincial government has been committed to the deal

Aimee Watson elected RDCK chair

The representative for North Kootenay Lake took over this week

Glacier Gymnastics to add multi-purpose room

The expanded space will help accommodate the popular after-school programming

Woman searching for father last seen in Nelson in 1999

Frank Johnson’s daughter, Chandra Machin, is searching for her father

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Don’t sign USMCA until LGBTQ language excised, U.S. lawmakers urge Trump

The trade agreement, forged after 13 months of tense negotiations between Canada and the U.S. is scheduled for Nov. 30

US official: US intel says prince ordered Khashoggi killing

Vice-President Mike Pence told reporters that ‘the murder of Jamal Khashoggi was an atrocity.’

Canada’s health system commendable overall but barriers to care remain: UN

The United Nations says Canada’s health care system is “commendable” overall but vulnerable groups still face barriers to quality care.

Most Read