Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Invasive Species Council of BC

Did you know that a key pathway for invasive plant introduction and spread in British Columbia is through horticulture? You can make your garden eco-friendly by selecting non-invasive plants for your garden, and in the process, you'll help to protect BC's beautiful wild areas, communities and economy.

Learn more about smart gardening choices with the second version of Grow Me Instead - a booklet that highlights non-invasive ornamental plants.   This booklet profiles 26 invasive plants in horticulture and recommends alternative plants suitable for growing zones across BC. 

The Invasive Species Strategy for BC is near completion and will act as a tool that will enhance the coordination of invasive species management, including plants, in BC. Version 10 of the draft strategy is available for viewing on the ISCBC website. The final version will be complete at the end of this month - stay tuned!

Cudos for Being Proactive:  The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council has been in search and destroy mode over the last few years, working with landscapers, governments, landholders and its own crews to eradicate invasive species of plants before they can do lasting damage to the local ecology. Starting this spring, the SSISC is looking to involve private landowners as well, creating an incentive program for people to address invasive species in their own backyards. 

What We Can Do:  The Powell River Garden Club is encouraging all plant sellers at our 2012 Plant Sale to be proactive too by familiarizing yourself with invasive species and by not selling them.   Each one of us can prevent the establishment of invasive plants by following the recommended practices. 
  • Select non-invasive exotic or regional native plants for your garden.
  • Select the right plant for the right place.  Be suspicious of fast spreaders or vigorous self-seeders
  • Check with reliable sources to confirm plant not an invasive species
  • Use wild flower seed mixes with extreme caution as often seed of invasive species are included
  • Exchange only non-invasive seeds and plants
  • Replace any invasive species with non-invasive alternatives (see Grow Me Instead)
  • Control invasive plants using site and species appropriate methods

Surprising Climate Change News:  Antarctica's reputation as one of the most pristine environments on earth is being threatened by foreign plants and animals that are unwittingly being brought to the icy continent in the luggage of tourists and scientists.  Changing climates are making matters worse, and are making it easier for these plants to establish,  to become invasive, and to ultimately disturb the naturally occurring Antarctic ecosystems.  From:, Climate Change News, March 6, 2012

Invasive Species Watch: 
Common Tansy:  Native to Eurasia, common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) made its way to Canada and British Columbia in the 1600s as an alleged cure for joint pain, and for its uses as a companion plant to cucumbers, squash, and roses. It was known to repel garden pests like ants, cucumber beetles, Japanese beetles, and squash bugs. It was also used in early embalming practices.  Despite these uses, common tansy is an invasive plant in BC that displaces native vegetation, and infestations may be toxic to grazing livestock if digested in large quantities.

Information from the ISCBC Ebulletin March 2012 kindly shared by Master Gardener, Jo Canning. 

You can also follow Invasive Species Council of BC on Facebook. 

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