Thursday, March 2, 2017

Invasive Species Alternatives

Invasive plants are non-native, have aggressive characteristics, and multiple reproduction options. And we have quite a few of them in Powell River. 

Himalayan blackberry, Scotch broom, and English ivy are the ones most of us think of first. And think about how aggressive they are. They choke out the native plant species (or your lovely garden ornamentals) and destroy wildlife habitat in the process.

Invasives can be spread by people bringing favourite plants from their homeland or purchasing at nurseries. We need to be aware that nurseries are selling invasive plants and educate them and ourselves on alternatives.  The Plantwise website lists common invasive plants in our area and alternative plants to consider instead.
They also have an app available as well as a wallet-size pamphlet for those that prefer the low tech option.

An example on the website, app, and pamphlet is that bright blue-flowered ground cover, common periwinkle (Vinca minor). It spreads into moist areas of forests, fields, and meadows by rooting where the stems touch the ground. 

As an alternative, try bunchberry

or false lily-of-the-valley.
Have a look at the Plantwise website and be educated for spring plant purchases. If you would like to talk to someone about invasive species in Powell River, there will be information booths at both Seedy Saturday (March 11) and the Home and Garden Show (April 29-30). 

Our thanks to Rachelle McElroy of the Coastal Invasive Species Committee who spoke about invasive species and alternatives at our last meeting.

All images from


  1. Great blog post! I was particularly interested in Rachelle's information on how to control English ivy on a tree by cutting the vines at waist level. Here's a great article from Oregon State University on how to remove English Ivy from a tree. It's got some great step-by-step photos too.

    1. Thanks Sharon, that is a great link. Some good information to work with

  2. I love finding bunchberry when I'm out in the bush. It's such a pretty little plant. Sorry I missed the meeting. The speakers are always so informative. - Margy


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