Invasive Species month: Have you seen this plant?

Learn how to spot Japanese Knotweed

Invasive plants and animals are a growing concern globally. The introduction or spread of invasive species threatens B.C.’s environment, the economy and society, including human health. In order to encourage public awareness and positive action against invasive species across the province, May has been officially proclaimed Invasive Species Action Month by the B.C. government. If action is taken, invasions can be prevented before they happen, and infestations can be controlled or eliminated, thus reducing their harmful impacts.

I Spy in the Sea to Sky…
Something green that you can eat.
Something that grows straight through concrete.
Something invasive beyond belief!

Japanese Knotweed is the plant with a reputation that precedes it. It is extremely fast growing and spreads laterally through its root system. It is a true pain in the asphalt, growing through concrete and damaging buildings, bridges and roads.

It also impacts ecosystems by preventing the growth of native plants, and forming dense stands along stream banks, which then die in the winter, exposing the soil to erosion and spreading root fragments downstream, which causes further infestations.

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You can spot Japanese Knotweed sprouting throughout the Sea to Sky in the spring. Its shoots look like greenish purple asparagus emerging from the ground (and indeed it can be cooked and eaten while it is still young).

With a growth rate of up to a metre per week, it isn’t young and tender for long and will soon turn into a large patch of invasive plant that requires years of effort to get rid of.

Reporting this plant helps to keep it under control in the Sea to Sky region. Report any sightings by calling 604-698-8334 or emailing  ssinvasives@gmail.com.

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