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Invasive Plants & Alternatives

BC is a large and diverse province with a variety of growing conditions. There are currently two systems used for classifying hardiness, the Canadian Hardiness Zone and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Hardiness Zone System. The information provided here is based on the USDA system due to its current extensive use by gardening enthusiasts, commercial horticulture, and industry professionals.

Zones are based on the annual minimum temperature; zone 1 is coldest, zone 9 is warmest. Select your region and/or specific zone to:

  • INVASIVE PLANTS: learn about horticulturally invasive plants that thrive in certain zones to avoid/replace; and
  • ALTERNATIVES: find expert-recommended alternative, exotic and native plants to choose instead 

INVASIVE PLANTS

Bachelor’s Buttons

Known as “cornflower” in southern Europe where this annual species is native and a common weed in grain (“corn”) fields. Bachelor’s buttons has striking...learn more

English Holly

English holly (Ilex aquifolium) is grown for its bright red berries and spiny, dark green evergreen foliage. A large shrub or small tree, English holly has...learn more

English Ivy

English ivy (Hedera helix) is an evergreen vine that is recognized as a serious, smothering invasive in much of southwestern BC. It is commonly planted to...learn more

Himalayan Balsam

Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera) is an exotic-looking annual that has pink, helmet-shaped flowers (also known as "policeman’s helmet”), rapid growth, and an entertaining mode of...learn more

Field Scabious

Field scabious (Knautia arvensis) is a perennial plant that competes with forage and pasture land, and is also found along roadsides at mid-elevations of the province. Once...learn more

Baby’s Breath

Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) is a herbaceous perennial plant that invades grazing land and out-competes native and introduced perennial grasses. Plants flourish in the well-drained sandy...learn more

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) is a deciduous to semi evergreen shrub that grows up to 5 m tall. Until only recently, this species was celebrated for its robust...learn more

Yellow Flag Iris

Yellow flag-iris (Iris pseudacorus) is an eye-catching perennial that creates dense stands in wet areas, excluding native wetland species and threatening plant and animal diversity. Yellow...learn more

Scotch Broom

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) is an escaped garden ornamental, common west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in southwest BC, and is concentrated at the southern end of...learn more

Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is a woody half-shrub, wetland perennial that has the ability to out-compete most native species in BC’s wetland ecosystems....learn more

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is a short-lived perennial that decreases forage for wildlife, decreases local plant biodiversity, and may compromise vegetative ground cover due to...learn more

Spurges (Leafy, Myrtle, Cypress)

Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a perennial, considered noxious under the BC Weed Control Act, and commonly found at low- to mid-elevations on...learn more

Himalayan Blackberry

Himalayan blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) is mostly a biennial plant, growing on disturbed sites, along roadsides and rights-of-ways, in pastures, along river and stream banks, fresh-water wetlands,...learn more

Orange Hawkweed

Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.) are perennial plants with 14 non-native species recorded in BC, and are difficult to identify among the 8 native hawkweed species. One of the 14 non-native...learn more

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), also known as “Giant Cow Parsnip,” is a perennial and currently distributed in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands, and central...learn more

Common Tansy

Common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is a perennial and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Common tansy is currently distributed in...learn more

Blueweed

Blueweed (Echium vulgare) is a biennial to short-lived perennial, and considered regionally noxious under the BC Weed Control Act. Blueweed is commonly found on...learn more

Knotweeds

Knotweeds (Polygonum spp.) are invasive perennials, with four species found in British Columbia: Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica); Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica);...learn more

A provincial initiative coordinated by ISCBC

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