Why be Concerned about Invasive Plants?
Everyone loves beautiful plants. Flowers and shrubs adorn our gardens, homes, parks and public spaces. British Columbians spend countless hours improving the sensory landscape around homes, institutions and schools. Many plants attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife seeking food and shelter.
Gardeners have a long tradition of moving plants to new regions, and the popularity of gardening has increased the importation of plants into Canada from other regions of the world. BC's range of climates—from the maritime climate on southeastern Vancouver Island, to the varied continental regimes through the Interior—allow gardeners to grow a wide range of interesting trees, shrubs and flowers.
Some plants that are sown or planted in gardens lack natural pests and predators and are able to easily spread through their fruits, seeds or roots. These invasive plants are alien species that have originated from outside of Canada and have the potential to pose undesirable or detrimental impacts on people, animals and/or ecosystems. Invasive plants grow rapidly, spread quickly, are tolerant of a variety of growing conditions, and can form dense patches. Invasive plants may displace native species and disrupt natural ecological processes in near-by parks and natural areas. The “invasiveness” of a plant, however, may be affected by the growing zone or region in which it is grown.