Invasive plant taken off garden centre shelves

An introduction of an invasive plant into northern B.C. backyards has been narrowly averted.

Earlier this season, some garden centres in Prince George and Terrace - as well as in other parts of B.C. - were shipped flowering rush, Northwestern Invasive Plant Council said this week.

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"Fortunately, in this case, they were recognized as invasive, and the NWIPC and other invasive species organizations worked with the province and distributors to have them removed from the shelves," NWIPC said in a press release.

Flowering rush is regarded as one of the top five worst invasive alien plants in Canada due to its impact on natural ecosystems. It's listed as an "alert species" as it has already been found in British Columbia but is not yet established.

"Gardeners need to be concerned with their choice of plant species and be informed about those species that are designated as invasive here in B.C.," said NWIPC program manager Penni Adams said. "Please don't purchase or trade invasive species and let NWIPC know if an invasive species is being sold or traded in your community."

Other common garden and water garden species that are considered invasive and should be avoided include periwinkle, English ivy, yellow archangel, mountain bluet, goldfish, red-eared slider turtle, and yellow flag iris.

In British Columbia, just six invasive plants caused an estimated combined damage of at least $65 million in 2008, according to NWIPC.

The public can access resources and information by visiting the NWIPC's website at nwipc.org or beplantwise.ca.

To report invasive plants in your area, call NWIPC's Report-a-Weed hotline at 1-866-44WEEDS (449-3337) or download the province's Report-a-Weed app for your phone.

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