Thomas Munson

Invasive species taking root in Greater Victoria

Knotweed described as “one of the world’s worst invasive species.”

The Capital Regional District is facing an invasion of knotweed, a bamboo-like plant described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “one of the world’s worst invasive species.”

The Coastal Invasive Species Committee (CISC) has been working with local municipalities in an attempt to prevent the introduction of knotweed to the CRD. CISC  treated 120 sites of infestation last year, as well as 67 in 2012.

Executive director Rachelle McElroy cited an increased awareness of the plant as the reason for treatment almost doubling.

“Knotweed is quite widespread in the region, but not to the point where we can’t get ahead of it,” McElroy said. “More people are reporting it as they become more aware of what it looks like and the kind of damage it can do, and more people are learning that we offer free treatment.”

Knotweed is capable of growing four centimetres a day, though McElroy referred to the portion of the plan above surface as “the tip of the iceberg.” Knotweed spreads by the roots, and if left untreated, they can spread 20 metres wide and three metres deep underground.

Knotweed has been known to grow through concrete and home foundations. In the U.K., the plant has become a huge issue for property owners, even disqualifying some from taking out mortgages.

Knotweed can be identified by its hollow, bamboo-like stems, large green leaves, small white flowers and red colouring along the stems. Residents are asked not to cut, mow or compost knotweed, as this can lead to further spreading.

CISC treats knotweed by injecting a herbicide directly into the roots, effectively halting growth. McElroy noted the lack of a registered aquatic herbicide in Canada as an obstacle for prevention. This has lead to a higher rate of growth along streams, where knotweed competes with other plants, resulting in soil erosion and lower oxygen levels, harming salmon populations.

More information on knotweed can be found online at knotonmyproperty.com. If knotweed is found on your property, the CISC can be contacted at 250-857-2472 or by email at info@coastalisc.com.

Just Posted

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Oak Bay firefighters help fund new Monterey playground

Sausage Fest cash handed over to Monterey PAC

Paving complete, lines coming to the Malahat this week

$34 million safety project is 95 per cent complete with hope to relieve traffic congestion between Victoria and Nanaimo

Only tent city residents allowed access at Goldstream Park campsites

Local RCMP point to reports of criminal activity and drug use in the area as cause for safety concerns

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read