Sooke has an invader lurking in its midst.
Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) is an invasive plant introduced to Vancouver Island in the mid-1800s. Sooke was ground zero for the escape when Capt. Walter Colquhoun Grant planted it in his Sooke garden in 1851.
The plant spreads rapidly on rights-of-way, trails, forest roads and under power lines, and can take over any disturbed land such as farms, vacant lots, estuaries, wetlands, parks and green spaces. The plant is toxic to animals, threatens forests and presents a huge wildfire risk.
Broombusters Invasive Plant Society wants to battle with the plant this spring and has partnered with the District of Sooke to get rid of the plants around the region.
District council has committed to organizing broom disposal at the municipal works yards and allowing volunteers to install roadside signage. Broombusters will recruit volunteers to do the work.
Scotch broom sprouts golden yellow flowers and produces thousands of flowers every spring. Volunteers will cut or pull the broom once it blooms in May or June.