There are many plants that you want to watch out for. Invasive plants take over space and push native plants out. They may not be native to our environmental conditions, but many of them are ‘pioneer plants’ meaning that they can adapt to various conditions, even extreme ones.

Find a list of invasive plants and what to replace them with here.

Information was gathered from BC Invasives and Island Trust. You can find more information from the links below:

  1. BC Invasives
  2. Grow Me Instead
  3. Island Trust
  4. Plantwise Partners

Select Invasive Plants:

  1. Yellow Flag Iris
  • Creates dense mats in wetland and ditch areas crowding out native plants
  • Toxic to humans and animals, can also cause skin irritation
  • Spreads easily through root system

Plant instead:

  • Bearded Iris or Blue Flag Iris

2. Canada Thistle

  • Grows in thick clumps that strangle other plants
  • Found in grassy areas or disturbed land
  • Treated as a weed
  • Make sure to remove the whole plant and deep root

3. Japanese Knotweed

  • Spreads easily
  • Used in gardens or landscaping
  • Grow on roadsides, riparian areas, disturbed land, roadways
  • Spread through seeds, root and stem fragments

Plant instead:

  • False Solomon’s Seal or Black Elderberry

4. Cornflower (Bachelor Button)

  • Common in wildflower mixes
  • Spreads easily through grasslands pushing out native plants

Plant instead:

  • Nodding Onion or Purple Coneflower

5. Bamboo

  • Spreads quickly and can overwhelm gardens
  • Pushes native plants out
  • Spreads easily underground and can be quite difficult to fully remove

Plant instead:

  • Junipers or Oregon Grape

6. Yellow or Purple Loosestrife

  • Creates lots of seeds that can live in the soil for 20 years
  • Grows in wetlands and roadside ditches
  • Yellow variety spreads through rhizomes in ground

Plant instead:

  • Blazing Star or Spike Speedwell

7. Periwinkle

  • Common groundcover
  • Can spread uncontrollably
  • Prefers shade and grows well on forest floor

Plant instead:

  • False Lily of the Valley or Kinnikinnick 

8. Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)

  • Rapidly spreads in disturbed areas
  • Beautiful bush that does attract butterflies
  • Each bush can produce 100,000s seeds

Plant instead:

  • California Lilac or Blue Elderberry

9. English Holly

  • Ornamental tree used for decorations
  • Spread easily through birds eating the berries

Plant instead:

  • San Jose Holly or Red Elderberry

10. Foxglove

  • Prevalent all over the province
  • Found on roadsides, ditches, gardens
  • Very toxic
  • Spreads easily through seed, reseeds itself every year

Plant instead:

  • Beardtongue or Monkshood

11. St. John’s Wort

  • Grows in dense patches that can crowd out native plants
  • Spreads by roots and seeds
  • Can be difficult to remove once established

12. Baby’s Breath

  • Spreads quickly
  • Outcompetes native grasses reducing foraging food
  • Spreads easily through seed

Plant instead:

  • Hybrid Yarrow or Sea Lavender