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

Shamrocks sitting in second spot in Junior A standings

Victoria split games over the weekend and beat the Timbermen Wednesday

Beat the heat at the spray park

Several options across the West Shore

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Drug Use: High school students comfortable talking about marijuana but not other drugs

Teens not always willing to make the first move to get help

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Most Read