Some Wildflowers of Canada and Invasive Species

Part of enjoying walks in the forest all summer long, is the world of ever blooming wildflowers. We thought we would share some of the wildflowers Lucy has photographed across Canada. As she read up about these plants she learned that many of them are considered noxious weeds, so Lucy labeled them as such. We are learning through this blog that there are so many invasive species all around us, not just the purple loosestrife commonly reported. Later in this blog are planting suggestions of good local alternatives to noxious weeds.

Lucy used her new iPad to identify these plants by opening the photo, tapping on the information button and the “look up” button and the computer labelled each flower for her. Clearly this new iPad is much smarter than her old laptop! Lucy is really still learning the names of the flowers and is trusting the computer to be correct, but apologies if there are some mislabeled. Another app you can put on your phone will identify the flowers as you walk. It’s called SEEK. Have fun enjoying the great outdoors, and smelling the wildflowers!

Invasive Species Centre of Canada Report for 2022

Not all wildflowers are welcome species. Here is how the Invasive Species Centre describes what is invasive and how these plants (and trees and shrubs) are harmful:

Here are a few of the invasive species found in Canada as listed in 2022 by the Invasive Species Centre.

What Can We Do to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species?

First of all it is important to get to know your invasive plants. Some plants like giant hogweed and wild parsnip can cause human health issues though direct toxic effects, and burn your skin, so do not just go out and pull out the plants without knowing what you are dealing with. Practise prevention, by knowing what you are buying as plants and seeds, by never releasing aquarium plants, and by purchasing mulch or soil from a reputable supplier. When landscaping, minimize soil disturbance and retain shade trees to prevent establishment of invasive plants. Burn local firewood, do not move firewood. Recreationally, inspect and clean mud and plants from recreational vehicles, pets, hiking boots and equipment before leaving any site and returning to your home. You can report invasive species to your ministry of natural resources or provincial hotline and share the knowledge locally with your neighbours and others. There are so many more detailed ways to deal with invasive species on your property if they are an issue, and so we encourage reading online.

Plant This Instead of That

Just reading about what to plant in Edmonton, the oxeye daisy posted as a wildflower above can harbour crop diseases and choke out other native plants so is not a great plant to have in Edmonton’s ecosystem and is considered a noxious weed or invasive species. As gardeners we are encouraged to plant as many native species in our gardens as we can. In this article called “Plant This Not That” the Edmonton and Area Land Trust suggests the following best choice of plants:

Instead of Creeping Bellflower plant Tall Lungwort

Instead of Himalayan Balsam plant Spotted Jewelweed

Instead of Dame’s Rocket plant Common Yarrow

Instead of Purple Loosestrife plant Meadow Blazingstar

Instead of Oxeye Daisy plant White Prairie Aster

Instead of Yellow Clematis plant Purple Clematis

Instead of Common Tansy plant Canada’s Goldenrod

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