If you’ve ever wondered why some weeds are a big deal, consider this- dandelions are not native to Canada. Before European setters brought it over to make tea, there weren’t any dandelions anywhere in North America. Here are a few weeds that cause real problems for people, animals and other plants in the Peace River Region.
Growing in colonies, these plants primarily spread through their root system. Once they have leaves, some of their energy is used to store energy in the roots for new shoots. To control it, you can spray it in fall, and introduce other plants that will shade and choke it out, such as alfalfa and fescue.
Spreading through seed, Scentless Chamomile (also known as Mayweed) can quickly take over in disturbed soil, but does not compete well with established plants. They can go to seed in May or September, growing 6 inches or 4 feet tall. Once the white flower is visible, the seed is viable. Small infestations can be dealt with by mechanical means (picking, mowing), but it should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Often confused with Scentless Chamomile, Oxeye Daisy can take over pastures and rangeland very quickly. While Scentless Chamomile has “hairs” all over its stems, Oxeye Daisy has small leaves growing on its stem. Seed production is how it spreads so rapidly.
Similarly to dandelions, these plants produce leaves at the base and usually have bare stems, leading to a pretty orange flower. These hawkweeds reproduce multiple ways. Small patches can be dug out, though plants can grow from any remaining portion of the root. Chemical control is the best method of dealing with them.
These are just a few problem weeds to watch for. If you would like more information, you can find some great info at:
- Weeds BC (weedsbc.ca)
- BC Invasives (bcinvasives.ca)
- Alberta Invasive Species Council (abinvasives.ca)
The BC Invasives website also has some useful best practices guides (bcinvasives.ca/resources/publications) for identifying and dealing with invasive plants in the Oil and Gas Industry. Weeds BC also has some great reference materials (www.weedsbc.ca/resources.html) for Weed Identification and Management.