Canada is home to over 4000 plant species. While we have many great native plants, there are several other plants which have been introduced. Some of these introduced species have naturalized to Canada and are not overly problematic, but there are others which are far more noxious. Sadly, in Ontario alone, over 400 invasive plant species compete with native species. And that is a problem.
The right plant in the right place
Forgive us for labelling some of Mother Nature’s gifts as weeds, but when the wrong plant is planted in the wrong place, that is exactly what it is. All plants are native somewhere. Native species are plants which are indigenous to an area. They are adapted to the local climate and exist as a functioning piece of the local ecosystem. They add biodiversity, plus contribute to local wildlife. When it comes to invasive plant species, that is not the case though.
Invasive plant species have been introduced to an area. They may not adapt to the climate and don’t always offer benefits to local wildlife. In fact, invasive plants often compete with native species and crowd them out of an area. They may even change the ecosystem as a whole, changing the makeup of the soil or creating an impenetrable monoculture that nothing else can survive in. And sadly, their presence has often been introduced by human hands.
Invasive Plant Species
Lily of the Valley
What Can You Do About Invasive Plant Species?
- Learn to properly identify Invasive plant species
- Remove and/or control invasive species on your property
- When out in the woods, ensure you do not spread invasive species by disturbing natural areas or transferring them via your pet, bicycle, ATV or by other means
- Properly dispose of invasives – NEVER compost or dump clippings in wooded areas around your home
- Don’t plant invasives – Purchase NATIVE PLANT SPECIES
- Educate others about the problems of invasive species and what they can do about them
- Volunteer to help control invasive species in your community
For more information, check the Ontario Invasive Plant Council or the Ontario Invading Species Awareness Program websites. Pick up a copy of the Grow Me Instead pamphlet and learn which species are a better choice to plant in Ontario.
Together we can make the difference. Educate to eradicate. Thank Native, grow Native.