Contain or wipe out noxious weeds around the province

All prohibited noxious and noxious weeds have to be plants that have been introduced to Alberta. None are native.

All prohibited noxious and noxious weeds have to be plants that have been introduced to Alberta. None are native.

Prohibited noxious weeds are weeds that are not prevalent in the Alberta landscape. If they are growing in Alberta, they are only in a few locations in small enough numbers to be eradicated.

Noxious weeds are more prevalent than prohibited noxious. The chances of eradicating these weeds are slim so the aim is to contain them and stop them from spreading.

Originally, non-native plants were brought to this country by settlers who grew and depended on the plants for food. The plants escaped cultivation and became part of the landscape.

In the last 50 years, plants that have become a problem have either been introduced as an ornamental or hitched a ride on vehicles, animals, clothes or equipment. This being said, if there is a plant that has escaped the garden and is growing elsewhere, control it or it might be the next ornamental to join the list of weeds.

Are all the plants deemed prohibitive noxious a problem in Central Alberta? No. Growing requirements must be met before a plant multiplies so rapidly that it is hard to control. An example is the Russian olive, which is a problem in dry areas of the province but rarely seeds and can be hard to get established locally.

Seeds of impatiens glandulifera, also known as Himalayan balsam, poor man’s orchid, Himalayan impatiens and touch-me-not, has been passed between gardeners for 15 to 20 years. It is an easy-to-grow annual that starts easily from seed. Plants thrive as long as they receive an adequate amount of moisture and sunlight. The seeds can be sown outside in the spring and will grow quickly to maturity. Plants are easily removed by pulling. Seeds are the problem as one plant will produce a multitude of seed pods that explode and spread everywhere.

Himalayan balsam plants are easy to recognize. They have oblong leaves like other impatiens plants, hollow stems that will grow up to four feet (1.2 metres) and showy pink flowers.

Tribulus terrestris, puncturevine is not usually cultivated as an ornamental. It is a low-growing plant with opposite leaves and yellow flowers. The long tap root is hard to pull and the seed pod has two to three sharp spines that puncture objects to catch a ride to the next location. It will catch on clothing and make its way home from warmer climates during the winter months.

Hypericum perforatum, St. John’s wort, make a showy garden perennial. Unfortunately they can also make a showy weed that is toxic to domestic animals. Depending on the conditions the plants will grow up to three feet (90 cm) in height and are topped by attractive yellow flowers followed by rust-coloured seeds. The plants should not be sold in Alberta but seeds and plants can be found for sale outside the province. Don’t bring them home with you.

There are two types of tansy on the weed list. Ragwart senecio jacobea is classified as prohibited noxious. The small, yellow, daisy like flowers are clustered together along the stem and at the top. Plants will reach the height of three feet (90 cm).

Common tansy, tanacetum vulgare, is an escaped perennial that can be found in ditches and river valleys throughout Alberta. The rhizomatous roots spread quickly and are hard to eradicate once established.

Canadian thistle is so prevalent that it is on the list of plants to be contained. All other prickly thistles are prohibitive noxious. If you find a thistle that looks different, alert the nearest weed inspector.

For more information and pictures of plants on the Alberta weed list, visit the local government agricultural or horticultural department. Pictures and information can also be found at www.edmonton.ca/for-residents/weed-Identification-Book.pdf.

Linda Tomlinson is a horticulturalist who lives near Rocky Mountain House. She can be reached at your_garden@hotmail.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press file photo.)
Red Deer city council holds closed-door discussion about proposed aquatics centre

Recommended design, cost and location won’t be made public until next spring

A community gathering space was created in front of the new Red Deer Culture Services Centre before the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (Advocate file photo).
Red Deer’s Culture Services Centre to get additional $4.6 M in renovations

It’s one of many capital projects approved by city council

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reported an additional 1,307 COVID-19 cases Tuesday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Central zone up to 1,249 active COVID-19 cases

Red Deer sits at 257 active COVID-19 cases

Mayor
Mayor Veer appointed as Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer has been appointed an Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel by… Continue reading

Const. Jason Tress
Mountie testifies another RCMP officer sexually assaulted her at 2012 party

Former Mountie on trial for sexual assault in connection with incident in northwestern Alberta

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

California boat captain indicted in fire that killed 34

President Donald Trump participates in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Trump headed to Georgia as runoff boost, but also a threat

Flames and exhaust trail behind a Long March-5 rocket carrying the Chang'e 5 lunar mission after it lifted off at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, early Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. China launched an ambitious mission on Tuesday to bring back material from the moon's surface for the first time in more than 40 years — an undertaking that could boost human understanding of the moon and of the solar system more generally. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

China spacecraft lands on moon to bring rocks back to Earth

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, vials used by pharmacists to prepare syringes used on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine for COVID-19 rest on a lab table at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. An influential scientific panel on Tuesday, Dec. 1, is set to tackle one of the most pressing questions in the U.S. coronavirus epidemic: When the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine become available, who should be at the front of the line for shots? (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

US panel: 1st vaccines to health care workers, nursing homes

This image released by Paramount Network shows, Gil Birmingham, from the series "Yellowstone." Native American tribes and coalitions are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims. Native Americans are used to being routinely ignored by American popular culture, with their presence on TV barely a blip as just a handful of shows. Paramount Network's “Yellowstone" includes them. (Emerson Miller/Paramount Network via AP)
‘Big Sky’ producers recognize Native American criticism

‘Big Sky’ producers recognize Native American criticism

This combination photos shows Weixi Chen, left, and Hao Wu, co-directors of the documentary "76 Days." The film, shot in four Wuhan hospitals, captures a local horror before it became a global nightmare. Given the constraints at the time on footage and information from Wuhan, it's a rare window into the infancy of the pandemic. (MTV Documentary Films via AP)
In ‘76 Days,’ a documentary portrait of lockdown in Wuhan

In ‘76 Days,’ a documentary portrait of lockdown in Wuhan

FILE - Elliot Page arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "The Umbrella Academy" on Feb. 12, 2019. Page, the Oscar-nominated actor of “Juno”, “Inception” and “The Umbrella Academy” came out as transgender on Tuesday in an announcement greeted as a watershed moment for the trans community in Hollywood. The 33-year-old actor from Nova Scotia said his decision came after a long journey and with much support from the LGBTQ community. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘All my love, Elliot’: Actor Page comes out as transgender

‘All my love, Elliot’: Actor Page comes out as transgender

This cover image released by Quadrille shows "Pizza: History, recipes, stories, people, places, love" by Thom Elliot and James Elliot. (Quadrille via AP)
Brothers write a love letter to a food we all love – pizza

Brothers write a love letter to a food we all love - pizza

Most Read