Single species packets of seeds are less likely to be contaminated with invasive plants. (Photo courtesy of Boundary Invasive Species Society)

Your flower garden could be harbouring invasive species

Seeds for invasive species often hid in wildflower seed packs

Flowers are lovely to look at, most smell heavenly, and they attract pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Did you know that your beautiful flower garden could be harbouring invasive species?

If you have ever used a wildflower seed mix, there is a very high probability that you have at least one invasive plant species on your property. Nearly all wildflower seed mixes contain non-native and invasive species such as bachelors buttons and baby’s breath.

Wildflower does not equal native flower. Invasive species are recognized as the second greatest threat to biodiversity. The number one threat is habitat loss. Biodiversity is critically important. Without it our habitats and ecosystems will fail. All species are interconnected.

Did you know that in B.C. there are over 450 native pollinators? Did you also know that honey bees are not native? While honey bees are important and the honey is yummy, we should be very concerned about our native pollinators. When an invasive plant like baby’s breath takes over an area it chokes out all the native forbs and grasses. The native pollinators are best adapted to the native plants.

When there are fewer native flowers around the native pollinators are affected. Some pollinators can only use one particular plant species for feeding or hosting their eggs. If that plant is not present in an ecosystem, then that pollinator will either die or go someplace else. Either way you are losing your biodiversity.

Do not purchase wildflower seed mixes unless you are sure they contain no invasive plants. Some packages do not list the ingredients and some list the ingredients in Latin. A quick internet search should tell you what is in the package and the translation of the Latin. When in doubt don’t buy it! A little research could save you a lot of work down the road.

Single species packets of seeds are less likely to be contaminated with invasive plants. There are several books and online resources that can help you find out what is native to your area. There are companies that sell native Canadian flower seeds. Some nurseries and greenhouses also sell native plants. F

or more information on invasive species you can contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society at our website, Facebook or phone 250-446-2232.

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