Monday 29 July 2019

Kill It

    Yesterday, driving down the road close to our driveway, I saw a few prickly, long-stemmed plants sporting small darkish purple flowers.  It was the Marsh Plume Thistle.  As soon as I got the car parked in our carport, I walked back up to the road and over to were I had seen the plants and pulled them out.  There were about 5 of them all together, and I looked around to make sure I had them all.  
    I also found about ten of the plants “rosettes” growing low to the ground and stomped and mashed them into the dirt.  Plume Thistles are biennial, the first year they just have the low growing rosette (photo below) then the second year the send up the tall stem with the purple flower.
    Marsh Plume Thistle is yet another invasive plant that is taking over the Robson Valley.  It started showing up about 25 years ago, and spread rapidly.  It grows in the shade, in the sun, in dry areas, and in wet areas.  It is pretty much unstoppable because it has no natural predators in BC, so its growth is unrestricted.  It is native to Europe and I wish it would have stayed there.
    When I was still working at Forestry, they tried to introduce a caterpillar that did feed on the plant, hoping it would start to limit its spread, but it didn’t really work.   
    Fortunately, so far it has not spread to our little section of the neighborhood and that was why I was so eager to kill the few plants I saw.

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