The Top 2 Noxious Weeds Found in Vancouver

August 17, 2022

Everyone knows that weeds are irritating. They’re unwelcome. Intrusive. Ugly. They can singlehandedly ruin nice garden displays, and they’re a pain to remove. But not all weeds are created equal. Most weeds are eyesores, but they’re unlikely to actually harm your other plants.

However, there are some noxious weeds out there that can directly harm other plants — and the environment.


What does ‘noxious weed’ mean?

A noxious weed refers to any invasive, non-native plant that can be harmful to our agriculture, ecosystem, or local plants. They grow quickly and out-compete other plants for water and other nutrients.

Generally, in order for a plant to be considered noxious, it has to be classified as such by a governing entity. In BC, the Weed Control Act lists all noxious weeds that can be found in the province, including preventative measures to help limit their spread.


Two of Metro Vancouver’s Worst Noxious Weeds

Giant Hogweeds

Giant Hogweed: photo by City of Vanouver

Giant Hogweeds, believe it or not, are actually members of the carrot family. Originally from southern Asia, they’ve been spreading across Canada, Europe, and the United States for over 100 years. It can grow over 10 feet tall and spreads quickly if left unchecked.

Hogweeds are extremely difficult and dangerous to remove. Its stems contain a phytotoxic sap that, when exposed to sunlight, can cause severe burns and scarring if it gets on your skin. Because of this, hogweed is best removed when it’s young.

Giant Hogweed can grow over 10 feet tall. Photo by the Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver


The phytotoxic sap from Giant Hogweed can cause severe burns and scarring. Photo by Open Access Government


Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed: photo by AGT Group

At a glance, Japanese Knotweed is relatively nice looking. It’s a semi-woody perennial native to Eastern Asia with heart-shaped leaves and stems that resemble bamboo. It can grow over six feet tall and may be difficult to recognize without looking closely.

However, knotweed is extremely invasive. It spreads rapidly underground, growing up from cracks in any surface. It can overtake other plants, kill small plants by depriving them of sunlight, degrade wildlife habits, break through concrete, destabilize homes, cause erosion in winter, and even spread through rivers.

Once knotweed is established, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of them without aggressive and persistent mechanical removal.

Removing Japanese Knotweed is an arduous process that can take a long time. Photo by My Powell River Now


It’s known to disrupt concrete, asphalt, and building foundations. Photo by Cornwall Live


How to Get Rid of Noxious Weeds?

The Invasive Species Council of Metro Vancouver is a great resource on how to deal with these noxious weeds on your property. Since there are regulations on how to kill and remove noxious weeds without causing more harm by spreading them to other parts of British Columbia where more harm can be done, it is recommended that you hire a professional to properly erradicate them from your property. The BC Landscape and Nursery Association lists a directory of landscape companies in the province.

At Para Space, we care about your landscape and the environment. We have a dedicated Plant Health Care Division that can help with this problem. If you think you have an invasive species on your property, we would be happy to provide a free estimate to remove it.

Our pest control methods are environmentally sound and sustainable. We are actively engaged in the research and development of innovative and alternative pest control practices. Our knowledgeable and accredited staff can help provide a thorough plant health management program specific to your landscape needs.

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