Managing Invasive Species
Hollywood movies and dimestore mystery novels have taught us that beautiful things can be dangerous. The same can be said about invasive plants.
Invasive plants often display traits gardeners love: They’re hardy and resilient, tolerant to variable soil and light conditions, and they grow fast and spread quickly. They fill in garden gaps while often showcasing early-season blossoms. They can look beautiful and harmless. But turn your back and they’ll reap havoc.
The destructive and disruptive effects of invasive species can be so severe that some species have been banned in Ontario. These species are regulated by the Invasive Species Act (2015), which prohibits and restricts the import and release of identified invasive fish, insects, mammals, invertebrates and plants.
Restricted Plant Species
It is illegal to import, possess, deposit, release, transport, breed, buy, sell, lease or trade the following prohibited invasive species.
- Brazilian waterweed
- European water chestnut
- Parrot feather
- Water soldier (pictured below)
This includes the incidental movement of these species across land, for example, by failing to clean down recreational watercraft and inadvertently transporting these species to another area.
Prohibited Plant Species
It is illegal to import, breed, buy, sell, lease or trade the following restricted plant species or to possess, transport, deposit or release them into provincial parks and conservation reserves. For example, it would be illegal to pick phragmites from along the road as you walk into a provincial park and then leave the stalks behind because you no longer wanted to carry them.
What You Can Do
Avoid accepting invasive species (prohibited, restricted or otherwise) from friends or neighbours, buying them from nurseries or planting and cultivating them in your yard.
Protect yourself and your property by knowing what to look for. Review the full list of Ontario’s restricted and prohibited species and CVC’s lists of priority invasive species.
Choose native plants for your property. Use CVC’s native plant lists and Guide to Gardening Wisely for a list of invasive plant alternatives.
Early detection is the best defense
Reporting sightings of invasive species is critical to preventing new infestations and controlling existing threats. Report any sightings of invasive species to EDDMapS, Credit Valley Conservation or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. If you’re concerned or uncertain about invasive species on your property, connect with a CVC stewardship coordinator to learn how we can help.
Your Countryside Stewardship Team