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What Are Noxious Weeds

Weeds Are Everybody’s Problem

Invasive plants affect biodiversity by rapidly displacing native plant species that provide habitat for wildlife, and food for people and livestock.  Invasive plants pose a threat to rare ecosystems, increase the frequency of wildfires and reduce survival rates of native species following fire.  In addition, riparian habitat alteration may result in erosion, sedimentation and loss of aquatic habitat.

Competition from invasive plants can result in:

  • suppressed native plant and seedling growth
  • less palatable and sometimes poisonous weed species within the plant community
  • increased fire hazard as unpalatable plant material builds up
  • future native plant communities under threat from weed seeds that remain viable in the soil for decades
  • alteration of water flows

Invasive plants threaten the health of our resources and supported industries. Noxious weed infestations can:

  • reduce forage quality & yield
  • cause irritation or poisoning to humans, wildlife and  livestock
  • cost taxpayers many $$$ to control
  • reduce vigor of tree seedlings where planted
  • reduce property & aesthetic value
  • restrict recreational opportunities when poisonous and thorny weed infestations are present

Toxins in some plants make them inedible to animals and may cause liver damage. Toxins may also cause skin irritations and blisters in both animals and humans.


Noxious Weeds, also called lnvasive Plants, are non-native plant species, typically introduced from Eurasia, that invade our ecosystems and out-compete local plants and cultivated crops for water, nutrients and light. Highly adaptable and difficult to control, these alien plants grow aggressively without the insect predators and plant pathogens that kept them in check in their native habitats.

lnvasive plants are tough, adaptable and aggressive, growing quickly on disturbed sites via root fragments or seeds. A single plant can produce thousands of seeds that can be dispersed by wind, water and soil.

Seeds and plant parts may hitch a ride on boots, clothing, backpacks, animals and vehicles, thus travelling from infested areas.

Invasive Plants Are Everywhere:
Weeds can be found almost anywhere: roads, trails, railways, grassland, wetlands, parks… even in your own garden. Watch out for wildflower seed mixes that contain invasive plant seeds.

Not all invasive plants are classified as Noxious Weeds.  Some weeds are classified as Noxious within all regions of British Columbia, while others are classified as Noxious within the boundaries of the Regional District of North Okanagan.


More information:


Please direct enquiries to:
Phone:  250-550-3749
Fax:      250-550-3701
E-mail:  [email protected]