Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Well, if one is looking for another reason to promote native plants, here it is. 

Newest pest can cut you
An aquatic invader is camping out on the banks of the Trent-Severn Waterway, and from the sounds of it, is getting very comfortable...

The new undesirable in her sights is called the water soldier, Stratiotes aloides.

It resembles an aloe vera or spider plant, but with one significant difference: "It is very sharp..."

"From what we have seen, it has become an impediment to boaters," (
Francine - ed) MacDonald said. "It could be a huge problem for swimmers."

Like spider plants, water soldiers have offsets, little plants that detach and take root at new locations, so moving water offers the perfect method for them to spread.

Unfortunately, so are careless gardeners. Water soldiers and many other invasive species can be purchased at Ontario nurseries.

"If you are going to use exotic plants, keep them contained, don't enable them to escape" by planting them in flood plains or near waterways, said MacDonald.

OPSEU has begun Year 2 of introducing native plants to its Headquarters at 100 Lesmill. 

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