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Weeds and plants

Weeds aren't the only problem a gardener in Calgary faces – invasive ornamental plants can sometimes disguise themselves as pretty flowers and wreak havoc on our urban and wild landscapes.

Weeds and plants to watch out for

Dandelions and quackgrass are a nuisance but there are a number of more serious threats to consider on our home landscapes in Calgary. Invasive ornamentals may look nice but they choke other desirable garden species, take over flower beds and lawns, and spread rapidly between yards and parks.

Weeds and other invasive plants not only have serious and unfortunate impacts on your immediate environment - they affect many areas of Alberta's economy and ecology. By encouraging the establishment and spread of these sneaky invaders, we risk:

  • Altering natural plant communities and reducing both animal and plant diversity.
  • Degrading bird, fish and wildlife habitats.
  • Changing water flow, availability and quality.
  • Increasing challenges to food production (including price hikes to compensate for increased weed control.)
  • Potentially reducing the aesthetic, tourism and property values of infested areas within the city.

That's why The City is shining a spotlight on attractive ornamental weeds that Calgarians need to be aware of.

Invasive plants to avoid in Calgary

Scientific Name Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties
Campanula rapunculoides Creeping Bellflower, Rover Bellflower, Garden Bluebell, Creeping Bluebell , Purple Bell, Garden Harebell, Creeping Campanula
Carum carvi Wild Caraway, Caraway
Clematis tanqutica Yellow Clematis, Golden Clematis, Russian Virgin's Bower, Clematis var. 'Golden Tiara', Clematis var. 'Radar Love', Old Man's Beard, Chinese Yellow Clematis, Clematis var. 'Korean Beauty', Clematis var. 'Helios', Clematis var. 'Bill Mackenzie'
Dipsacus Fullonum Common Teasel
Echium vulgare Blueweed
Gypsophila paniculata Common Baby's Breath, Perennial Baby's Breath, Perennial Gypsophila, Tall Gypsophill, Maiden's Breath
Hypericum perforatum Common St. John's Wort
Impatiens glandulifera Policeman's Helmet, Himalayan Balsam, Himalayan Impatiens, Ornamental Jewelweed, Kiss-me-on-the-mountain, Indian Touch-me-not, Indian Balsam, Poor Man's Orchid
Linaria dalmatica Dalmation Toadflax, Broadleaf Toadflax, Smooth Toadflax, Wild Snapdragon
Linaria vulgaris Yellow Toadflax , Common Toadflax, Butter-and-Eggs, Wild Snapdragon, Common Linaria, Flaxweed, Ramstead, Eggs-and-bacon, Perennial Snapdragon, Jacob's Ladder, Rabbi t Flower, Impudent Lawyer
Lythrum salicaria Purple Loosestrife, Spiked Loosestrife, Morden Pink, Fire Candle, Purple Lythrum, Bouquet Violet
Potentilla recta Sulfur Cinquefoil
Ranunculus acris Tall Buttercup
Rhamnus cathartica European Buckthorn
Silene vulgaris/S. cucubalus Bladder Campion
Tamarix chinensis Salt Cedar, Chinese Tamarisk
Tamarix parvifolia Salt Cedar, Smallflower Tamarisk
Tamarix ramosissima Salt Cedar, Tamarisk, 'Pink Cascade' Tamarisk, 'Summer Glow' Tamarisk, Rosea Tamarisk
Tanacetum vulgare Common Tansy, Garden Tansy, Golden Buttons, Bitter Buttons, Parsley Fern, Hind-head, Ginger Plant

For more information on how The City tackles invasive plants, visit Invasive Plant Prevention and Management.