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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
Scientific Name: Campanula rapunculoides Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Creeping Bellflower, Rover Bellflower, Garden Bluebell, Creeping Bluebell , Purple Bell, Garden Harebell, Creeping Campanula
Scientific Name: Carum carvi Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Wild Caraway, Caraway
Scientific Name: Clematis tanqutica Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: 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'
Scientific Name: Dipsacus Fullonum Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Common Teasel
Scientific Name: Echium vulgare Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Blueweed
Scientific Name: Gypsophila paniculata Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Common Baby's Breath, Perennial Baby's Breath, Perennial Gypsophila, Tall Gypsophill, Maiden's Breath
Scientific Name: Hypericum perforatum Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Common St. John's Wort
Scientific Name: Impatiens glandulifera Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Policeman's Helmet, Himalayan Balsam, Himalayan Impatiens, Ornamental Jewelweed, Kiss-me-on-the-mountain, Indian Touch-me-not, Indian Balsam, Poor Man's Orchid
Scientific Name: Linaria dalmatica Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Dalmation Toadflax, Broadleaf Toadflax, Smooth Toadflax, Wild Snapdragon
Scientific Name: Linaria vulgaris Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: 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
Scientific Name: Lythrum salicaria Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Purple Loosestrife, Spiked Loosestrife, Morden Pink, Fire Candle, Purple Lythrum, Bouquet Violet
Scientific Name: Potentilla recta Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Sulphur Cinquefoil
Scientific Name: Ranunculus acris Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Tall Buttercup
Scientific Name: Rhamnus cathartica Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: European Buckthorn
Scientific Name: Silene vulgaris/S. cucubalus Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Bladder Campion
Scientific Name: Tamarix chinensis Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Salt Cedar, Chinese Tamarisk
Scientific Name: Tamarix parvifolia Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Salt Cedar, Smallflower Tamarisk
Scientific Name: Tamarix ramosissima Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: Salt Cedar, Tamarisk, 'Pink Cascade' Tamarisk, 'Summer Glow' Tamarisk, Rosea Tamarisk
Scientific Name: Tanacetum vulgare Common Name(s) and Ornamental Varieties: 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.​​

Learn more about common pests in Calgary​

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