The Weed Warrior: Beware the Devil’s Paintbrush

Orange Hawkweed has a nasty reputation for taking over roadsides, pastures and shady forested areas

The Invasive Species Council of BC (ISCBC) tells us that we have eight native Hawkweeds, and 14 invasive Hawkweeds brought here from Europe.

Orange Hawkweed — aka Fox-and-cubs or the Devil’s Paintbrush in England — has the worst reputation for taking over roadsides, pastures and shady forested areas, even though Yellow Hawkweeds are more common in the East Kootenay.

Orange Hawkweed has between five and 30 orange dandelion-like flowers on the end of each long hairy stem. The hairy leaves form a flat rosette at the base of the stem.

Hawkweeds can spread by their parachute seeds, above-ground stolons, roots, or root nodes. And, a patch of them can soon become almost impossible to get rid of.

So, the best way to avoid a Hawkweed problem is not to buy any from your local garden center.

Otherwise, if you find an invasive Orange or Yellow Hawkweed plant near your property, garbage the long floret topped stem and douse the leaves with Killex.

The ISCBC Grow-me-Instead (GMI) booklet lists six flowering plants that are well behaved garden alternatives to Hawkweeds: Arkwright’s Campion, Pinks and Carnations, Alpine Aster, Heart-leaved Arnica and Blanket Flower.

The GMI booklet informs us that Arkwright Campion is:”A hardy self-seeding annual or short-lived perennial about 45 cm tall with clusters of large, brilliant orange flowers above bronze foliage in early summer. It does well in sun or part shade in moist, well-drained soil.”

“Perennial carnations and Pinks are Zone 4 plants that require full sun, good drainage and lime-rich soil. Most produce low mounds of blue-green evergreen leaves.”

“Alpine Aster is a Zone 3 BC native that live on limestone soils.

“Heart-leaved Arnica is also a Zone 3 BC native that does well under sunny or partial shade conditions.” It grows abundantly along the shaded walking trails of the Gold Creek forest.

“A 3rd Zone 3 BC native, Blanket Flower, is native to dry land areas of North America and prospers from June until autumn in sunny, well drained soil.”

Weed Warrior Frank

Photos below, top to bottom: Arkwright’s Campion, Carnations, Alpine Aster, Blanket Flowers, Heart-shaped Arnica

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

The great Brent Carver has passed away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors, has passed away at home in Cranbrook

History Centre launches walking tours of historic downtown Cranbrook

The Cranbrook History Centre is about to begin a series of Guided… Continue reading

Metal detector rings true for Cranbrook couple

A Cranbrook couple went looking for a missing ring after reading a plea on Facebook

Kootenay doctor among 82 physicians, dentists calling on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

A memorial disc golf tour of the East Kootenay

This past weekend, a few friends and I embarked on a weekend… Continue reading

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Smoker Farms bringing craft-style cannabis to Beaverdell

Husband-wife team growing small-scale cultivations of marijuana

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read