After my friend Elsie gave me a talking to, about picking on her “Good” buttercups that did not blister her fingers or sneak up on the neighbours, I realized the need to explain further.
Not all buttercups have the same amount of poisonous sap, depending on species and where they grow. Only some Buttercups are considered invasive.
The bad one, I wrote about two weeks ago, is the Eurasian species Meadow Buttercup that grows up to knee or waist high, which horses and cows avoid grazing on in local pastures.
Listed among the couple of hundred or so species worldwide, there are native North American Buttercups, like Little-leaf Buttercup, Small-flower Crowfoot, Kidney-leaf Buttercup, Alpine Buttercup, Plantain-leaf Buttercup and Autumn Buttercup. See the website: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ranunculus_species for more native species of buttercups that are less likely to go for a walk-about from your yard.
Also, ask staff at your favourite garden center for advice on the invasiveness of the flowers they sell.
A “good” native B.C. buttercup: Plaintain-leaf Buttercup
Now, for Bad Daisies, Good Daisies
Oxeye Daisies are bad, aggressive, invasive flowers imported from Europe or Asia. The invasive Species Council of B.C. describes the history of these unwanted weeds that livestock don’t care for the taste of, and that reduce farming productivity by spreading rapidly. Oxeye Daisies can be easily identified by their small, lobed, teaspoon-shaped leaves. Mowing and bagging these daisies will reduce seed production. Because they also spread by the root system, digging and screening the dirt is necessary to eliminate a patch of them by strictly mechanical means. Killex will control Oxeye Daisies if applied early in the season or after mowing and bagging.
Scentless Chamomile is another invasive daisy found in pastures and along roadsides and shorelines. Like other noxious weeds, it can come to your property in untreated gravel and soil. A dozen years ago, when we were new to our Gold Creek acreage, this huge, attractive daisy plant was growing in the place of honor, in the warm, moist, well nourished soil covering our septic tank. By October, it was a 6 foot tall giant with about 300 flower heads. Wow, I thought, maybe I should look in the plant book and find out what amazing species of daisy this potential prize-winner is.
What! Scentless Camomile, in the place of honor, get thee gone noxious weed! Scentless Chamomile only reproduces by seeds, on bare ground, so keep removing the flowers and provide good plant density to out compete this weed. Killex applied in the spring before flowering, or after mowing and bagging will control Scentless Chamomile also.
If you want “good daisies”, Shasta Daisy, Whiteswan Coneflower, Cutleaf Daisy, Alpine Daisy and Beach Fleabane Daisy are some recommended alternatives.
Weed Warrior Frank