Invasive Species


Invasive Species

Invasive species are plants and animals not native to an area. Left unchecked, they can crowd out native species, resulting in ecosystem changes and environmental damage. Some also pose a health and safety risk. The provincial Weed Control Act designates certain invasive plants as “noxious weeds”, and makes property owners and occupiers responsible for their control.

Noxious weeds of particular concern for health and safety reasons are the Knotweeds (Giant, Japanese, Bohemian and Himalayan) and Giant Hogweed.

The District has been fulfilling its obligation under the Weed Control Act by hiring a contractor to control Knotweed and Giant Hogweed on public property and along roadways.

Private property owners are strongly encouraged to address infestations on private lands by either seeking direction on how to control these noxious weeds themselves or hiring a contractor to do so.

The District’s contractor, Fraser Valley Invasive Species Society (FVISS), a local non-profit society, is available to provide free advice or conduct control efforts at property owners’ expense. The FVISS can be reached at or 778-548-3847. More information can also be found on the FVISS’s website, It is advisable to contact the FVISS early in the growing season (March) to ensure inclusion in the current year’s control initiative.

Nature Stewards Program

Have a free ecological assessment done to see how your property may be enhanced for habitat.

Enhancement work is free for properties that are found suitable and may include planting of native species.

Click to enlarge brochure.

Giant Hogweed – Do Not Touch

Giant Hogweed can cause blindness and third-degree burns on contact.Picture of giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant that resembles cow parsnip, but grows up to 5 m (15 ft) tall. The large, hollow, central stalk is green with purple spots. The dark green, coarsely-toothed leaves are divided into three segments. Small white flowers grow in a large, flat-top, umbrella-like cluster, which can measure up to one meter across. An individual Giant Hogweed plant can produce 50,000 seeds.

Giant Hogweed likes to grow in wet areas near streams and has been found along Draper and Silverdale Creeks, but it has been sighted in other locations as well. Children may be particularly attracted to the plant, and should not be allowed to play in areas where this plant may be present. Due to the risk of injury, it is not recommended to undertake removal of Giant Hogweed yourself. Do not place Giant Hogweed in your curbside garbage and do not compost it in your backyard under any circumstances.

If you see Giant Hogweed in Mission, please report the location to the Engineering Department at 604-820-3736 or

Printable Giant Hogweed Flyer

Knotweed – Do Not Mulch

Picture of giant knotweedAll four species of Knotweed (Giant, Japanese, Bohemian and Himalayan) are extremely invasive, choking out native vegetation wherever they establish. Knotweed is often confused with bamboo due to the similar stem structure. Knotweed likes to grow in moist areas, with roots potentially extending up to 6 m (20 ft) downward and 20 m (66 ft) sideways. Knotweed roots lack root hairs, and are therefore not capable of holding soil in place.

Knotweed infestations along rivers and streams can result in severe bank erosion. Roots can also grow through concrete, including sewer lines and concrete foundations.

Knotweed is very difficult to control. Small (less than 3 cm) stem segments may take root, so Knotweed should never be mulched. Mowing knotweed is only recommended, if it can be done in one clean cut of the stem close to the ground. It may take several years and four to five consistent cuttings per season to bring knotweed under control by cutting. Cut plants that have not gone to seed can be dried out on an impermeable surface and composted when completely dry. Other control measures include covering the plants to deprive them of sunlight and applying a herbicide to the leaves of the plant. Once Knotweed has gone to seed, it can be double-bagged and dropped off at the Mission Landfill free of charge. Please let the scalehouse operator know what you’re bringing in and follow directions.

Picture of Tansy RagwortTansy Ragwort

This plant is of concern due to its potential to cause cumulative liver damage in livestock, even in small amounts. Tansy Ragwort is a biennual plant with small, daisy-like yellow flowers and leaves somewhat resembling “ragged” kale, when they first emerge. Tansy Ragwort grows up to 1.2 m (4 ft) tall. Touching the plants should have no effect on humans when wearing gloves, so pulling them out and double-bagging them for disposal in the garbage is an acceptable method of control. There are also biological controls available. Residents choosing to deliver Tansy Ragwort to the Mission Landfill must double-bag the plants to prevent seed dispersal and let the scalehouse operator know what they’re bringing in. There is no charge for dropping off Tansy Ragwort at the Mission Landfill.

Himalayan BalsamPicture of Himalayan, also known as policeman's helmet
(a.k.a. Policeman’s Helmet)

Policeman’s Helmet is an annual plant, growing up to 2 m in height. Flowers are white, pink or reddish and resemble an English policeman’s helmet. The seed capsules “explode” when touched or moved by the wind, with each capsule releasing hundreds of seeds. Policeman’s Helmet spreads rapidly and displaces native vegetation. In Mission, there are large infestations along Tyler Road.

More information on these and other invasive species can be found on these websites:

Invasive Species Council of BC
Fraser Valley Invasive Species Society
TIPS Factsheets (Best Management Practices for various invasive species)