Letters to the Editor

There's good and bad in invasive species

Invasive species seem to be in the news again. Being of Irish and English origin, I’ve noticed that the word ‘Scotch’ seems attached to two of them — I could say three.


If you’ve ever had a beautiful lawn next to a vacant lot full of thistles you’ll know what I mean. However, enough has been said about the bad side of the species.


Thistles: very prickly, beautiful, very invasive, but the hummingbirds and bees find them attractive and useful.


Ivy: makes a dull wall very attractive — but if not contained, can become a creeping nuisance.


Blackberries: very prickly, damned invasive — but the quail and pie-makers, love it.


Gorse: very dense and prickly — but can be quite attractive and provide nesting sites for small birds, and the bees seem to like it.


Last of all, the dreaded Broom: only grows in the sun, very invasive, very visible — but quickly covers the scars left by man and has been used that way. Some think it is a bit ugly but beautiful in bloom. Bees and seed-eating birds love it.


So, there’s good and bad, don’t you think?

Julia A. Flaherty

Qualicum Beach

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