Gumweed is not in fact a weed

Some of the attractions of the Oceanside area include the wildflowers that bloom along our beaches and rocky bluffs.

Some of the attractions of the Oceanside area include the wildflowers that bloom along our beaches and rocky bluffs.

Most of these flower in late spring, but one of them, gumweed, adorns the upper shorelines in midsummer.

This is not a weed, but a slow-growing, perennial wildflower with large yellow daisy flowers. The buds protect themselves with a sticky secretion, hence the name. It is one of the seasonal delights of beach margins.

On a recent visit to Kinkaid Beach (northwest of Qualicum Beach) I was dismayed to see several piles of gumweed on the edges of the parking lot. Removal of invasive plants is commendable, but this is one of our local wildflowers, not a weed.

Before people pull invasive weeds they should be shown which are the weeds and which are the native species.

I am aware of native cow parsnip being mistaken for hogweed and the rare protected Henderson’s checker mallow being destroyed because it was believed to be purple loosestrife.

The wildflowers are already under threat, without such added pressures.

Terry TaylorQualicum Beach