Laura Hooper

Laura Hooper

It’s pretty and showy but really noxious

Volunteers get down and dirty to get rid of Tansy ragwort

A small group of Sooke’s farmers and members of the Sunriver Community Garden were pulling Tansy ragwort on Phillips Road on Sunday, August 3.

Tansy ragwort’s showy yellow blooms are easy to see this time of year and relatively easy to uproot.  Volunteers took care to cut the flowers from the meter-high plants and put the flowers in bags as the uprooted plants might continue maturing the seeds.

According to the government of BC’s Field Guide to Noxious and Other Selected Weeds of British Columbia, Tansy ragwort “contains a toxic alkaloid which reacts with enzyme in livestock to create cumulative liver damage.”

Another ministry document, Weeds BC, adds that “Tansy ragwort reduces forage production of pastures by up to 50%.” A single plant can produce 150,000 seeds that remain viable for over 20 years. Tansy loves disturbed sites, including pastures, hay fields, roadsides and clear cuts. It is a major concern on Vancouver Island as well as in other places in B.C.

“We found Tansy ragwort on our farm last year for the first time,” noted David Parsons. David and Sandy Parsons raise Black Welsh Mountain Sheep on their Phillips Road farm. “I have been pulling ragwort since early spring in an effort to control it in our sheep pastures.  I have also pulled the ragwort plants on Phillips Road from Willowpark Way north.”

The new owners of Cast Iron Farm (across Phillips Road from the Sunriver Garden) have been pulling the weed on their farm.

Volunteers  worked to pull the flowering plants from Demamiel Creek north to Willowpark Way.

“Volunteers need not limit themselves to one day,” encourages Parsons. “Develop a habit to pluck the offending plants for the rest of the summer and a big difference will be seen by next year alone.”

Three main means of control are recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture. Prevention, meaning not to let the plant go to seed. Chemical control with the herbicide 2,4-D (use with caution and knowledge). And biological control such as the Cinnabar moth larvae and Tansy ragwort flea beetle.

For more information, visit http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/tansy.htm

 

With notes from David Parsons

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

Just Posted

Capital Regional District Animal Control say an eight-month-old Rottweiler bit a Langford mother and her child near Glen Lake on Nov. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Large dog attacks mother and child in Langford

Mother puts three-year-old on top of car to protect him

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

(Black Press Media file photo)
Police arrest man covered in blood on heels of significant Saanich crash into woods

Resident calls in home invasion in progress after crash

BC Transit is investigating a ‘rapid bus’ action plan for Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Transit launches investigation after passenger fall from upper deck

A passenger went to hospital after a fall from the upper deck

The Victoria Police Department headquarters. (Black Press Media file photo)
Investigation launched into man’s death after arrest in Victoria

IIO investigation to determine if police actions or inaction played a role in the man’s death

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

A rider carves a path on Yanks Peak Saturday, Nov. 21. Two men from Prince George went missing on the mountain the next day. One of them, Colin Jalbert, made it back after digging out his sled from four feet under the snow. The other, Mike Harbak, is still missing. Local search and rescue teams went out looking Monday, Nov. 23. (Sam Fait Photo)
‘I could still be the one out there’: Snowmobiler rescued, 1 missing on northern B.C. mountain

As Quesnel search and rescue teams search for the remaining rider, Colin Jalbert is resting at home

Most Read