For our newest I Spy, we’re featuring one of the most destructive invasive plants in the Sea to Sky. Let us know if you figured this one out!
Scotch Broom is an invasive species in the Sea to Sky which begins flowering in April. Its bright yellow, pea-like flowers, large bushy appearance, and woody stems make it easy to spot along the highway between Lions Bay and Squamish.
Scotch Broom grows rapidly in disturbed soil, favoring rail lines and roadsides. Each mature plant can produce up to 3500 seed pods, which split open and launch the seeds up to 5 meters away! Not only that, but these stubborn seeds can remain viable in the soil for decades! The transportation of contaminated machinery and soils also spreads the seeds, creating a tangled web of weed infestations along construction, utility maintenance, and industrial areas. Allowing Scotch Broom to spread increases wildfire fuel loads, obstructs sightlines along roads and wildlife corridors, and displaces native plant communities, such as the endangered Garry Oak ecosystem.
This persistent plant is categorized as “contain” under SSISC’s Species Priority List. That means we have to take extra care to prevent it from spreading into new territories! If you think you’ve spotted Scotch Broom north of Squamish, report it here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.