PUNCTUREVINE New outbreaks of puncturevine, an invasive species, have been found in and around Summerland this summer. (Photo submitted)

Puncturevine observed in and near Summerland

New outbreaks of invasive plant have been discovered

The spread of an invasive plant in the Summerland area has prompted the issue of an alert.

Puncturevine is a spiny summer annual that has been basking in the summer sunshine and flourishing in response to recent rainfall.

Puncturevine is native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean region.

Since its initial discovery in Washington State in 1924, human activity has introduced and spread the plant throughout the Pacific Northwest.

In Canada, puncturevine only occurs in British Columbia. It is most prolific in the sandy soils around Oliver, Osoyoos and Keremeos, with a few dozen sites around Penticton and isolated patches from Summerland north to Vernon.

In Summerland, there are fewer than 10 confirmed sites, but new outbreaks have recently been reported. As well, a small outbreak was discovered on private land in Lillooet this summer.

READ ALSO: Action on controlling invasive plants

READ ALSO: Invasive species spraying starting

Puncturevine grows along road shoulders, gravel trails, vacant lots, beaches and unpaved parking sites. It is mat forming, with stems reaching up to three metres in length. It readily makes its way into agricultural lands, where it grows between rows of ground crops such as strawberries, tomatoes and melons, tree fruits and grape vines.

The stems of puncturevine are covered by hairy leaves that are divided into six to eight leaflets.

Tiny yellow flowers develop into distinctive fruits or seedpods.

Puncturevine seedpods consist of five sections that, at maturity, break into tack-like structures with sharp spines for which this weed is named. These sharply pointed seedpods stick painfully in bare feet, flatten bicycle tires and are easily transported in vehicle tires. They can also lodge into your dog’s paws and injure the feet, hides, mouths, eyes and digestive tracts of livestock.

Puncturevine can be a contaminant of fill, gravel, sand, crushed stone and other aggregates, so be wary if importing such materials to your property.

The best method of controlling it is to prevent establishment by destroying the first plants found in an area before seeds begin to form.

Because they germinate all summer long, monitoring and repeat treatments are continually required.

Young plants are easily controlled by hoeing, shallow tillage or by carefully hand-pulling plants.

Daisy (dandelion) grubbers are a great tool for popping up puncturevine plants.

If seedpods have not yet developed, the plants can be composted. If plants have already matured and the seedpods have ripened (turned brown and easily fall off the plants), plants should be carefully pulled and bagged, then taken to the local landfill.

Like most other weeds, puncturevine prefers areas of disturbed, bare ground. A three-inch layer of mulch can also effectively reduce infestations.

Further information on invasive species is available online at www.oasiss.ca.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

Priest Camp near Summerland was created in 1845

Agreement formed between Grand Chief Nicola (1793-1859) and Father Giovanni Nobili (1812-1856)

Princeton snow removal costs top $40k in December

Costs of snow removal to the Town of Princeton skyrocketed in December.… Continue reading

Province says it is monitoring AIM’s road maintenance

The provincial transportation ministry is working closely with new road contractor AIM,… Continue reading

Princeton – a Prince Town in waiting?

The Town of Princeton has been waiting 160 years for a Royal… Continue reading

RCMP release photos of man wanted in Princeton armed robbery

RCMP have released photos and a description of the man suspected of… Continue reading

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

Most Read