Invasive Species

Invasive species are the second greatest threat to biodiversity in the world, after habitat loss. In British Columbia, it is estimated that 25% of our endangered species are negatively impacted by invasive species. Without efforts to prevent their spread, invasive plants will generally increase their area an average of 14% annually. This exponential rate means that populations double every five years.

The CVRD's strategy for invasive plant management consists of a bylaw, inventory, removal of key species and a public awareness campaign. For the health of our communities and local ecosystems, we need to be especially aware of some plants in our region that are highly toxic and damaging. Some of these include giant hogweed, poison hemlock, Daphne/spurge laurel, and knotweed. Currently, two of these plants (giant hogweed and poison hemlock) are included in a bylaw that requires the immediate removal of noxious plants due to their high risk to human and ecosystem health. Their inclusion in this bylaw provides an opportunity to test removal processes before expanding it to additional plants.


Be aware of toxic plants that require immediate removal according to the Noxious Weed Control Bylaw

  1. Poison Hemlock
  2. Giant Hogweed

Poisonous Plant. Do Not Touch or Eat! 

Report Poison Hemlock.
If you see poison hemlock, please contact the Coastal Invasive Species Committee. Toll-Free: 1-844-298-2532

Poison Hemlock can be found along streams and ditches in our region. All plant parts are highly poisonous and should not be ingested. If ingested, seek immediate medical help.

A bylaw prohibits the growth of poison hemlock in all Electoral Areas of the CVRD to protect communities from the serious health and environmental impacts of this plant. If you find poison hemlock on your property, you are obligated to have it safely removed and disposed of.


  • Size: 3-3.5m tall.
  • Flowers: Small, white, grow in umbrella shaped clusters.
  • Leaves: Shiny, green, and feathery. Similar to those of a carrot.
  • Stems: Thick, smooth, and hollow. Often covered in purple splotches.


  • Residents are responsible for the removal of any poison hemlock growing on their property.
  • Protective clothing, gloves and eyewear are required when handling. 
  • Manual removal is recommended.
  • If possible, completely remove the plant before flowering to prevent dispersal.
  • Young plants and small infestations can be removed by digging/pulling up roots. This is the easiest when soil is moist.
  • Larger populations can be controlled by stopping seed production. Cut off flowering stems as close to the ground as possible to prevent seed growth.
  • Prevent the establishment of this species by eliminating seed production and maintaining healthy native plant communities.


  1. Dispose of all plant parts in 3-4 mil poly (.003 to .004 inch thick). Extra thick bags are required to avoid ripping by cut stems or thorns. 
  2. Label bags ‘Invasive Plants’ and tie off using a gooseneck tie and a zap strap. 
  3. Take to one of the CVRD drop off depots: 

Do NOT compost removed poison hemlock! 

For more information, please visit:

Photos courtesy of King County Government, Coastal Invasive Species Committee and Fraser Valley Invasive Species Society.

Be aware of other priority plants that should be disposed of with care:

While these species are not required to be removed by the CVRD Noxious Weed Control Bylaw, they are still harmful and should be dealt with carefully. It is encouraged that these also be removed. 

  1. Daphne/Spurge-Laurel
  2. Knotweed

Poisonous Plant. Do Not Eat!

Daphne/spurge-Laurel is found in roadsides and wooded areas across our region. The berries, seeds and leaves are highly poisonous. If touched, the plant can cause skin to become irritated.


Size: Up to 1.5 m in height
Leaves: Dark green, thick and shiny
Flowers: Occur from late January to early April, small and pale yellow.
Berries: Occur in late summer and are black in colour. 


  • Wear protective clothing, gloves and eyewear when handling. 
  • Small plants can be hand-pulled while individual larger plants can be excavated. 
  • Bag and remove berries before disturbing.
  • Spot treatment of triclopyr on leaves and stem can be effective. 


  1. Dispose of all plant parts in 3-4 mil poly (.003 to .004 inch thick). Extra thick bags are required to avoid ripping by cut stems or thorns. 
  2. Label bags ‘Invasive Plants’ and tie off using a gooseneck tie and a zap strap 
  3. Take to one of the CVRD drop off depots:

Do NOT compost Daphne/spurge-laurel!


For more information, please visit:

Photos courtesy of Coastal Invasive Species Committee.