Toxic Invasive Plant Spreading in Comox, B.C.

Residents in Comox, B.C., are warning others about a toxic, invasive plant that has been spotted in various parts of the province and is now spreading from a local golf course. The plant is called Daphne laurel, also known as spurge laurel, and its toxic sap can cause skin rashes, nausea, swelling of the tongue, and even coma.

Gail Wallin, executive director of the Invasive Species Council of B.C., explains that spurge laurel can quickly take over native vegetation and disrupt the natural balance of the ecosystem. This poses a threat to habitat and food supply for native species. The plant has been observed in Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands.

Residents in Comox, such as Pat Grappolini, have discovered the spurge laurel and have taken measures to remove it. However, the plant has resurfaced and has infested the Comox Golf Club, spreading to the surrounding properties. Concerned individuals, like Pat Sloan, have reached out to the Comox city council for assistance in managing the plant.

While there is no specific legislation in British Columbia banning the sale or trade of invasive plants like spurge laurel, measures should be taken to prevent it from spreading further. It is important for community members to work together to remove the plant and restore the natural biodiversity of the area. The Invasive Species Council of B.C. collaborates with local towns to manage and eradicate invasive plants, but a coordinated approach involving all stakeholders is necessary.

The safety of children and families is a major concern, as the plant has been known to cause fatal incidents, such as the case of a child in Nova Scotia who died from eating its black berries. It is crucial to raise awareness about the dangers of spurge laurel and prevent any further harm.