• Jen Haynes

Yellow Archangel

Yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) is native to the shaded woods of Europe and Western Asia. It was introduced in Canada as a garden ornamental. It has escaped in the Boundary and can be found growing under trees in the Christina Lake area. It is in the mint family, so it has square stems, stolons, and opposite leaves. The leaves are variegated green and silver, hairy, heart-shaped with round-toothed margins. The yellow flowers grow in whorls in the leaf axils and bloom from April to June. It spreads by stolons and seed. Stem fragments in compost can grow new plants. Ants have been reported transporting seeds up to 70 metres from the plant. Prevention is the best option. This plant is still available for sale in B.C. it is illegal to sell in Washington State. If you see this plant for sale, please do not purchase it. Before you buy a hanging basket ask if it contains yellow archangel. There are lots of other options that you can plant that are native to B.C. or non-invasive ornamentals. Some examples are alumroot, bunchberry, hosta, and barrenwort. Planting native plants is great for pollinators and often requires less water than ornamentals. Knowing what your growing zone is, soil type, shade and moisture are all important things to consider when planting a flower bed. Invasive plants like yellow archangel take over creating dense patches which impacts biodiversity. Never dump your old hanging baskets or garden waste in wild areas or along roadsides. You need to also be careful of composting invasive plants. Most compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill the seeds of invasive plants. Also, some plants like yellow archangel spread by stem fragments so when you compost clippings they may spread. If you have yellow archangel in your yard and you want to control it you have a few options. It is easy to pull but stem and root fragments may break off and regrow so you will need to pull multiple times a year. Mowing will probably make the problem worse especially if you don’t dispose of the trimmings. If you cut or mow it you will need to bag it and dispose of it in the landfill. You can also try sheet mulching. This involves using newspaper, cardboard or something similar to cover the whole area. Once that is in place you cover it to a depth of about 4 inches with wood chips, compost or some other mulching material. You will need to keep an eye on your mulch to see if anything is poking through. Herbicide can be used to control yellow archangel. Herbicide is a tool that must be used responsibly. You must always read and follow the label. The label will give you directions on what rate to use, which plants it is effective on, what personal protective equipment should be worn, spray conditions and grazing intervals. Do not spray when it is raining or when rain is forecast. You should not spray when it is windy. The label will also tell you how close to water you can spray. However, in B.C. at this time you must follow whatever the strictest regulation is. So a label may say that you can spray to within a metre of water but the provincial regulation may say that you must stay 10 metres away. As 10 metres is a stricter measure then you would need to stay 10 metres away. For more information on invasive plants and how to control them you can contact the Boundary Invasive Species Society on Facebook, 250-446-2232, info@boundaryinvasives.com or our website www.boundaryinvasives.com.