A Beautiful Invasive at Touraine Marsh, Gatineau: August 2020
It was a surprise to find this lovely marsh in the City of Gatineau Quebec so near to a highway and housing developments.
Flowering-rush is a perennial aquatic invader from Eurasia that resembles a large sedge, and flourishes along shorelines and as a submersed plant in lakes and rivers.
Dense stands interfere with recreation, crowd out native plants, and can be harmful to fish and wildlife.
Flowering rush is regarded as one of five invasive alien plants (along with garlic mustard, dog-strangling vine, Japanese knotweed and phragmites) having a major ecological impact on natural ecosystems in Canada, and is considered a high priority species for eradication in parts of Ontario, mainly the Great Lakes.
If flowering rush establishes in a lake, its growth varies due to changes in seasonal weather and annual changes in temperature and water clarity. A change in water level can allow this plant to easily invade newly exposed areas. Once established, flowering rush can displace native vegetation, reducing the overall biological diversity of an ecosystem.
Looking on the bright side, it has gorgeous flowers!
Thanks to Ken Sproule for assistance in insect identification.
August brings the sheaves of corn, Then the harvest home is borne. – Sara Coleridge (1802–52)