Yellow Flag Iris
Yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) is a beautiful garden ornamental but it is also an aggressive invader. When these plants are introduced into natural habitats, such as ponds, marshes and other wetlands, they can form dense thickets and displace native species. Infestations can impact amphibians, birds, and other wetland creatures. It has been known to occur in limited numbers in wetlands and along roadsides throughout Vancouver Island. Some plants have been removed but other infestations still require treatment.
Yellow flag iris can be identified because it is the only wet-footed yellow iris. If there is a yellow iris growing in a pond, ditch, lake edge, or other wet area on your property, control it immediately! Small patches of plants can be dug up. For larger patches, clip seed heads off in July to prevent further spread. This plant can give off a toxic resin, so wear gloves when handling it. Take care to ensure that all plant parts have been removed from the area and dispose of by burning or placing in a thick garbage bag for landfilling.
For gardeners, yellow flag iris can be replaced with other attractive wetland plants that are not invasive, including native cattail (Typha latifolia) or non-invasive iris species (Iris ensata, laevigata, versicolor, robusta).
Since yellow flag iris patches are still limited in the region, report any sightings of this species to the Coastal ILC.