Saturday, June 11, 2016

Issue Taken With Colliery Dam Park Planting

Darragh Worledge takes issue
with non-native, invasive plant choice

(Taken from Darragh's Facebook post)

155 Oxalis oregana (Redwood Sorrel) plants have been planted in the new spillway area of Colliery Dam Park, as groundcover. This, in spite of Nanaimo city horticulture staff being warned of the invasive nature of this nonnative plant.

An actual potted Oxalis oregana plant was given to the horticulture department, so identification could be made. Hope was that this plant, which is as invasive as Morning Glory Vine, would be excluded from the approved plant list for the project. 

Once established, Oxalis oregana burrows through all other plant root systems. It's roots also penetrate into craggy tree bark, where they simply break off when removal is attempted. Redwood Sorrel is not native to the park. It is very rare on Vancouver Island and the Queen Charlotte Islands, according to government statistics. 

This thuggish groundcouver has the capacity to seriously degrade established soil ecosystems in Colliery Dam Park. It shouldn't be here. 

Planting Oxalis oregana at the park is completely disrespectful to the unique nature of our crown jewel, the Heart of Harewood.

Darragh has also sent a letter to the City Manager expressing her concerns for this choice of plant and has asked that it be removed immediately before it can establish itself in the park.

Darragh has been involved with the struggle to save Colliery Dams Park from the beginning and is well qualified to assess all matters botanical.  With over 50 years experience as a garden designer/horticulturist and feature writer for the Nanaimo Horticulture Society she addresses this issue as an authority.



  1. I agree with her completely.

    And perhaps, while they are at it, they can uproot all the sad looking, out of place and time palm trees in town as well.
    Then plant some healthy, congruous, 'in' time and place appropriate trees.

  2. Our parks are already overrun with Himalayan blackberry, English Ivy, Japanese Knot weed and Black squirrels; all invasive species - we sure don't need another one. Maybe we should undertake a volunteer eradication program for the plants. I understand that there are some native Barred Owls available from the Okanagan - Maybe we should adopt a dozen for Bowen Park and Colliery Dam to deal with the squirrels.


Your comment will appear after moderation before publishing,

Thank you for your comments.Any comment that could be considered slanderous or includes unacceptable language will be removed.

Thank you for participating and making your opinions known.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.