Creeping bellflower spotted everywhere This pretty purple flower is actually a noxious weed

Letter to the Editor:

On many walks through my neighbourhood (Alberta Avenue), I see an abundance of the creeping bellflower plant, either in clumps in back alleys, or displayed with pride in people’s front yard gardens.

The City of Edmonton has designated this plant as a noxious weed.

In my own yard, I pull it out whenever I see it, but its growth patterns are such that, without using a toxic herbicide, it is almost impossible to get rid of. The roots grow deep and wide, so that just pulling the flower or the leaves doesn’t eliminate the plant. The foliage presents as ground cover and can quickly choke out other plants that we have chosen to plant. Letting the plant flower and seed ensures it will continue to propagate.

I don’t think anyone has any malicious intent, but they do need to be educated if we are going to continue to have residents who make an effort to have beautiful gardens and yards for the enjoyment of all.

This plant is a noxious weed, and the sooner we all become vigilant about pulling it out of our gardens, the better for us all.

Thanks so much,

Kieran Leblanc


Editorial Note:

Use the Alberta Weed Spotter app to identify and report noxious weeds or go to edmonton.ca/weeds. The city will remove weeds from public property. On private property, it’s the owner’s responsibility.

Tips from abinvasives.ca factsheet:

  • Pull, cut, or bag flower spikes before blooming to prevent seeds from producing.
  • Pull out the plant every 7 to 10 days to weaken the root system.
  • Dig out the root system.
  • Do not mow; the roots will grow thicker and lower.
  • No selective herbicides are registered to use on creeping bellflower.

Header Image: Creeping bellflower is a noxious weed in Alberta. Credit: Kieran Leblanc

One thought on “Creeping bellflower spotted everywhere This pretty purple flower is actually a noxious weed

  1. The yard I purchased 12 years ago contained quite a bit of this weed. I was unfamiliar with it the first year and did not get after it. Since then I have dug out roots whenever I was planting something new and I have found some roots as big as carrots. I feel like I am making progress; at a minimum I never let the flowers go to seed. Thanks for your post.

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