Local Opportunistic Plants

The term "invasive plants" or "noxious weeds" may seem to blame the plants themselves for the problem.  But they are simply evolved species taking advantage of available spaces in which to grow and propagate themselves.  Humans are creating opportunities for such plants to get established by some of our current land use practices.  The scotch broom and yellow flag iris are moving in because we have disturbed open areas (scotch broom) and large open drainage ponds (yellow iris). Some of the most common opportunist plants seen in and around residential yards in King and Snohomish counties include:

Yellow archangel    Lamiastrum galeobdolon

Spurge laurel -- Daphne laureola

Herb Robert  Gerahium robertianum

Common Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare

All can be found on the Washington State Noxious Weeds Control Board, which states:

"The term ‘noxious weeds’ includes non-native grasses, flowering plants, shrubs and trees. It also includes aquatic plants that invade wetlands, rivers, lakes and shorelines.

About half of all invasive, noxious weeds are escapees from gardens; the rest are plants accidentally introduced to Washington through human travel and trade."

Larger scale growth of opportunist plants in King County are tracked at:

Noxious weeds in King County

Noxious weeds are a danger to our environment and the economy. These introduced species cost our region millions of dollars in lost agricultural production, environmental degradation and added maintenance costs.  Once invasive plants spread to natural areas, they harm native plants and wildlife and can be impossible to eradicate.