How the Invasive Dame's Rocket Kills Yards

By: albertaarb - July 18, 2016

Dame's rocket seems harmless, but it's not. Here's why you need to take this lovely but unwelcome flower seriously, and why the removal of an invasive plant species is so important.

What Is Dame's Rocket?

The plant is a pretty one, with fragrant small white, pink, or purple flowers. It has a passing resemblance to phlox, except that Dame's rocket has only four petals, unlike phlox's five. The important difference here is that Dame's rocket is an invasive species that can destroy your lawn. Described by AG Annex as a "tall, short-lived perennial," the seedpods of Dame's rocket cling to the coats of mammals and spread everywhere. As AG Annex explains, no garden or landscape is immune, from agricultural land to wetland margins. What used to be considered a sweet-smelling, decorative plant is now taking over. Dame's rocket is not only prolific (each plant can produce 20,000 seeds, according to the City of Calgary website) but it may also produce chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants nearby. Additionally, the City of Calgary website warns that the plant "harbours dangerous plant diseases."

Getting Rid of Dame's Rocket

To rid yourself of Dame's rocket, it is necessary to remove the entire root system. Leaving any part of the plant behind will give it the opportunity to regrow. This is much easier to do in damp soil than in hard, dry dirt. Removing plants before the seed pods mature will also help to reduce the plant's ability to spread. However, regardless of the method used, the plant has proven to be highly resistant to elimination.

If plants like Dame's Rocket aren't removed, they can threaten the ecological balance of an area. Dame's Rocket chokes out native plant species.

Need Help with Yard Work?

Looking for help with your yard? Let us know what you need.  We are knowledgeable about flora and know how to handle plant issues safely and effectively. We offer tree removalshrub plantingplant health care, and more.

At Alberta Arborists, we have helped countless people get rid of trees safely and efficiently, and we can help you, too. Our highly experienced arborists are trained to deal with tree removal in any location and can ensure no damage is done to your property.

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