Mono is home to a variety of plant species while most contribute to the beauty, there are invasive species that can be found. While some of the invasive species spread quickly and spread rapidly, preventing much growth opportunity for other plants, some species are potentially dangerous to people.
The Town of Mono is actively trying to reduce the growth and spread of Invasive Species, such as, Phragmites. All Contractors that work within the Town are required to follow the best practices for clean equipment protocol for industry, which can be found by on the Ontario Invasive Plant Council website.
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The hogweed’s danger lies in its clear and watery sap. If the sap from a broken stem or crushed leaf, root, flower or seed comes into contact with skin, it can cause severe burns, blistering and painful sores when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Giant Hogweed poses a serious health threat - if you come across it or think you have it on your property, DO NOT touch it. If even a small amount of sap comes into contact with the eyes, it can lead to temporary or permanent blindness.
Giant Hogweed can grow 4.5 to 6 metres in height (15 to 20 feet). Its leaves are over a metre wide (3.5 feet) and feature hairs on their underside. Its hollow stem has dark reddish-purple splotches and coarse white hair. Hogweed is able to live in a variety of habitats, but is generally found in moist soils. It is often seen along roadside ditches, stream banks, and vacant lots.
Do you have Giant Hogweeds on your property?
If you do, this invasive species is dangerous (chemicals on the plant can burn the skin) and you should be careful working near the plant. If you want to try to eliminate or, at least, control Giant Hogweed, volunteers on Mono's Headwaters Streams Committee may be able to help.
These are volunteers, not Town employees, so they will take requests only to the extent they can handle the work. Email Councillor Fred Nix at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program - Giant Hogweed
Wild Parsnip, also known as Poison Parsnip, is a toxic plant that is spreading throughout Southern Ontario. You should avoid the plant when spending time outdoors during the summer months and teach children to do the same.
Certain individuals may be affected by Wild Parsnip more than others as they may suffer from a heightened sensitivity to the plant’s sap. When the stem is broken or the plant is brushed against, exposure to the sap can cause severe rashes, blisters or burns resulting in brown scars that can last for several years. If a person’s eyes come into contact with the plant’s sap, it can cause temporary or permanent blindness.
Wild Parsnip is amongst the most visible yellow-flowered weeds in disturbed areas, such as roadside ditches, along railroad right of ways, through cracks in parking lot pavement, around sports fields and recreation areas, fields, pastures, fence rows and yards during July, August and September.
The plants vary in height from 50 to 150 cm (20" - 60") and produce yellow flowers with 5 petals forming a head shaped like an umbrella. Leaves are branched and are characterized by a saw toothed edge.
If you discover Wild Parsnip on Town owned public land, including the road allowance, contact the Public Works department at PublicWorks@townofmono.com.
Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program - Wild Parsnip
Phragmites are commonly found at the side of the road and ditches. It is very aggressive due to the ease at which it is distributed and its capability to grow rapidly.
- Invasive Phragmites — Best Management Practices
- NVCA's Phragmites & Invasive Species Action Plan
- NVCA Controlling Phragmites
Dog-Strangling Vine spreads easily by producing seeds that are carried by the wind. The vine grows one to two metres upwards by wrapping itself around nearby trees and other plants or just grows horizontally across the ground. While the name dog-strangling vine is a misnomer as it carries little risk to dogs, its leaves and roots may be toxic to some animals. It also threatens monarch butterflies that lay their eggs on DSV, but the larvae are unable to use the DSV as a viable food source.