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Contact Us Visiting? Clear -17°

Noxious Weeds Awareness Campaign

About the Campaign

This growing season, the City of Edmonton is doing more to hunt down some of our worst offenders on private and public property: noxious weeds.

These weeds are armed and dangerous. They can grow and spread quickly, invading crops and ecosystems, and making properties unsightly, overgrown and infested.

So the City’s running a noxious weeds awareness campaign to remind Edmontonians about their role, and the City's role, in managing these wanted weeds. When it comes to noxious weeds, it's high time we work together to mow ‘em down, pull ‘em up and move ‘em out!

Most Wanted Weeds

Canada Thistle

Aliases: Cirsium arvense, Creeping Thistle, Field Thistle.
Although it goes by Canada Thistle, this plant is not native to our country.

Identification: Grows up to 1.5 metres tall with clusters of flowers, ranging in colour from purple to white, with prickly leaves.

Weapon: Creeping horizontal roots that survive winters and spread quickly.


Creeping Bellflower (New)

Aliases: Campanula rapunculoides, Creeping Bluebell, Harebell, Garden Bluebell, Purple Bell, Rover Bellflower.

Identification: Grows up to 1 metre tall with triangular to heart shaped leaves that are wider than 1 cm. Has bell-shaped nodding flowers, ranging in colour from purple to blue.

Weapon: Creeping horizontal roots that survive winters and spread quickly.


Dame's Rocket 

Aliases: Hesperis matronalis, Dame's Violet, Dames-wort, Damask Violet, Winter Gilliflower.

Identification: Grows up to 1 metre tall with hairy stems and lance-shaped serrated leaves. Flowers are 2 cm wide with 4 petals, and petals can be magenta, lavender, pink or white.

Weapon: This weed produces a lot of seeds that often end up in 'wildflower' mixes. This weed may look pretty, but it forms dense infestations quickly and isn't welcome in these parts.

Leafy Spurge

Aliases: Euphorbia esula, Green Spurge.

Identification: Grows up to 1 metre tall with long, narrow leaves that are bluish-green in colour and turn yellowish or reddish-orange in late summer. Has very small, greenish-yellow flowers that grow in umbrella-shaped clusters.

Weapon: Contains a white milky latex that can cause severe skin rashes in people and is poisonous to most livestock. Spreads mostly through a persistent and creeping root system. Also spreads through seeds. Seed pods can explode and eject the seeds up to 5 metres away.


Perennial Sow Thistle

Aliases: Sonchus arvensis, Milk Thistle

Identification: Grows up to 1.5 metres tall on a single stem, branching near the top. Branches have prickly leaves and end in large, loose clusters of yellow, dandelion-like flowers. The entire plant has a milky juice, which is why it also goes by Milk Thistle.

Weapons: Deep root system that’s difficult to remove. Spreads long distances by wind-blown seed.

Scentless Chamomile

Aliases: Tripleurospermum perforatum, False Chamomile

Identification: Grows up to 1 metre tall with white daisy-like flowers. When crushed, leaves have no scent.

Weapon: Big seed producer, with each plant making up to 1 million seeds.

There are many noxious weeds in Alberta. For more information, view the Alberta Invasive Plant Identification Guide.

What’s happening

This growing season, campaign messages will be shared online and on posters, flyers, radio ads and print ads.

More inspectors will be patrolling the city for these wanted weeds. They will also be responding to citizen complaints. If your property is overgrown or infested, you’ll get one notice this growing season. After that, the City will regularly re-inspect your property and can mow it any time it is overgrown.

Mowing costs will be added to your property tax bill, and start at $250/mow for residential properties and go up to $5,000/mow for commercial properties.

What you can do

We all share responsibility for managing noxious weeds in Edmonton. As a property owner, you have many options for controlling noxious weeds:

  • You are required to mow your property to 10 cm (4") or less. Cutting weeds before they go to seed, with mowers or weed eaters, will kill them in a couple of years.
  • You can also pull weeds out of the ground by hand to control small numbers.
  • Keeping your lawn healthy will make it more difficult for weeds to grow or go to seed on your property. You can also follow these tips.
  • Spraying weeds is also an option. Consult your local greenhouse to learn about eco-friendly products and how to apply them properly.
  • If you have a concern about a noxious weed infested property, you can file a bylaw complaint.

For more information:

Current Planning Service Centre

Sustainable Development
5th floor, 10250 - 101 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 3P4

Hours of Operation:
Monday to Friday
8am to 4:30pm


In Edmonton: 311

Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

Fax 780-496-6054