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There's a new weapon in the battle against the supervillains of the plant world: the Report-a-weed app from the Invasive Alien Plant Program
Intrepid invasive-fighting superhero Carol Pope photographing and tagging Scotch broom for future destruction, thanks to the new Report-a-Weed BC iPhone app
I don’t know about you, but everywhere I go I can’t help but be distressed by the illicit activities of invasive alien plants deadly determined to destroy our universe.
Driving home, I skim by Japanese knotweed and Scotch broom skulking deeper and deeper into the ecosystem. Walking the dog, I become viciously entangled in cutleaf blackberry clawing aside innocents in a bid for dominance.
Strolling down my street to collect the mail, low-lying boughs of butterfly bush loaded with missile seeds menacingly launched to battle for a bigger territory scrape across my scalp. Everywhere I go, I witness criminal botanical behaviour that seemingly can’t be stopped.
Yet I’ve been fighting back. In my own backyard I combat villains on a daily basis – thistle, lady’s thumb, oxeye daisy and more, ripping out these roughshodders by the roots.
Heading out for exercise, I’ve adapted a “step, pull, step, pull” strategy on my daily hike to wrench out the hundreds of baby Scotch brooms that bristle around every adult bush (each of which form 2,000 to 3,500 seed-engorged pods that shrivel in the late-summer heat until they split and catapult their genetic payload up to four metres). Pruners in my back pocket help to slow down those too robust to be wrestled from the ground.
Yet I’m just one meek citizen standing against these countless mobs of botanical brutes.
Or at least I was until now.
The Invasive Alien Plant Program has now given all ordinary citizens like me the chance to arm ourselves to superhero proportions against these infiltrators.
Simply by downloading the free Report-a-Weed app onto an iPhone (or any android platform), we can browse the Most Wanted invasive plant list, with mug shots and rap sheets at the ready. And if we stumble into one of these thugs, all we need do is point and shoot.
One snap of an iPhone/android camera records the exact location of the infiltrator, and will, I hope, have the powers that be circling in on the culprit to bring justice for one and all.