Invasive species has landed on Iona

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It`s pretty, all the plant is edible and it flowers in winter just when a bit of cheer is welcome.

It is easily mistaken for a white bluebell or native wild garlic (ransoms) but it is distinguished by its three-cornered stem.

It has already colonised large areas of the Scilly Isles, Devon and Cornwall, at the expense of local flora, is now in Scotland and, worryingly, on Iona.

On the Isle of Iona it has spread under the trees by the old manse, now the Heritage Centre, where it is crowding out the wild snowdrops and bluebells.

We on Iona are beginning to tackle it by digging it out. This will be an on-going task and probably impossible to eradicate it completely.

From January to March is the ideal time, as by early summer it has completely died down, leaving behind a mass of round white bulbs which are dropped from the flowers and then bury themselves or are spread by ants or other creatures.

Picking all the flowers before this can happen is a help in control.

Look out for it in your area and do not encourage it.

Disposal is tricky – not the compost bin or rubbish heap or the beach – it will only spread with gay abandon. Burn it if you can.