An "Aggressive Active Outbreak" seems to occur when a fire disturbance causes a long established "Sleeper Outbreak" to realize the potential of the Bluebell Creeper seed bank. Of the 83 recognised Leptospermum species growing in Australia, four species only are indigenous to the local area. A. scandens prefers moister sites, and is more tolerant of shade than Bridal Creeper. The white, five-petalled flowers are fairly typical of the genus, being circular (up to 20 mm diameter) with numerous small stamens surrounding the central stigma. This is surprising, because, normally, plants of the same genus have similar looking flowers, for example Eucalypt flowers.

Specimens of Green Honey-myrtle have been found growing in many natural areas throughout Anglesea and Aireys Inlet, but not normally in large numbers. Seed have been recovered from scats of Kangaroos, Brushtail Possums and Foxes. Its phyllodes (leaflets) are narrow, 10 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, and growing on sand in Anglesea, the foliage is grey-green, not silver-grey.

Seed is spread by birds. Birds including Silvereyes, Red Wattlebirds, Singing Honeyeaters and Spiny Checked Honeyeaters love feeding on the berries. The extensive root mat smothers indigenous plants, and makes it impossible for seeds of indigenous plants to germinate. One plant grows up to 60 tiny flowers in a dense spike that resembles a brownish asparagus spear. Gazania is widespread in the Anglesea township along road reserves and in private gardens.

myrtifolia). To control infestations, individual plants need to be dug out when the soil is moist, care being taken to avoid any corms or bulbils escaping. Our Monday morning weeders always find seedlings, wherever we are working. Refer to Environmental Weeds:  Invaders of our Surf Coast – page 33, 2002. Leaves are divided into three leaflets, 3–5 cm wide at the base, and tapering to the tip. Single specimens in private gardens provide a seed source that is likely to spawn dense thickets on our coastal reserve. Difficult to control, asparagus weeds grow quickly and produce dense vigorous thickets of foliage that smother native herbs and shrubs. 12-15 cm and are dull green in colour on the top and reddish-brown underneath. Mature trunks are often gnarled and twisted, and generally grey in colour, with peeling papery bark. Ixias (commonly known as Corn Lilies or Wand Flowers) have fine grassy foliage and tall stems of six petal flowers massed together. The flower, or seed heads, are in a slender panicle 8–15 cm long, often with the spikelets, which are approximately 2 cm long, drooping on one side of the flowering stem. There are many different cultivars of English Ivy that have been planted in private gardens, but in the bush they revert to a wild form. Small plants can be hand pulled by lifting trailing stems from the outer edges, and working back. Gladiolus species were fairly rare around Anglesea until this year. Flowers are creamy white, and clustered in umbrella like inflorescences in spring.

The Australian Native plant, Bluebell Creeper, is indigenous to south-west Western Australia, but is naturalised in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, because of to its popularity as a garden plant. This fungus is native to South America, and is also present in the American states of Florida and Hawaii, and in Mexico. Five examples of garden escapees, all of which originated in South Africa are: Agapanthus (African Lily), Agapanthus praecox ssp. Sallow Wattle can fix nitrogen and so increase soil fertility, which may affect the growth of indigenous plants that prefer low fertility soils. As the plants mature, large colonies many metres wide are formed, smothering and strangling our indigenous vegetation. The leaf margins are shallow toothed. I did not see a range of Australian native weeds on a recent trip to the North Island. It has grey-green, pointy leaves, and, in spring, white, five-petalled flowers, and cup-shaped capsules. Also the underground tubers of the western form are much larger. There are seven species of Asparagus Weed, which are recognized as WONS. Bluebell Creeper (Billardieria heterophylla). This is very distinctive, and helps with identification. It is difficult at this time to gauge precisely how this disease may affect our environment, as scientists and other garden experts know little about the disease and its impact, under Australian conditions, on the wide range of Myrtaceae that grow here. Rather than give garden space to this invasive environmental weed, why not replace it with Slender Velvet-bush Lasiopetalum baueri, or Hazel Pomaderris Pomaderris aspera.

There are lots of blue flowering plants on show during the summer months, including three of the nominated weeds that grow prolifically in our region. When Organ Pipes National Park was gazetted in the early 1970s, African Box-thorn was one of the major weeds, harbouring a huge number of rabbits. 68-69. Twining around other plants it quickly forms large colonies smothering any nearby plant.

They are also prolific seeders and the seeds can remain fertile for many years. Orientalis; Gazania, Gazania linearis; Wild Watsonia, Watsonia meriana ‘Bulbillifera’; Myrtle-leaf Milkwort, Polygala myrtifolia var myrtifolia and Freesia Freesia refracta. There are two different varieties of Freesia that you will see in flower at the moment, flourishing in nature strips and on the side of the road. It grows as a dense tangled shrub to 2m high, or twining climber to 3-5m bearing distinctive and attractive blue shaped flowers, which usually hang down in a bell shape from spring to summer. It has narrow pods, 2–4 cm long, which explode at maturity. By the 1870’s, it was a common garden plant, popular for wedding bouquets and hanging baskets, and surprisingly, it was still sold until 1997 for hanging baskets in commercial nurseries. The leaves are formed in three leaflets that are broadly oval, dark green on top and paler underneath. Quaking Grass originates from the Mediterranean, and is very common in the Anglesea–Aireys Inlet district, particularly at the Edna Bowman Flora Reserve, where the understorey is covered with this weed.

Flinders Ranges Wattle originates in South Australia, in the southern Flinders Ranges round Quorn, and to the west of Port Augusta, and is very drought tolerant.

It often grows at the base of the Moonah trunks, where seed in bird droppings has fallen. Boneseed is a very common and serious environmental weed in the Surf Coast Shire. ANGAIR members Roger Ganly, Margaret MacDonald and Janet Stephens, have recently started a collaborative project with the Surf Coast Shire, and Conservation and Management students from Gordon Institute of TAFE, Geelong, to tackle an outbreak of Bluebell Creeper in Aireys Inlet. I found an interesting development at the Hinewai Reserve on Banks Peninsula south-east of Christchurch, New Zealand, where horticulturists are using “Gorse’s intolerance to shade” in their regeneration of the native forest. Reference: Kate Blood, 2003, Environmental weeds, a field guide for SE Australia, p. 60-61Bloomings Books, Melbourne. Infestations may be sprayed with a systemic herbicide, however, the waxy leaf does not absorb herbicide very well, and spraying results are often patchy. Yellow pea-like flowers form dense clusters in spring, at the tips of branches. The invader is a small to medium-sized shrub, with many branching stems. Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. The recommended approach is to firstly refrain from planting them, and if they are there, to remove them completely from your garden. Larger plants will need to be cut down as close to ground level as possible and the stump sprayed with a systemic herbicide. In our local reserves it has formed a dense, impenetrable ground cover, and then has climbed shrubs and trees. Coast Tea-tree is a shrub or small tree to 5 metres high, with grey-green pointy leaves and flowers that have oval, white petals, and cup shaped capsules. Since the berries are such a popular food for birds and animals the seeds in their droppings are scattered far and wide. Some private properties in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet have planted pines as protection against the strong coastal winds and these also are a seed source for infestation of our natural areas. Pink Pampas Grass Cortaderia jubata has invaded parts of Victoria, including the Surf Coast, and New Zealand Pampas Grass, Cortaderia richardii which is only found in Tasmania. Both these grasses are very distinctive and therefore easily identifiable in our local reserves. Comparison of dune profiles shows that Marram Grass forms foredunes that are typically higher, steeper and narrower than those formed by Sea Wheat-grass. Digging out the plant, taking particular care to remove all the tubers, can control small outbreaks of Bridal Creeper.

It is an erect shrub, or small tree, to 10 m high, and 10 m wide, and bears dense, yellow, cylindrical spikes in late winter and spring. Control can be difficult because the plant has a deep tap root that is hard to remove and it will resprout if it is broken.

The plantings were unsuccessful because of poor soil fertility and the plantations were severely burnt after mysterious fires (personal communication from Lindsay Braden). To check the differences between the varieties, investigate some of the wattles on the sand dunes, which are likely to be Coast Wattle, and compare them with Sallow Wattle, probably growing close to your residence. This, combined with its direct competition for water, nutrients and light, allows it to dominate vegetation.

It is a trailing vine that spreads in a dense mat across the ground by developing roots along the stems.

Consequentially, outbreaks need repeated treatments over a number of years.

It smothers our indigenous vegetation, and replaces them with a thick monoculture. It is in plague proportions in Anglesea and Aireys Inlet. The small creamy-white clusters of flowers are present during summer months. You can remove the smaller plants by hand pulling, as the roots are quite shallow, but you will need to cut the trunks of larger plants and treat the stump with a systemic herbicide.

Weeds of the month: February 2016 - Garden escapees, Agapanthus (African Lily) Agapanthus praecox ssp. Control involves pulling out by hand if the infestation is small or spraying with a systemic herbicide for larger infestations. bulbillifera. Gazania is a tufted perennial growing to 30 cm high. Dormant for much of the year, this weed orchid sprouts in early spring, as a basal rosette of narrow leaves, and takes a minimum of three years from seed to the flowering stage. Blood (2003) has stated that both species only reproduce vegetatively in Australia via cormels, however, there seems to be conflicting information regarding the setting of seed in Australia. At maturity, the flowering stems reach 20–30cm in height. If you are confident in identifying Purple Groundsel and you see it growing along our sand dunes, pull the plants out! Often we would have difficulty finding a specimen for the weed stand at the wildflower show. It produces pea-sized green berries, which ripen to red, and can produce more than a one thousand berries per square metre. var addy4a407030bfffefeb2ea7235bc899d9d2 = 'crayner3' + '@'; longifolia Coast Wattle Acacia longifolia var. At the beginning of June, the whole hillside was ablaze with flowers of Flinders Ranges Wattle. Sallow Wattle is arguably the worst environmental weed along the Surf Coast. Since the berries are such a popular food for birds and animals, the seed in their droppings are scattered far and wide.