header15.jpg
Monday, 18 Dec 2017

WA Boneseed Blitz

The Perth Region NRM sent this interesting and very important article about the WA Boneseed Blitz

boneseed 1

The WA Boneseed Blitz – eradicating an unwanted weed!

Finding and eradicating boneseed, a noxious weed, is the aim of community groups and land managers, who are joining together for the annual Western Australian Boneseed Blitz September 7th -14th. Spring is the ideal time to target boneseed, as it produces masses of bright yellow flowers.

Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera) is a Weed of National Significance that invades vast areas of native bushland in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. It is a fast growing, aggressive plant that threatens the survival of native plants, degrades native bushland and displaces food plants of native animals. Boneseed is a serious threat to Western Australia's unique biodiversity, and the entire southwest region is susceptible to boneseed invasion.

Fortunately, diligent search and control efforts have stopped boneseed in the early stages of invasion in WA. Only 39 small infestations are known to exist and they are all under eradication. However there is a chance that undiscovered boneseed plants may still be hiding in backyards or native bushland.

Small infestations have been found in: Perth Hills, Upper Swan, Nabawa, Toodyay, Wyalkatchem, Boddington, Wandering, Narrogin, Woodanilling, Albany, Many Peaks and Busselton. All infestations were caused by seeds escaping from residential gardens, as boneseed fruits are spread quickly by birds and other animals. The goal of the Boneseed Blitz is to find and eradicate new infestations in WA. You can help with the eradication program by reporting any suspected boneseed plants in your region.

Why Is Boneseed A Problem

Boneseed is a serious threat in Western Australia because of its environmental impacts, invasive ability and ability to spread. A fast growing, aggressive plant, boneseed has no natural enemies in Australia, and it can spread from gardens to become a damaging environmental weed.

Boneseed is able to invade intact native bushland and forms dense thickets that smother native plants and prevent regeneration. Boneseed produces enormous quantities (up to 50,000 per plant!) of viable, hard-coated seed that is able to remain dormant in the soil for many years before germinating.

Boneseed:

• invades forests, woodlands, shrublands, dunes, coastal areas, heathlands, riparian areas, sclerophyll forest and mallee.

• grows in most soil types and tolerates a wide range of climates

• rapidly colonises after disturbance such as clearing or burning

• alters habitat and displaces food plants of native birds and animals

• replaces native nectar plants important to bee-keepers, and

• can restrict access to beaches, parks, and trails.

Where Is It And How Does It Spread

Boneseed has been located in small infestations from Geraldton in the north to Albany in the south, with concentrations in the Perth Hills and in wheatbelt towns around Narrogin. Boneseed is a serious weed in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria and 37 million hectares in south west Western Australia are at risk of boneseed invasion.

Boneseed reproduces by seeds that are spread into bushland by birds, rabbits, foxes, emus, livestock and other animals. Seeds are also spread via fresh or salt water, in soil or dumped garden waste, and on vehicles and equipment.

What Does Boneseed Look Like?

Boneseed is an erect, woody, evergreen shrub growing to 2-3 m (or taller). The fleshy leaves are an elongated oval shape with toothed edges. Young leaves are rounder, and often covered with a white cottony down. The bright yellow, daisy-like flowers have 5-8 'petals' and grow in clusters at branch tips. Flowers are produced in late winter and spring (Aug - Oct) and are very conspicuous. Fruits are round, green berries that ripen to black. Each fruit contains one smooth, hard, bonecoloured seed.

boneseed 2

What Can You Do About the Boneseed Problem

Boneseed is a Declared Plant in Western Australia (P1, P2). The movement of boneseed plants or seeds is prohibited and landholders are required to eradicate boneseed on their property.

Everyone is advised to be on the lookout for the bright yellow 'daisy' flowers of boneseed that appear on plants between August and October. Please report potential boneseed sightings to the DAFWA Pest Info line on 1800-084-881.

Once reported and positively identified:

• Destroy new infestations before they flower or set seed. Shallow roots make boneseed easy to hand-pull or dig up when small. Non-fruiting plants can be left to decompose as long as roots are not near the soil surface. Bag fruiting plants or stems and dispose of them at the tip.

• Larger plants can be cut down and herbicide applied to stumps immediately after cutting (see links at right, or contact your local council bushcare officer for more information).

• When large plants are removed, new seedlings will sprout from the seedbank and should be hand-pulled immediately.

More Information?

More photos and descriptions of boneseed, and the Boneseed Management Manual are available at: www.weeds.org.au/WoNS/bitoubush

Visit the WA Department of Agriculture and Food website- www.agric.wa.gov.au (search for "declared plants" and boneseed).

The state wide Boneseed project is funded through the Australian Governments Caring for our Country program and managed by Perth Region NRM.

Boneseed 3

 For more information or general enquiries, please contact Luke McMillan, State Boneseed & Bitou Bush Coordinator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 0466 744 960 or 9374 3321.
www.perthregionnrm.com
80 Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan, 6056
(08) 9374 3333

© Roleybushcare 2017