Plants that Pose a Risk to Native Bushland

Do you have Garden Plants that pose a risk to our Native Bushland?

Home gardens are filled with a wide range plants that give colour, shade, screening and food but did you know they may also become ‘weedy’ in our native bushland areas. 

Some plants, which escape from our gardens, can squeeze out local native plants and even reduce habitat for native animals. Some weeds increase fuel loads adding to the bushfire risk to homes. 

Below are some plants used in gardens that are known to become ‘weedy’. These are declared plants under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004. The Act regulates the transport, sale, notification to landowners and control of these plants. 

It is important to remember that if you have any of these plants on your property to take steps to control them and avoid moving them to other areas. 

For information on how to control these plants please contact Council on 8372 8888 or visit the Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges website regarding pest plants.

Boneseed 

Caption: Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. monilifera 

This woody shrub invades bushland and displaces native plants. It has broad bright green, waxy leaves with some white down, yellow daisy flower heads and green-black round berries. 

Cape Broom 

Caption: Genista monspessulana – Biosecurity SA 

This plant invades bushland and creates a fire hazard. The shrub is an erect, evergreen, woody legume. Its leaves have three downy leaflets, with yellow pea flowers in clusters and short hairy pods with hard, round seeds. 

Desert Ash 

Caption: Fraxinus angustifolia 

This deciduous tree invades native vegetation along streams. Leaves form in opposite pairs, pinnate with 3-9 leaflets. The tree also has flat, winged single-seeded fruits. 

Feral Olive 

Caption: Olea europaea 

This erect, bushy, evergreen tree invades bushland and is a fire hazard. Its leaves are glossy and dark green on top and silvery below. Immature fruit turns from green to dark purple when ripe. Pollen can affect hay fever sufferers. 

Italian Buckthorn 

Italian Buckthorn

Caption: Rhamnus alaternus 

This shrub invades forest and coastal vegetation. It has glossy dark-green ovate leaves with berries (on female plants) which are red at first, ripening to black. 

Prickly Pear 

Prickly Pear

Caption: Opuntia spp. 

This succulent has prickly thickets and competes with native vegetation. It is easily recognised by its spiny perennials with flattened stem segments and has large flowers with numerous red to yellow petals with red fleshy fruits. The spineless Opuntia ficus indica is not a declared plant. 

Sweet Briar 

Sweet Briar

Caption: Rosa rubignosa – Biosecurity SA 

This large deciduous shrub forms prickly thickets which compete with pasture. The shrub is erect or scrambling with prickly stems and leaves and has pale pink scented flowers with red fruits (hips) with glandular hairs on the stalks. 

Fountain Grass 

Fountain Grass

Caption: Cenchrus setaceus – T. Reynolds 

This perennial tussock grass invades pastures and bushland. It has grey-green leaves with long flower spikes and dull purple bristles.

Ivy

Ivy

While Ivy (Hedera sp) is a lush looking, drought resistant groundcover, it also poses a serious threat as a weed. 

Ivy spreads rapidly by seed and by layering where stems extend across the ground and strike new roots to form new plants causing problems in bushland reserves and suburban streets. It can climb up rock faces, brick walls, trees and Stobie poles smothering native plants and degrading wildlife habitats. 

Ivy on Stobie Pole

Ivy growing in trees can cause problems as tree growth can be stunted by shading as ivy grows through the canopy, while its thick, woody stems can constrict sap flow when the stems get tighter as the tree grows. It also covers cracks or splits in branches or trunks making it difficult to see and so possibly putting people at risk. 


Ivy growing up Stobie poles will reach and grow along the powerlines if not pruned, possibly putting contractors at risk. 

Ivy is a hardy plant and it does have its uses, but if planted inappropriately it can cause problems. Think carefully before you plant ivy or if you have ivy growing on your property please ensure it is managed so that it doesn’t create problems.

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Contact:
City of Mitcham -ABN 92 180 069 793
131 Belair Road, Torrens Park SA 5062
T: +61 8 8372 8888 | F: +61 8 83728101
E: mitcham@mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au
Last date modified: 2017-09-23T00:34:07
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