Risk to natural reserves and national parks
The weed polygala, also known as myrtle-leaved milkwort, represents a risk to natural reserves and national parks around the Peninsula, according to the co-ordinator of a project aimed at tackling the weed
Wagstaffe Ridge weeding project coordinator Ms Helen Monks said eight Wagstaffe Ridge properties had grant funding from Local Land Services.
Under the grant, the recipients will provide public information about local weeds and what to do with them.
According to Ms Monk, polygala myrtifolia is a South African shrub that grows to two metres and has become invasive in coastal areas.
"These shrubs are most readily recognised by their mauve-purple, pea-shaped flowers produced throughout most of the year but predominantly during spring," Ms Monks said.
They are now in flower locally.
"The flowers develop two-celled flattened seed capsules that ripen from green to papery brown.
"While the plainer form with greenish lower petals is frequently observed as weedy, the showier grandiflora, with large flowers and purple lower petals has also been observed readily spreading from plantings.
"Seeds are spread by water, birds, ants, dumped garden waste and even equipment used at the beach such as surfboards and towels.
"The seeds are long lived and can germinate in heavy shade.
"Germination usually takes place in autumn but it can happen at any time if sufficient moisture is available."
Smaller plants can be pulled out by hand, Ms Monks said.
"It is easier to get all roots out when the soil is moist after rain.
"Larger plants can have the stem cut close to the ground followed within 20 seconds with a smear of poison (glyphosate) on the cut surface."
She said the focus should be on removal prior to flowering to prevent pollination and seed set, with a follow-up in the months after the initial treatment to ensure no new seedlings appear.
Media release, 6 Sep 2017
Helen Monks, Wagstaff Ridge Weed Project