Planting appropriate native plants can help to restore the balance between wildlife and humans, providing habitat and beauty.
For information on what plants are suitable for our environment, visit the Pittwater Council site and follow the instructions under the heading ‘Which natives are appropriate for your property?’ The booklet allows you to select your area in a map to find the climate and soil type, and then directs you to a list of suitable plants. There is also a list of undesirable plants for the Pittwater region.
The proliferation of weeds on Scotland Island are a salutary illustration of what can happen when people plant exotic and even some native plants without adequate care. Garden plants can easily escape and establish themselves as noxious weeds.
Some of the most common weeds on the island are:
- Lantana (Lantana spp)
- Asparagus Fern (Protasparagus aethiopicus & Portasparagus densiflorus)
- Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)
- Blue Periwinkle (Vinca major)
- Cassia/Winter Senna (Senna pendula var. glabrata & Senna floribunda)
- Crofton Weed (Ageratina spp. adenophora)
- Fishbone Fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia)
- Ochna or Mickey Mouse Plant (Ochna serrulata)
- Panic Veldt Grass (Ehrharta erecta)
- Trad (formerly Wandering Jew) (Tradescantia alibflora, T. zebrine, T.spathecea)
By identifying and removing the numerous weed species, i.e. taking away the bad and leaving the good, native regeneration will occur. Planting will hasten the process and stabilise disturbed soil; however, vigilant weeding alone will allow latent natives to re establish.
Particular care should be taken to apply appropriate removal techniques in vulnerable areas, eg: slopes/eroded soil to prevent loss of precious topsoil. Poisoning lantana roots rather than hand removal is recommended in such a location to hold the soil. Plant into such a site with native grasses and groundcovers to stabilise.
Pittwater Ecowarriors have a number of instructional videos on the correct techniques to remove weeds.
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