A campaign to target one of the regions newest weeds, Boneseed, was recently strengthened with the announcement of $157,500 toward eradicating Boneseed from South Eastern Australia.
Boneseed is an emerging threat in NSW. Weed managers will work across NSW and eastern Victoria to eradicate 50 known infestations of Boneseed and establish a new national containment line on the NSW border to prevent future invasion.
“There is a real threat of hybridisation between Bitou Bush and Boneseed” said the IDNWA Chief Weeds Officer David Pomery. “Eradicating Boneseed in NSW will remove that threat“.
The project brings together a diverse network of collaborators to eradicate Boneseed, a Weed of National Significance, which is an emerging threat in NSW.
The grant is part of a total allocation of $48.1 million for 159 projects under the Australian Government “Caring for Our Country” initiative, and is supported by in-kind contributions from local councils, the Office of Environment and Heritage, private landholders and other key stakeholders.
Boneseed, a close relative of the coastal weed Bitou Bush, is an erect perennial shrub up to 2m tall. It has bright yellow daisy flowers that grow in clusters at the ends of branches in late winter/spring. The fruits are round and fleshy, turning from green to black when ripe, and forming hard, bone-coloured seeds when dry – hence the name Boneseed. Seeds are spread readily by birds and other animals.
Boneseed is widely distributed throughout Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, where it invades native bushland and impacts biodiversity. It poses a major environmental threat to NSW.
Currently, Boneseed only occurs as small, infestations or scattered plants extending along the coast from just north of Newcastle to Moruya in the south, and west into the Riverina. Most infestations are found around Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Boneseed, unlike its cousin Bitou Bush, can spread to inland areas far from the coast. Thus, if left to spread, it could invade much of the southern half of NSW.
Southern Council’s Group Project coordinator, Brian MacDonald, said the project was the first step in a concerted eradication effort for Boneseed.
“Boneseed has the potential to seriously impact the environment along the entire south coast of NSW and in particular the Illawarra” Mr MacDonald said.
“Not only will this program attack one of the regions emerging weed threats, but it will ensure implementation of the NSW Invasive Species Plan and the Southern Rivers Regional Weed Management Strategy”.
The Illawarra District Noxious Weeds Authority will receive $40,000.00 of the allocation to undertake inspections, raise awareness and control all known infestations.
Mr MacDonald said "the project will also help support the actions of local councils and community groups and ensure a strategic approach to Boneseed eradication across the State."