Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Scotching weeds

Which plants are weeds? How do they get here? Why do we only plant local Cottesloe plants? These were some of the questions we discussed with an energetic group of Year 8's from Scotch College on Tuesday at Grant Marine Park.

Frauke and Jan emphasised the importance of local plants as habitat and a food source for local fauna such as insects, butterflies, lizards and birds, as well as their importance in stabilising the dunes and preventing erosion. Local plants also coexist well, presenting a diversity of species, unlike some of the introduced species, such as Tetragonia and Pelargonium, which quickly dominate and smother other plants. Many of our most invasive weeds have come from South Africa - and some like the Black Flag (Ferarria crispa), seem to thrive here even more than they do at home.

The boys then attacked a large patch of Rose Pelargonium and Dune Onion weed with gusto. Once cleared they replanted with some local Cottesloe plants - Coast Daisybush (Olearia axillaris) and Berry Saltbush (Rhagodia baccata) and watered them in.

Thank you again to the boys and their teacher for helping us - we really appreciate their help in the never ending battle against weeds - and hope they gained a little more knowledge about their local environment. You can read more (and see more photos) on the Scotch College website.


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