VOLUNTEERS who gathered to fight invasive weeds on the Hawks Nest dunes were staggered to find how recent heavy rain and sunshine had brought out a profusion of noxious plants in the area.
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A team of 14 Bitou Buster volunteers tackled waist-high thickets of bitou bush, asparagus fern and morning glory along the end of Sanderling Avenue, all killing the native plants and driving away local animals and birds.
Bitou bush was introduced to Australia from South Africa to stabilise the dunes, while coastal morning glory is thought to have originated in the tropics of Africa and Asia. Not to be confused with the edible water spinach, this type of morning glory is a perennial climber capable of quickly smothering the ground and trees it uses for support.
Asparagus fern was introduced from Africa and invades many gardens and rainforests.
Local horticulturist and keen bush regenerator Christian Patteson said, “The serious danger posed by introduced weeds comes from the fact that some of them just love our climate. But they do not have the natural predators etc that keep them under control in their country of origin.’’
By Adrienne INGRAM