The Southern Highlands, once fondly known in gardening circles as being the ideal place to establish traditional exotic gardens, is now becoming a haven for many environmental weeds.
Australia is one of the few developed nations where the natural environment is still resilient and evident. We are privileged to live in and enjoy the benefits and beauty of natural landscapes and the wonderful diversity of life and resource found within.
Environmental weeds pose a threat to our natural ecosystems and vegetation communities. They have spread mainly from urban and public gardens. They are commonly referred to as “garden escapees”.
The Southern Highlands, once fondly known in gardening circles as being the ideal place to establish traditional exotic gardens, is now becoming a haven for many environmental weeds. Unless sustainable action is taken to contain the spread of environmental weeds, Bowral could become known as the environmental weed capital of the southern highlands.
Unlike Noxious Weeds, environmental weeds are not controlled by legislation, so it’s up to us to control them and stop their devastating impact on our local environment.
Many environmental weeds are commonly sold through plant nurseries and garden centres. These plants should not be sold or cultivated as they cost our community dearly in both economic terms and ecological degradation.
If you have environmental weeds in your garden, seriously consider removing them and replanting with more friendly plant species. If you cannot afford to or do not want to remove them from your garden please think of the environment and remove their seed heads before they mature or prune regularly to remove flowering wood to avoid flowering and subsequent seed set.
Many landscape and garden designers still use environmental weeds in their designs. Most nurseries and garden centres still sell and promote the use of environmental weeds.
If you are establishing a new garden avoid using any plants listed by your local council or the State Government as being an environmental weed.
Below is a list of plants that are classified by either the NSW State Government or Wingecarribee Shire Council as being environmental weeds.
|Botanic Name||Common Name||Form|
|Acacia baileyana||Cootamundra Wattle||Tree|
|Acer negundo||Box-elder maple||Tree|
|Acetosa sagittata||Turkey Rhubarb||Vine|
|Agapanthus praecox||Agapanthus, Lily of the Nile||Lily|
|Ailanthus altissima||Tree of Heaven||Tree|
|Anredera cordifoli||Madiera Vine||Vine|
|Araujia sericifera||Moth Vine||Vine|
|Asparagus spp.||Asparagus Fern, Bridal Creeper, Bridal Veil Creeper||Fern|
|Berberis aristata & B. vulgaris||Barberry||Shrub|
|Buddleja davidii||Butterfly Bush||Shrub|
|Calicotome spinosa||Spiny Broom||Shrub|
|Cassinia arcuata||Drooping Cassinia||Shrub|
|Cinnamomum camphora||Camphor Laurel||Tree|
|Crocosmia x crocosmiflora||Monbretia||Lily|
|Cyperus eragrostis||Umbrella Sedge||Grass|
|Daucus carota||Wild Carrot||Herb|
|Delairea odorata||Cape Ivy||Vine|
|Erica lusitanica||Spanish Heath||Shrub|
|Genista spp.||Montpellier & Cape Broom||Shrub|
|Gleditsia tricanthos||Honey Locust||Tree|
|Hedera helix||English Ivy||Vine|
|Ilex aquifolium||English Holly, Common Holly||Tree|
|Ipomoea indica||Morning Glory||Vine|
|Juncus acutus||Spiny Rush, Spike Rush||Grass|
|Koelreuteria elegans||Golden Rain Tree||Tree|
|Lavandula stoechas||French Lavander||Shrub|
|Leucanthemum vulgare||Ox-eye Daisy||Groundcover|
|Ligustrum lucidum||Large leaved Privet||Shrub|
|Ligustrum sinense||Small leaved Privet||Shrub|
|Lillium formosanum||Formosan Lily||Lily|
|Lonicer japonica||Japanese Honeysuckle||Vine|
|Ludwidgia peruviana||Water Primrose||Aquatic|
|Lycium ferocissimum||African Boxthorn||Shrub|
|Myosotis spp.||Forget Me Not||Groundcover|
|Olea europaea subs cuspidata||African Olive||Tree|
|Olea europaea subs europaea||European Olive||Tree|
|Oxalis pes-carprae||Buttercup Oxalis||Groundcover|
|Passiflora molissima||Banana Passionfruit||Vine|
|Phalaris aquatic||Bulbous Canary Grass||Grass|
|Pinus halepensis||Aleppo Pine||Tree|
|Pinus radiata||Monterey Pine||Tree|
|Populus alba||White Poplar, Silver Poplar||Tree|
|Populus nigra||Lombardy Poplar||Tree|
|Prunus laurascerasus||Cherry Laurel||Shrub|
|Ranunculus repens||Creeping Buttercup||Groundcover|
|Robinia pseudoacacia||Black Locust||Tree|
|Salix spp.||Willows - all varieties||Tree|
|Spartium junceum||Spanish Broom||Shrub|
|Tradescantia fluminensis||Wandering Jew||Groundcover|
|Vinca major||Blue Periwinkle||Groundcover|
|Watsonia spp.||Bugle Lily||Lily|
|Zantedeschia aethiopica||Arum Lily||Lily|
Protect our natural environment by becoming aware of the threats that environmental weeds pose to natural ecosystems and the financial costs borne by our community in trying to control them.
By retaining the integrity of our natural environment, we will ensure future generations will continue to enjoy the resources and benefits provided by nature.
Being the garden capital of the southern highlands, Bowral and its environs enjoys the economic benefits from tourism generated. How long this prestigious perception and financial benefits continue will depend upon how our gardening community and our local government deal with this emerging and rather resilient problem.
We take pride in the beauty of our shire. It amazes me that we as a community have neglected all major roads leading into Bowral and allowed them to be dominated by environmental weeds. It also amazes me that our local council (who prides itself on being environmental pro-active) could also allow this to happen.
It is time we stopped looking through our rose coloured glasses and attend to the issue of environmental weeds in a sustainable and resilient manner.
I encourage all to become aware of and proactive in dealing with the continuing degradation of natural vegetation within roadside reserves resulting from “garden escapees”.