The weed police are out gunning for pest plants.
They’re currently carrying out surveillance patrols around Omokoroa, Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Pukehina looking for undesirable species that could seed and spread out of control, impacting our native species.
Intruders like Rhamnus Alaternus or Italian buckthorn, Chrysanthemoides Monilifera or boneseed and Gymnocoronis splinathoides or Senegal tea are on the target list.
While weed control is generally the responsibility of property owners, the Bay of Plenty Regional Council is keen to advise people how to identify the pest plants and what to do if they encounter them.
Italian Buckthorn is an evergreen that grows to 5 metres or more. It flourishes in coastal areas and threatens dunes where it can smother crucial dune binding native plants.
It has leathery egg shaped leaves with tooth edges, two small holes on the underside of the leaves and bumps on the topsides of the leaves.
They produce green, fragrant flowers. Italian buckthorn seedlings and small plants should be pulled.
Bigger plants will need herbicide treatment and stumps should be treated to prevent regrowth.
Boneseed is a bushy shrub with daisy like yellow flowers. It likes coastal areas, cliffs and dunes as well as pastures and gardens. They are prolific – one plants can produce 50,000 seeds a year and can crowd other plants.
It can grow to three metres with leathery tooth edged leaves and bright yellow daisy flowers.
The name boneseed comes from its bone coloured hard seeds. Pull out smaller plants and cut larger ones to ground level.
Treat stumps with herbicide. Watch for seeds and remove. Seedless plants can be composted or mulched, but ones with seeds should be taken to a refuse transfer station.
Senegal tea is an aquatic pond plant that grows quickly forming dense mats. It invades wetlands, swamps, rivers and streams. It has lush bright green foliage and produces distinctive pompom type flowers.
Senegal tea is a pest close to being eradicated in the region but the plan is to be completely rid of jt. If you see this pest call the regional council for its removal.’
If you if you find any pest plants in your garden and want to know how to remove them contact the regional council on 0800 STOP PESTS or visit www.boprc.govt.nz/pestplants for more info.