Help make Wedderburn a Gazania-free town!
Gazania plants are a common sight around Central Victoria, including in and around the Wedderburn district. While many people appreciate it for the attractive daisy-like bronze, yellow and orange flowers that appear in Spring and Summer, Gazania is a serious environmental weed and we need your help to stop it spreading in our town.
Native to South Africa, Gazania was originally brought to Australia as an ornamental plant. However, it soon escaped from private gardens to infest roadsides and native bushland where it suppresses and replaces native plants. According to the CSIRO Jumping the Garden Fence report, it is among the ten most serious invasive plants still being sold in Victorian nurseries.
Gazania is extremely hardy, withstanding coastal conditions and sandy soils. It produces abundant seeds that are transported by wind and water, and also spreads vegetatively via continuously growing underground stems known as rhizomes. Seeds and plant fragments of Gazania are often spread in garden waste, and through roadside disturbance such as grading and mowing.
Small infestations can be removed by hand or by spraying a registered systemic herbicide into the centre of the leafy rosette. A broadleaf-selective herbicide can be used where there is a risk to native grasses or lawn. When hand pulling Gazania, make sure that the roots are removed and flower heads are bagged. Clean mowers and other machinery after working in infested areas.
Native plants that are suitable replacements for Gazanias in the Wedderburn district include:
•Daisies from the Sunray (Leucochrysum species), Everlasting (Xerochrysum species) and Brachyscome genera;
•Scaly Buttons (Leptorhynchos squamatus)
•Showy Podelepis Podolepis jaceoides
•Low growing Parrot Peas (Dillwynia species) and Bush Peas (Pultenaea species)
Blood, K 2001, Environmental Weeds: A Field Guide for SE Australia, C.H. Jerram & Associates Science Publishers, Mt Waverley, Victoria, Australia.
Faithfull, I (ed.) 2006, Weed Watch Warning – Gazania spp, in Under Control: Pest Plant and Animal Management News, No. 33, March 2006, Department of Sustainability and Environment and Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia.
Groves, R.H, Boden, R & Lonsdale, W.M 2005, Jumping the Garden Fence: Invasive garden plants in Australia and their environmental and agricultural impacts, A CSIRO report for WWF-Australia, February 2005
Harris, G 2012, Weed Watch – Gazania, Connecting Country, viewed 8 November 2012
The University of Queensland 2011, Gazania (Gazania linearis) Fact Sheet, Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity QLD Edition, Queensland, Australia.
Thanks to Karly Learmonth for supplying this article