Weeds growing in gardens and forests around Kuranda and the Wet Tropics.
How many can you identify?
ENVIRONMENTAL WEED is a term used to describe a plant which has been introduced to a location. It is a non-native plant, which crowds out native species or species of economic value. These plants may be also termed noxious weeds or pest plants.
Not all exotics (plants which are not native to your area) are or will become problems. And a plant that is native to Australia may become a feral plant somewhere else. The Cadaghi, a strikingly beautiful native from Kuranda, is now classed as a weed in the Brisbane area where it was planted extensively as a street and garden tree. It pays to check.
THE PROBLEM WITH WEEDS
• 65% of weeds were introduced as garden ornamentals and 7% for agriculture
• 31% of weeds were introduced from the Americas, 27% from Europe & 26% from Africa
• Weeds cost the Australian agricultural industry over $4 billion dollars annually.
• This cost of $4 billion does not include environmental costs. These include such as costs to control environmental feral plants and the costs incurred as a result of environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
• Weeds clog up waterways, leading to increased flooding risks. In times of floods this can damage and destroy infrastructure.
• Weeds reduce pasture productivity and can injure and poison stock
• Weeds can trigger allergies
• Weeds increase the fuel load many areas, greatly contributing to fire risks
• Weeds create harbours for feral animals such as pigs and dogs
• Weeds transform the landscape, destroying habitat for native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity and threatening the survival of native species.
• Weeds reduce aesthetics of significant natural landscapes
Kuranda Conservation has a range of visual material at the nursery at 1 Pademelon Lane to help identify feral plants of our region. Contact us for more information.