We have found some unusual environmental weeds at recent Monday morning working bees.
Hakea sericea Silky Hakea has invaded the heathy woodland near Mt Ingoldsby on the Alcoa Lease. Silky Hakea is indigenous to Queensland and New South Wales. The plant grows to a height of 5 m, and has pale cream flowers (in fact “inflorescences”) in winter. The leaves are terete, i.e. cylindrical or slightly tapering, and without substantial furrows or ridges, and are very prickly. It has large, woody, fruit capsules, which we removed using secateurs. Some of the larger plants had nearly 100 capsules. It is very prevalent at this site, and the site is listed in Flora of Victoria.
In March we worked between Coalmine Road and Fraser Avenue in heathy woodland, again on the Alcoa Lease. Acacia saligna Orange Wattle and Acacia provincialis Wirilda have invaded this site. (Acacia provincialis is a recent name change from Acacia retinodes.) I think they were originally planted on the site to form a buffer from the Coal Mine, but have now naturalised, as we have found hundreds of seedlings of both species at this site.
Orange Wattle originates from Western Australia, and has large wavy shaped phyllodes (leaves) to 25 cm long and grows to 5 m. Flowers are golden balls (2 to 12) on short axillary stems. Wirilda has grey-green phyllodes, with cream-yellow balls in winter/spring, and a characteristic, reddish coloured trunk. It grows to 6 m, and is indigenous along the watercourses in the Basalt Plains immediately north of the Otways.
Freesia refracta and Freesia alba X F. leichtlinii are declared weeds in the Surf Coast Shire because they spread easily and threaten to invade bushland. Freesias are perennial herbs that die back in summer and produce new foliage in winter. The highly fragrant trumpet-shaped flowers appearing in spring are white to cream and pink with yellow markings, shaded purple on outer surface. Each plant has at least two corms, one below the other, thus requiring deep digging to remove them.
More details about how to control this weed can be found in the archive of Weeds of the Month.
There are a number of wonderful local Friends Groups that provide ANGAIR members and the community with opportunities for involvement.