Garden warning on yellow daisy weed

Countryman

Spring has sprung, but not all flowers are welcome.

The public has been asked to keep an eye out for the declared plant, boneseed, which produces a mass of pretty bright yellow flowers.

Boneseed is a Weed of National Significance, which has the potential to invade vast areas of native bushland.

Department of Agriculture and Food biosecurity officer Mike Clark said while great gains in eradicating the declared plant had been made in recent years, there were still occasional sightings.

"There are only 42 small infestations are known to exist in WA and they are all under eradication," Mr Clark said. "However, there is a chance that undiscovered boneseed plants may still be hiding in backyards or native bushland."

Mr Clark said there were a few active sites present in the south west, visited each year by department staff to ensure that seedlings did not survive.

"Many of the original infestations are believed to have been planted as ornamental garden plants around old farmhouses and homesteads, however, the weed is no longer in the nursery trade and is no longer popular as a garden plant," he said.

In the metropolitan area the department works closely with Perth Region NRM to remove the weed.

Biodiversity coordinator Luke McMillan said any suspect boneseed plants should be reported immediately.

"Boneseed is easily identifiable in spring when it flowers with yellow daisies," Mr McMillan said.

"It is an erect perennial shrub that hails from South Africa. It can grow to three metres high, has a branched woody stem and a shallow but extensive root system.

"It has a hard, smooth seed about six millimetres in diameter, which ripens from green to purple and becomes bone coloured when dry - hence the name boneseed. A single plant can produce up to 50,000 seeds."

Reports can be made to DAFWA offices, telephoning the department's Pest and Disease Information Service freecall 1800 084 881.

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