Welcome

Landcare is a non-governmental community movement dedicated to preventing land degradation and achieving sustainable land management. It consists of a network of local volunteer groups of which there are over 1700 in New South Wales alone. Each group works to find local solutions to local problems such as salinity, soil degradation, animal pests, weeds, vegetation loss, waterside erosion, poor water quality, coastal degradation and urban land degradation. If you appreciate how lucky we are in the Helensburgh district to enjoy a relatively unspoiled bush environment you should also be aware that it is under serious threat. read more

Tuesday, 20 April 2021

BE WEED WISE, Mother of millions

Mother of millions, Bryophyllum delagoense

Mother-of-millions is native to Madagascar. It is an erect, smooth, fleshy succulent plant growing to 1 m or more in height. Its mottled leaves are cylindrical and have a few small 'teeth' near their tips. Tiny plantlets are produced at the tips of its leaves. The drooping bell-shaped flowers (2-4 cm long) are usually red or reddish-pink in colour. These flowers are borne in dense clusters at the top of the stems. The fruits contain many seeds.


Bryophyllum delagoense




Mother-of-millions is commonly spread by gardeners and in garden waste. The plantlets at the end of the leaves drop readily, develop roots and establish quickly to form a new colony. Broken leaf parts can also take root and give rise to new plants. The tiny seeds are probably wind and water dispersed. 









Hand remove plants carefully, loosening the soil with a knife or trowel. Ensure all pieces are removed and disposed of in your FOGO bin.


For additional information, see NSW WeedWise

 

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Leek lily (Bulbine bulbosa): An Australian native plant, leek lily is an attractive species with fragrant yellow flowers, suited to rockeries and cottage gardens.













Echeveria glauca

Blue Mexican hen and chicks (Echeveria glauca): A hardy, low growing Echeveria with orange/yellow flowers.










Echeveria setosa

Mexican firecracker (Echeveria setosa): A lovely clump forming evergreen ground cover succulent with spoon shaped leaves covered in soft grey hairs to 10cm tall. It produces yellow-orange flowers through the summer months.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

BE WEED WISE Dietes, Butterfly iris

 Dietes spp., butterfly iris, or just dietes


Dietes is in the Iris family. It is native to eastern and southern Africa. Dietes has recently been appearing in bushland in south-eastern Australia. Unfortunately, it still seems to be commonly planted by Local Government Councils and in other public plantings.




Plants consist of clumps of erect sword-shaped leaves, with short-lived, iris-like flowers that are white, yellow and mauve. The flowers are followed by green, three-celled capsule containing numerous hard angular seeds.




Dietes is spread by seed via water, humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.


Please remove spent flowers to stop seeds developing. Remove any seed-heads, and place any seed-heads or plant roots/rhizomes in your green waste (FOGO) bin, or if you don't have a FOGO (Food Organics Green Organics) bin, place them in your rubbish bin.

 

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Grass flag (Libertia paniculata





Australian native which forms a grass like clump with masses of white flowers in spring, for moist, semi-shaded positions.


Blue flax lily (Dianella spp.) 



Flax lily is native to Australia and many of the garden cultivars stem from four of the native strains. The richly-hued blue flowers with delicate yellow anthers perch like chandeliers on the end of wiry stems and contrast well with the long linear form of the leathery leaves.


Kangaroo paws (Anigozanthus species and varieties.)



Kangaroo paws originate in Western Australia. They have clumps of strappy leaves. The different varieties vary in colour, height and hardiness in our area.

 

 

BE WEED WISE, Blue periwinkle

Blue periwinkle, Vinca major


Blue periwinkle is an example of a garden plant that has ‘jumped the garden fence’. It is now considered an invasive species, not just in wetter areas of Australia, but in New Zealand and North America (USA and Canada).

It is a trailing herb with a woody crown and runners up to 1 m long. The stems sometimes develop roots where they come into contact with the soil, and creeping underground stems are also produced. It has blue to purple tubular flowers (3-6 cm across) which are usually borne singly in the upper leaf forks.

Blue periwinkle’s broad-leaved runners form a dense mat, shading out native plants and competing for moisture and nutrients. Its growth is particularly vigorous in riparian and other moist habitats.


It is spread into bushland mostly by dumping of garden waste, but can also spread by broken stem bits being washed into a new area. It occasionally spreads by seed.

Digging every little bit out is the most effective way of removing it. Follow up will be required for some time.

 

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Scaevola
 species, fan flower: An Australian native groundcover with prolific flowering of mauve, purple or white flowers.















Hardenbergia violacea
, Native sarsaparilla: The pea shape flowers appear in winter and spring and are usually violet in colour.








Convolvulus sabatius
, Moroccan glory vine: An attractive evergreen perennial with a spreading prostrate habit with blue to violet flowers.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

BE WEED WISE Moth Vine

 Moth vine, (Araujia sericifera)




Moth vine comes from South America. It has attractive white flowers which are followed by a fruit which is often mistaken for a choko. The fruit has pale, dull green skin which dries out and splits to reveal numerous seeds which are black with a tuft of white hairs 2-3 cm long. Moth vine is fairly common in gardens and neighbouring bushland and weedy areas around Helensburgh.
It is an invader of bushland as the seed is dispersed by wind and water. It climbs through vegetation and the heavy weight of fruiting vines can break limbs and bring down weaker shrubs and trees. Dense growth smothers smaller vegetation and impedes over-storey regeneration.


Removal
Where moth vine is climbing up through garden plants, it is best to remove any fruit and then cut the stem near the ground. Dig out the roots. Seedlings and small plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. 

Warning
Moth vine’s latex can be highly irritating and allergenic. Always wear gloves when handling plants and avoid getting latex in the eyes or mouth.

 

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Wonga wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana

This is a vigorous Australian native twining plant. One of the selected colour forms is ‘Snowbells’ which has pure white flowers.

 








Old man’s beard, Clematis aristata

A local native vine which flowers in spring, this species is most attractive with its masses of creamy white flowers.

 












Chinese star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides

A hardy climber or ground cover plant with perfumed white flowers in spring. Apparently, its irritating, milky latex-like sap makes it resistant to the depredations of Australian possums.

 

 


Thursday, 4 February 2021

BE WEED WISE Black-eyed Susan


Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata)





Black-eyed Susan is a native to tropical and southern Africa. It was grown widely as a garden climber, but has, unfortunately, become an environmental weed in the coastal districts of eastern Australia and south-western Western Australia. It is also a weed overseas in southern USA, Papua New Guinea and on several Pacific islands.

Black-eyed Susan is a long-lived vine growing up to 5 metres, and spreading along the ground. It has opposite leaves which are heart shaped, and often finely hairy. It has singular orange or yellow flowers with a black centre, and flowers in the spring and summer. It has a tap root and fibrous roots, and will actively seek and block water/septic pipes.

This species reproduces by seed, and vegetatively by fragments of stems and roots. Seeds and plant fragments can be spread in dumped garden waste. They can also be spread by water and vehicles. It can smother shrubs and groundcover in moist bushland.

Remove by pulling out at the roots. Vines remaining in vegetation can be left to die. Watch for new seedlings, and remove as they appear.

 

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Snake vine, Hibbertia scandens

This local vine has bright green leaves with large yellow flowers. This is a vigorous climber or scrambler which grows to 2 to 5m wide or high




 

Wonga wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana

This is a vigorous Australian native twining plant. A number of selected colour forms of this species have been brought into cultivation, the most common is 'Snowbells' with pure white flowers and 'Golden Showers' with yellow-bronze flowers.




 

Banksia rose, Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’

This climbing rose produces long slender twining canes with masses of tiny, double, yellow flowers in spring.