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


Grow Me Instead

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

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

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.

Monday 5 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.


Grow Me Instead

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.


Grow Me Instead

 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.