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

Monday 31 July 2023

BE WEED WISE - Giant Bird of Paradise

 Giant Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia nicolai)

Giant bird of paradise, Strelitzia nicolai, is an ornamental evergreen, tall, palm like plant with large, broad leaves up 1.5 m long. During spring and early summer, it bears unusual beak-like, blue and white flowers with deep purple bracts. The entire flower can be as much as 18 cm high by 45 cm long, and is typically held just above the point where the leaf fan emerges from the stem. Flowers are followed by triangular seed capsules with black seeds with a bright orange aril attached.


Giant bird of paradise is native to South Africa and Mozambique.


Giant bird of paradise is sparingly naturalised in Queensland and New South Wales, also in Mexico. It has occasionally spread locally into our bushland. In favourable areas, they self-seed readily.


To ensure this plant remains in your garden, please remove spent flowers before seeds develop.


Grow Me Instead

Cabbage Palm, Livistona australis. This native palm has fan- shaped leaves and generally a smooth trunk, although old leaf bases are retained on young plants. Leaf ‘stalks’ have recurved spines mostly towards the base.   

Wednesday 12 July 2023

BE WEED WISE - Liriope

Liriope (Liriope spp.)

Liriope is a clump forming, grass-like plant with glossy dark green leaves. It has spikes of small purple, violet or white flowers, followed by black, pea sized berries with one seed. It is a popular garden plant used extensively for its hardiness.


However, its origin is east Asia and it is starting to become a problem as it is spreading into local bushland. Seeds are spread by birds and water, also by dumping of garden waste.


Control: In the garden, cut flower heads before seeding. In bushland situations: Dig out plants ensuring any fruit/seeds are bagged, or foliar spray with herbicide. 

For more information: https://sydneyweeds.org.au/weeds/liriopelily-turf/


Grow Me Instead

Blue flax lily – Dianella caerulea. A native hardy and very easy care clumping perennial plant, growing up to a metre high and wide. It has sprays of small blue flowers in spring. 


Tuesday 11 July 2023

BE WEED WISE - Asthma Weed

 Asthma weed, Parietaria judaica

Asthma weed, also known as pellitory of the wall and sticky weed, is a native of Europe, central and western Asia and northern Africa. It has invaded and is common in some part of eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria and south-eastern South Australia, as well as being present in other states and Lord Howe Island.

It can be found growing in urban areas (i.e. in walls, footpaths, embankments, etc.). It also inhabits gardens, rocky crevices, cliffs, coastal environs, riparian vegetation, waste areas and roadsides. In Helensburgh, it is present in damper areas, e.g. along creek and drainage lines, but is spreading.


As well as competing with our native species, it also has an impact on human health. Contact with the plant can induce severe skin reactions. Its pollen causes asthma, conjunctivitis, rhinitis and hay fever. 


Pellitory has inconspicuous small flowers in spring and into summer. Plants mainly spread by abundant seeds, which are dispersed by wind, water and by attachment to humans and animals by sticky hairs.

Carefully remove by hand being sure to dig out all the roots. Where roots are anchored in walls or rocks, herbicide may need to be used. For large areas spraying with herbicide will be necessary.

For more information: https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Pellitory