Daisy re-emerges on KI
28 January 2015
African daisy (Senecio pterophorus) has been present on Kangaroo Island from the 1950s and was a significant pioneer weed as soldier settler blocks were cleared. It disappeared as pastures were established and has been virtually absent from the region until recently. However, in the past three seasons African daisy has become well established on one harvested pine plantation. Over this same period isolated plants have also been detected across the island.
A likely explanation for this unexpected re-emergence of African daisy is the wet conditions experienced in recent seasons and in the case of the forestry block, the large-scale disturbance created by timber harvesting. The widespread records indicate that African daisy seed was already present in the soil across the region and that germination was triggered by local conditions.
African daisy is a pioneer plant, which invades sites that have undergone disturbance such as clearing or fire. It can outcompete other plants and become dominant but it does not persist for any length of time and if left unmanaged, creates conditions unsuitable for itself until further disturbance occurs.
The presence of a large African daisy seed bank could have serious impacts on Kangaroo Island by:• affecting the regeneration of native vegetation after fire• increasing the costs of using plantation forestry land after harvest.
Plants are now starting to flower and become quite obvious so it is good time to look out for them along roadsides, fence lines, burnt ground or edges of patches of scrub.
Plants are easy to pull out when small and can be spot sprayed with glyphosate. If you spot plants on roadsides please report them to Natural Resources Kangaroo Island. If you do find plants on your property please control and report them so that we can gain a better understanding of where the weed is present in the region.