Concern as bridal veil found in Wirrabara forest area

News article |

Bridal veil weed has been found in the Wirrabara forest area of the Southern Flinders Ranges and landholders are being urged to search their properties for the weed.

Registered as a ‘Weed of National Significance’, bridal veil has not previously been found in the Upper North district and Greening Australia vegetation consultant Anne Brown says if not controlled, it poses a severe threat to biodiversity.

“While we haven’t seen bridal veil before in this district, it occurs on Yorke Peninsula where it has invaded many native flora reserves,” she says.

“Bridal veil was a popular garden plant in the early 20th century and it’s thought this outbreak originated in one of the old gardens in Wirrabara Forest.”

Closely related to bridal creeper, bridal veil or Asparagus declinatuss, is native to the Western Cape region of South Africa.

It is a highly invasive and aggressive weed that can out-compete and displace native flora.

Bridal veil produces scrambling and weakly climbing annual shoots that can grow up to two to three metres long.

It forms a dense, underground, tuberous root mass that prevents native plant recruitment and regeneration.

“Bridal veil shares many characteristics with its close relative, bridal creeper, including a similar lifecycle, potential for spread and impacts on native vegetation,” Ms Brown says.

“It differs from bridal creeper in that it has fine, feathery leaves, similar to asparagus, but with a sprawling habit.

“It has much larger tubers and is more difficult to kill, as the feathery foliage makes it harder for herbicide to enter the plant.

“If not controlled, bridal veil has the potential to become a severe threat to biodiversity.”Ms Brown says it is important to control bridal veil while the infestation is small.

She says areas around Wirrabara Forest that were affected by fires earlier this year have provided ideal growing conditions for the weed.

“The burnt areas around the forest are ideal for the spread of this plant, it’s really important that the plant be removed,” Ms Brown says.

“Bridal veil can be dug up with care to remove the tubers or carefully sprayed with glyphosate as directed on the container. Then mark the location and check next year for any regrowth.”

For more information or to report suspected infestations contact Natural Resources Centre Northern & Yorke 8841 3444 or Greening Australia on 0409 684 312.

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