New weeds uncovered in Leigh Creek

A third weed survey in and around Leigh Creek has found a second species of asparagus fern, an opuntia cactus not previously recorded in the area and a mother of millions spreading in two house yards.

Along with lantana that is still germinating at the site at which it was previously recorded, most of the weeds were found in the back yards of abandoned properties.

North Flinders Community Landscape Officer Matt Westover said the annual surveys aimed to prevent the spread of new and emerging weeds.

“Local reports of new weeds have been helpful during the surveys so far and we know the risk of garden escapees will increase as houses and fences are removed,” he said.

“It has been fascinating so far to see what former garden plants are surviving after five years without care in an arid environment.”

Surveying before demolition has allowed some species to be controlled while numbers are low and has created a database of sites for future monitoring.

The weeds surveillance is expected to continue over the next few years.

All surveys have been carried out with PIRSA’s New and Emerging Weeds Facilitator Shannon Robertson and DEW’s State Herbarium Weeds Botanist Chris Brodie. They have been funded through the Commonwealth Government’s Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.