More About the 'Deadly Foe'

Published on Tuesday, 9 June 2020 at 10:44:58 AM

More About the ‘Deadly Foe

In the article ‘A Deadly Foe’ published in the 20 May 2020 edition of the Plantagenet News readers were advised of a Weed of National Significance, the Bridal Creeper.

As highlighted, Bridal Creeper is a highly invasive tuberous plant with the tubers grouped along a central rhizome.  The tubers provide the plant with water, energy and nutrients which allow it to survive through summer followed by rapid growth in autumn. 

A reliable and accurate source of information about Bridal Creeper and its control can be found at https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/invasive/weeds/publications/guidelines/wons/pubs/a-asparagoides.pdf . Published by the National Heritage Trust (NHT), this pamphlet states the best method of control is targeted herbicide spraying.  Lifting of the plants may not be the most effective way to remove the weed as the tubers can become separated, fall back to the ground and reproduce.

A biological method mentioned in the recent Plantagenet News article and the NHT article is the use of a rust fungus.  If you have located an infestation of Bridal Creeper, consider taking the time to visit Mount Melville, Mount Clarence or the Western portion of Robinson Road in Albany in late July/August to obtain some infected tendrils, easily identified by their poor health, often yellow colour and spotted leaves. Take the tendrils back to the identified site of infestation in a plastic bag. Intertwine the infected branch amongst the thickest clump of Bridal Creeper. The spores then spread and infect that plant providing a host for the fungus. As the fungal spores are airborne they will spread to other plants. The creeper grows strongest in winter and it is worth considering the dominant wind direction at this time and infecting those plants on the western side of the area first.

David Lynch, Executive Manager Works and Services has had experience with the biological method and explains that he has had considerable success on a section of St Werburghs Road,’ with an estimated 90 percent reduction over a two year period, all without the use of sprays that may harm native plants growing in the vicinity.’

If you locate infestations and do not have the means to control it yourself please report the location to your local Department of Agriculture or Catchment Group, both of which run weed control programs. The Department of Agriculture is responsible for weeds under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007.

If you would like further information please contact the Works and Services team at the Shire of Plantagenet on (08) 9892 1111 or email info@sop.wa.gov.au .

 

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