How To Know What Weeds To Pull And What To Leave In The Garden
There are 32 weeds listed by the federal government as having national significance.
Many, including the most common one, lantana, are referred to as garden escapes.
“That is, they’ve literally escaped from the garden,” explains John.
“Birds typically spread the plants by picking up the seeds and flying over the neighbour’s place, dropping a few along the way and eventually heading into bushland.
“The culprits include a range of black birds like the currawongs, which are frugivores.”
Some of the most common backyard plants that turn into weeds this way include the fast-growing asparagus weed, which the birds prey on for their berries.
Other widespread garden weeds are brooms, which come in different coloured varieties but are most common with yellow flowers.
All types of broom, regardless of colour, are prolific seed producers. Cat’s claw creeper, Madeira vine and cacti are also garden weeds.
“Cacti are a major problem if you are in a dry place,” says John.
“Australia was overrun at one time with a type of cactus, the prickly pear. The opuntioid cacti are a whole group of plants that could easily invade entire dry parts of Australia.”