Weeds along Vic - and SA - highways (Bridal Creeper)

To: "Ian May" <>
Subject: Weeds along Vic - and SA - highways (Bridal Creeper)
From: "michael norris" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2007 13:01:31 +1000
Hi Ian

I've responded to this thread off the list but it's time to be more public.

Thanks for your great job in citing the DEH's reasons why this is one of their top 10 invasive exotic weeds.

But how about your facts - put forward for why? - about its value for birds (in the short term).

Imagine what birdos would feel if they were told Indian Mynas are just great because they help to sustain Emu bush and other plants. And that in due course we would see and end to native birds that got in the way of the promotion of this wonderful vegetation!

What you should be thinking about is what plants would be there if Bridal Creeper was not around. The various native Clematis - also great nesting habitat - are a case in point. And what would that do for smaller birds (and ecosystems)?

And how about the domination of the soil by this plant? Most of its biomass is in tubers and I've seen one so large that two people had to lift it. That's why it is so hard to deal with by chemicals.

The introduced - and approved - biological controls for bridal creeper/smilax are a leaf hopper (which schools are encouraged to breed and release) and a rust.

People on Kangaroo Island have realised that you can spread the rust by
washing infected leaves in water and using that as a spray.

Research is continuing to see if that technique is affected by local climate
but why not have a tank of rust water in your boot....?

Michael Norris
Bayside, Melbourne (we have it too!)

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