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Friends of Inverleigh Flora & Fauna Reserve 25th Annual Boneseed Pull

Sunday 14th August 2016 – Old Shelford Track 1.30pm. As this is our 25th Boneseed Pull we’ll be having an afternoon tea when we’ve finished.

First recorded in Australia in 1852 and was commonly cultivated in gardens. A major environmental weed in south-eastern Australia. Widespread in winter rainfall areas.   Not an agricultural problem as bushes are susceptible to trampling and are eaten by stock.

Description: Erect shrub to 3m tall. Roots fibrous. Leaves hairless except when new.

Distinguishing features: Distinguished by erect habit; leaves mostly with toothed margins; flowers in heads that usually have 4–8petal-like ray florets; fruit globular, green, ripening black and fleshy, 6–10 mm wide; woody (‘bony’) seed covering surrounding a single seed.

Dispersal: By animals passing the indigestible seeds.

The Friends meet on Old Shelford Track to take part in the annual hunt for boneseed. This annual hunt has managed to keep Boneseed to a manageable level. If we hadn’t started to search and destroy this weed in 1991, the Inverleigh Nature Conservation Reserve would now be the Inverleigh Boneseed Reserve.

The last few years, most of the boneseed we’ve found are small, mainly found under trees spread by birds. This year we’ve found larger plants with buds, which we haven’t seen for the last few years, so perhaps the rain has caused the plants to flower, which, if we’ve missed any, will flower this year and cause more problems for years to come.

The original plant we found was a large old shrub almost a tree and it was the parent of a large number of weeds found over the years. This year we removed about 400 immature plants with a few larger plants. They were mainly in clumps under trees with scattered odd plants around the area. One was even found on the edge of Old Shelford Track.