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Boneseed Bash, an annual South Brighton event

Monday 22 November 2004

Boneseed Bash, an annual South Brighton event

A community Boneseed Bash will be held at South Brighton Domain on Saturday 4 December to help raise awareness of this coastal weed and remove an infestation of it from the South Brighton Domain.

Organised by Christchurch City Council park rangers and the South Brighton Residents Association, the community work day will include instruction on how to identify the plant before work begins on culling and mulching it. A free barbecue lunch and drinks will be provided.

Coastal area head ranger, Rodney Chambers said, “the Boneseed Bash has become an annual affair for the South Brighton Community and because of the prevalence of this plant pest, should be of interest to anyone living in the New Brighton, South Brighton or Southshore areas.”

Boneseed is an evergreen shrub reaching up to three metres high, with bright yellow daisy-like flowers and long dull-green toothed leaves. Its name is derived from its hard bone-coloured seeds.

Also known as salt bush, boneseed grows easily along the coast and can reproduce prolifically. As a result, it can displace native plants and shade out native seedlings. It is also a fire risk as it burns readily.

Anyone wanting to take part in the South Brighton Boneseed Bash should meet at the Jellicoe St entrance to the South Brighton Domain at 10am on Saturday 4 December. Please bring gardening gloves and if you can secateurs and/or a grubber or spade. The Boneseed Bash is expected to end around midday.

Background Boneseed is recognised as a plant pest throughout New Zealand. It cannot be sold, propagated or distributed. The plant is however spread widely by birds and while it burns easily, fire can germinate its seeds. December is an ideal time for gardeners to check their properties for the summer flowering boneseed plants, whose clusters of fruit turn black when ripe. Boneseed plants can be pulled when small, otherwise they should be cut down and the stump painted with herbicide.

The plant material should be disposed of at a refuse station, unless all of the seeds have been removed, when it can be composted. For further details on identifying boneseed and ways to control it, contact the Christchurch City Council or Environment Canterbury.

More information is also available in The Canterbury Weed Guide on the Council’s website: www.ccc.govt.nz/parks/TheEnvironment/weedguide.asp and Pests and Weeds on Environment Canterbury's website: www.ecan.govt.nz/pests-weeds/boneseed-factsheet.html


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