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2012 annual NZ favourite native plant and worst weed vote

Friday 21 December, 2012

Revered and reviled – 2012 annual New Zealand favourite native plant and worst weed vote opens

The annual vote for New Zealand’s favourite plant has opened and this year there is a new twist. For the first time people can cast a vote for their worst weed as well as their favourite native plant.

The New Zealand Plant Conservation Network has run a favourite plant vote since 2002. “The vote is an excellent opportunity for people to share their love of native plants with others,” says Network President Philippa Crisp.

“A large number of Kiwis are members of conservation and weed busting groups and this year we thought people might like the chance to vent their frustrations about their least favourite plants” says Crisp.

“Weeds have a significant impact on our natural and modified ecosystems and it will be interesting to see which species is voted worst weed in 2012,” says Crisp.

Naturalised exotic plant species now outnumber native species in New Zealand and the ranks of weedy plants are swelling each year.

In the early days of the vote, top ranking species were familiar icons such as kowhai and pohutakawa, but these were quickly replaced by rare and unfamiliar species such as fish guts plant and coral broom. Last year there was a close contest between the beloved kauri and the rare and recently described bamboo rush, Sporadanthus ferrugineus. In the end bamboo rush won, complementing another wetland species, pukeko, which took out 2011 Bird of the Year.

People are invited to vote for their favourite native plant via the Plant Conservation Network’s simple on-line system on www.nzpcn.org.nz. Voting closes at midnight on New Year’s Eve, with the results announced on Tuesday 1 January.

ENDS

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