Since I started at Westgate Park 16 years ago we have always thought about taking plants to the Herbarium to get a positive ID. Finally, last week I did. There are a number of plants in the Park we are unsure about and may in fact be weeds.
Of the five species we had tested, two were weeds and three indigenous. Two weedy juncus species that arrived independently and were spreading rapidly will now be eliminated.
Interestingly, one pond weed that has just arrived and was spreading fast, turned out to be indigenous and is rare in Melbourne. It is Elatine gratioloides – Waterwort and it can stay and find its own niche.
So two weeds will be eradicated and one rare plant can spread. At $150 for five plants it is not cheap but a very productive use of our funds. I intend to use this service again when money permits. There are quite a few more plants out there with a question mark.
Ed. See our Threatened species page in the top menu for conservation of other plants.