Battling a pesky purple pest
A LITTLE purple flower might not look too nasty, but its public enemy number one out Cape Nelson way and your help is needed to get rid of it.
The South African immigrant is far from illegal, but many curse that the highly-invasive plant ever arrived and thrived in coastal gardens.
Its name is polygala myrtifolia, better known as myrtle leaf milkwort, and it is causing some big headaches at the popular Picnic Hill reserve.
So much so that the Friends of Cape Nelson Landcare-Coastcare and Southwest Environment Alliance have joined forces to try and put paid to it.
They have received grants from Glenelg Shire Council and the Victorian Landcare Grants Program to undertake weed control on the 2ha coastal mallee scrubland site, but they’d like to see it gone from a wider area.
“It’s a tough little plant,” said Friends president Lynn Murrell.
“It likes sandy soil and it’s still available (for sale) in some nurseries.
“The sad thing about it is that I’ve been to South Africa and seen it there and it doesn’t grow (very high). It has natural predators there like little thrips but here there’s nothing so it grows much higher.”
Southwest Environment Alliance Landcare facilitator Kristy Brewer said it had caused “enormous degradation” at Picnic Hill and many other bushland sites at Cape Nelson.