Monday, December 24, 2012

Hooked on Bidgee-Widgee

Bidgee-Widgee (Acaena novae-zelandiae) is a native ground-cover of Australia and New Zealand which is endemic to the Point Smythe area.
It is through the burrs produced in Summer which attach to socks, pants or shoelaces that most people realise they have had an interaction with Bidgee-Widgee, unwittingly drafted as agents of seed dispersal. Each seed has four spines which terminate in minute barbs that hook onto clothing or animal hair, similar plants overseas inspired the invention of hook & loop fasteners like Velcro.

It does play an important role in soil binding and erosion control, and is tolerant of a wide range of conditions from shade to full sun, wet to dry soils, making it worthy of consideration for the local home garden. So the next time Bidgee-Widgee covers your socks in burrs, look on the bright side that your socks have become a free packet of seed!

No comments:

Post a Comment