There is no set definition of what a weed is, other than that they are always undesirable. In the context here I am referring to plants that are not endemic to an area, and that escape into our natural areas to become weeds.
This is undesirable for two main reasons;
- It changes our natural areas from being natural, which is the reason those areas are valued in the first place.
- It alters the balance in the ecosystem. The weeds out compete the native seedlings, so natural regeneration gets hampered. The native animals are all linked to the native vegetation and start to struggle, and pest animal species often displace them.
What can we all do?
Learn to recognise a few of the weeds, and which ones are particularly nasty. Below are a couple of useful links,
South Gippsland Weeds;
and the DPI's weed site;
The weeds pictured are from top to bottom; Ragwort Senecio jacobaea, Inkweed Phytolacca octandra & Spear Thistle Cirsium vulgare.