Victorian Volcanic Plains Conservation Management Network

Raising awareness about the value and use of native grasslands, seasonal wetlands, grassy woodlands & other ecosystems on the Victorian Volcanic Plains

Weed Orchid Time Again

Weed Orchid

Weed Orchid

I finally managed to visit Rokewood cemetery grassland yesterday to remove African weed orchid. About few years ago I decided that as much as I wanted to there is not much one person can do to get rid of this invasive species, but I could make a difference to one site.

Last year it was early October when we made it to this site and this year it is about 3 weeks later and a much wetter season. Last year we found about 30 – 40 plants and yesterday 250 plants and I have since been told we still missed some. Until you get your eye in they are tricky to spot amongst the other plants. Quite a few were in the mown strip used for car parking.

We no longer try to get the tubers out, but aim to stop the orchids from setting seed by removing the flower stem. as the soil was so damp a lot of stems came out with tubers attached. The battle against other weeds is already lost. There appears to be much more cemetery oxalis in the grassland than in other years and now bulbil watsonia is appearing. Next it will be capeweed as there is a good population in the adjoining firebreak. Pelisser’s Toadflax  and cicendia (photos below) easily fit in the grassland suite of plants but many people would not realise they are  introduced.

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