Join the Chilean Needle Grass Hunt
Now is the time of year when the Council asks for your help in controlling the highly invasive noxious plant, Chilean needleweed.
The council’s senior biosecurity officer, Liam Falconer, said the grass blooms in spring and summer, which means it’s easier to spot.
“Notice its pungent seed heads tinged with purple and its lime green color. It’s a sharp, angular grass, not soft or drooping like most other grasses, ”Falconer said.
“Over the next few months, farmers and wineries, along with council staff and contractors, will be performing monitoring work and compliance inspections in areas of known infestation.”
He suggests that owners of lifestyle blocks, farms and vineyards check their property for any signs of weed and contact Council if they think they’ve seen it. The Council is working to bring any new infestation under control as quickly as possible.
“As the seeds of Chilean needle grass mature, they can easily hitchhike, especially if people are moving dirt, machinery or livestock. If you are in an infested area, it is important to be aware of the risk and the regulations that apply.
“Even though most infestations are intensively managed, there is always the possibility that a plant will be missed or bloom later in the season. Seeds can be easily moved by clinging to shoes and animal skins. People walking in affected areas can make sure they are not carrying seeds by checking their shoes and their dog’s coat, ”he said.
If you think you’ve seen Chilean Needle Grass, please take a photo, record the location, and email: [email protected]
You can also use online plant identification platforms such as iNaturalist at: https://inaturalist.nz/ or the Find-A-Pest app to file reports. Useful resources are available on the Council’s website, including a smart map with information about the plant, where it was found, photographs, and explanations of what can be done to deal with it. You can consult the Smart Map on: https://bit.ly/31DEtRB
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