There has never been a better time to get out in the garden; good recent rain, glorious autumn days and now, for many, social distancing at home provides an opportunity for hours of outside pottering.
Gardening is good for the soul and it’s good for the environment too – personal growth and ecological growth. But not all plants blooming at the moment are good news.
Cassia is a shrub with bright yellow flowers that are blooming now, which is commonly found in backyards, nature reserves and roadsides. Also called senna, this sprawling bush looks harmless enough but is actually an invasive weed which can overtake riverbanks and bushland, displacing native species.
In autumn, the plant produces long bean-like pods which contain thousands of seeds. Neither the flowers nor seeds have much to offer native birds and animals. So if you come across cassia in your garden take action!
Young plants can be pulled out by hand while mature plants should be cut off at the base and poisoned. The entire root system must be removed or poisoned to keep Cassia from re-sprouting. Dispose of the seed pods in your red-lid bin. The rest of the weed can go into the green-lid bin, as the viable seed is in the seed pod.
For more information, visit the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden online weed-finder at https://www.erbg.org.au/education-in-the-botanic-gardens/identify-your-weed or contact Eurobodalla Council’s natural resources officer Courtney Fink-Downes at firstname.lastname@example.org
Above: Keep your eye out for yellow-flowered Cassia while working in your garden or visiting your local reserve. Here Council's environmental officer Tom Gear taking action to remove this invasive shrub.