Bitou bush is a Weed of National Significance and a key threat to biodiversity.
Present in New South Wales since at least 1908, this South African plant was deliberately planted along the coastline from 1946-1968 to stabilise sand dunes following sand mining. Bitou bush outcompetes native shrubs and groundcovers, growing incredibly thick and fast. It is easily recognised by its bright green, succulent, oval-shaped leaves, sprawling fleshy stems, bright yellow flowers and green to black berries. Whilst it can flower at any time, May through to July is peak flowering time, and the best time to treat infestations. Council teams and contractors work on extensive infestations along our coastline, aiming to push back the Bitou bush until native species can recover the landscape. Under the NSW Biosecurity Act, any Bitou bush found further than 10km from the coastline must be reported to your Council Biosecurity Officer and eradicated. Council also enforces stronger control on Bitou bush found further than 500m from our coastline.
Did you know, some weeds are considered such a threat to the environment and agriculture in NSW that they are deemed Prohibited Matter?
These weeds are currently not present in the state, or in very limited numbers, but have huge potential to devastate our environment and economy. The PMHC Natural Resource Management team recently participated in a workshop on the 28 species of Prohibited Matter weeds, presented by the Department of Primary Industries. Becoming familiar with the characteristics of these weeds will assist our team to identify them and respond quickly, should they ever be detected in our region. To view these weeds, some of which are presented with amazing 3D models with detailed information, access the prohibited matter list on WeedWise here: NSW WeedWise