Tag Archives: Aquatic plants

Urochloa humidicola- Tully grass- Introduced pasture grass!

Urochloa humidicola– Tully grass- Introduced pasture grass!

Just last weekend a Land for Wildlife Assessment was on a property with a lot of this grass. This is not a declared weed but can outcompete native plants in wetter areas and its presence is goring in the rural area of Darwin. I dug out this short article that Pete Mcfdden, a weed contractor that works in the area wrote last year- (and hope to get some better photos soon!)

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Another introduced pasture plant gone feral is the introduced species Humidicola. Present on many road verges in the rural areas it forms a dense stoloniferous mat and as an environmental weed can invade undisturbed bush land. Favouring wet areas it has even been considered as a “choking plant” to control Mimosa pigra.

Humidicola stays green most of the year and when it burns it produces very dense smoke that reduces visibility to almost zero. Humidicola has a thick root mass to feed underground fires that can burn for days until they break through the surface, producing new runaway wildfires. The ground can become so hot that it sterilises the soil, destroying other plants and seeds (NT Bushfire Volunteers)

Urochloa humidicola

The main mode of distribution is by root stolon growth and the plant steadily creeps along. Seed production is reportedly limited at lower latitudes and the vegetative reproduction is the main mode of propagation /spread.

Control with Glyphosate is effective but does require good coverage of all leaf areas and may require a follow up application. Recent experience at McMinns Lagoon Reserve confirms that control can be achieved in one season and no regrowth has been recorded from soil seed-banks or reshooting. As Humidicola prefers wet and innundative areas control is best achieved early in the wet season when access is easier.

When using any herbicide please read the label and use any appropriate personal protective equipment required.

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Aquatic landscape and propagation workshop!

lagoonAquatic-Weeds-Poster-2013_webLast Saturday a fantastic workshop was attended by over 30 Land for Wildlife members, held at Jasmin Jan’s beautiful 105 acre bush block, between Humpty Doo and Lambell’s lagoon.  It was a pretty warm day, but the venue and serenity of the drying lagoon was very unique. We all now have rain and aquatics landscapes in mind, after being inspired by the talks and demos- so lets hope it rains soon!

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The block is in a horticultural zoning and was saved from being bulldozed about 12 years ago by local member Gerry Woods (and others). When it could not be used for horticulture it was sold in a private newspaper advert and Jasmin and her partner became the lucky owners. They  have slowly built a dwelling and a studio over looking the large lagoon that takes up about 20 acres. They have worked tirelessly at managing the land, keeping it free of weeds and feral animals such as pigs, which damage the water margins and eat many water plants that other native animals rely on. Pig hunters can also be an issue and they try and keep these away too! There are still many cane toads,  but the lagoon is a refugee to a huge number of native water birds, turtles, fish and many other animals. Jasmin feels very strongly about protecting native wildlife and the block is not fenced.

Walk at JAsmins

We started the workshop with a walk along the lagoon edge to see the different landscape types within the block and to hear about some of the management issues and tasks and enjoy the feel and composition of the land.  We then came back to the art studio area, which is surrounded by wonderful art pieces inspired by nature and wildlife..

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Dave Wilson, aquatic plant expert then gave us a talk about the various local aquatic plants used in ornamental or functional ponds, including native Taro (Colocasia esculenta) , an edible fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) and many other wondrous plants of our waterways. His website www.aquagreen.com.au has stacks of information, species lists and articles.

NAtive taroHe also talked about the importance of  not letting non native fish into our water systems and  how to have a pond with non natives, if desired, and not let them into the local environment. A great point of interest was how to make natural swimming pools with various different filter plants . Dave has sent us a detailed document he wrote on Natural swimming pools. Click here to read it.  They look amazing! This is an example below-

Sustainable-Pools-06-1-Kind-Design

 Belinda Townend from weeds branch and Greg Leach from Greening Australia then gave a presentation on aquatic weeds, how to identify them, how they spread and why they are good to manage, and what a view from the studio- over the lagoon!

Prop workshop

After smoko, we had a fantastic session about propagation techniques from Yvette Brady and looked at marginal and other plants, sowing seed, but particularly at cuttings.

Yvettte presents too

Yvette plant

All topped off with lunch and a chance for members to meet each other. We can’t wait for the next workshop and would like to thanks Jasmin Jan for hosting and her constant support of the program and allowing us to use her art work in the website and promotions. We would also like to thanks all of our presenters who gave up their Saturday!Sterculia seeds

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