Cootamundra: it looks great, but it’s getting to be a menace

Cootamundra wattles: they’re all over the place. The species is native to a small area of NSW around Cootamundra, but has been planted widely in Victoria. It’s become a bit of a weed, and is capable of suffocating areas of bushland where it becomes dominant. Not only that, but it’s a menace in other respects, too. A new leaflet produced by local plant specialist Margaret Panter argues that it actually harms local wattles by interbreeding with them. The leaflet is below. To get a clearer look, click on it:

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4 Responses to Cootamundra: it looks great, but it’s getting to be a menace

  1. Chris Hosking says:

    Is this pamphlet available from the Shire ?

  2. fobif says:

    Hi Chris
    No, not yet: but we’re hoping it might be available through Shire channels soon.

  3. Duncan+Sharp says:

    …And what of the mistletoe that may be living in Cootamundra Wattle, or the wildlife that depends on that mistletoe that will suffer if every Cootamundra were removed? I say this because often I notice that for miles and miles around it is only Cootamundra that is hosting Amyema preissii and Amyema quandang. I would rather a longer-term strategy that includes thinking about all the wildlife that now use Cootamundra Wattles as a home, or a food source, or as a place for nesting for example be put forth. Plants considered weeds often have biodiversity value also and may be supporting local wildlife. A better strategy would be to remove the weeds only after local native restoration plantings are old enough to provide similar biodiversity functions. This way weed removal doesn’t add to the devastation of other species already doing it tough and possibly only surviving locally because of the weeds. Cutting down all the Pinus radiata in an area that has no banksia or sheok is a sure fire way to impact negatively on Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos for example….so plant first and remove later.

    • fobif says:

      Good points Duncan. Mistletoe flourishes in other wattles too, which is why some people have the strategy of steadily replacing Cootamundra with, say, Silver wattle. ‘Scorched earth’ in general, might not be the way to go.

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