Alert on invasive coastal dunes plant

The native pink flowering pigface. Pictures: Stirling Natural Environment Coastcare
The native pink flowering pigface. Pictures: Stirling Natural Environment Coastcare

Stirling Natural Environment Coastcare is marking the yellow flowering plant for removal to differentiate it from the native pink flowering pigface.

The introduced plant’s flower forms a small cup, which fills with small pepper-like seeds that propagate prolifically and quickly turn areas into monocultures.

Convenor of Stirling Natural Environment Coastcare Rae Kolb said other than the colour of the flowers, it is extremely difficult to tell the two apart.

Ms Kolb said removing the plants is extremely difficult, especially once they are established.

‘The plant roots at each nodule, quickly establishes, is heavy and takes considerable effort to pull out and be removed altogether from sites.

‘Follow-up monitoring and maintenance is required to avoid residue root parts regrowing.

‘Small plants popping up in the vicinity of large marked plants are now automatically removed.’

Even after being removed, the African pigface leaves behind chemical suppressants which hamper the growth of any new plants in the area.

Ms Kolb said a further complication is that the pink and yellow pigface may have crossed to form a hybrid.