Home and commercial gardeners in the South West are reminded to take care with what plants they put in ponds after the serious aquatic weed salvinia was found in a Bunbury garden.
Salvinia is a Weed of National Significance and subject to eradication controls in Western Australia.
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development priority weed response manager Andrew Reeves said the fast-growing weed could potentially double in size every 20 days over summer and could choke out waterways, ponds and river systems, if it became established.
“Unfortunately, someone has released salvinia into a garden pond in the Bunbury area,” Mr Reeves said.
“If left unmanaged it would eventually cover the entire water surface, killing any fish by de-oxygenating the water.”
The weed was reported through the MyPestGuide Reporter™ app. It has since had been removed and the pond is being monitored by department biosecurity officers.
Mr Reeves encouraged residents and businesses check their properties, particularly ponds and fish tanks.
“Anyone who suspects they have salvinia in their garden should report his weed, so that it can be properly disposed of,” Mr Reeves said.
Salvinia is a free-floating perennial aquatic fern made up of pairs of oval, green to brown leaves connected by a horizontal stem.
The top of each leaf has many tiny, hair-like structures that split then rejoin at the tips to form an eggbeater-like structure. Under the water, each plant produces other leaves that look like a small bunch of brown roots.
Any suspected sightings of salvinia should be reported to the Pest and Disease Information Service on (08) 9368 3080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital reports can be made using the MyPestGuide Reporter™ app and selecting the project MyWeedWatcher.
Jodie Thomson/Megan Broad, media liaison (08) 9368 3937