Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

10 Nov 2017 – The Americans are coming! A talk on invasive grasses from the USA

Posted on 6 November, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Ian Higgins is the guest speaker for the November Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club meeting.  Ian is a renowned local botanist, and was recently recognised as the 2017 Victorian Landcarer of the Year for his work with the Friends of Campbells Creek Landcare group.

Ian’s talk, titled ‘The Americans are coming’, is an overview of the invasive stipoid needle grasses that are spreading across many parts of Australia, including the local area.   His talk will cover:

Chilean Needle-grass (photo from the NSW DPI website).

What are they? The seven species currently known (or prohibited in the case of Mexican Feather-grass) from Victoria
Where are they? Where they are known to exist in Victoria and in our district
Why are they a problem? Behaviour and the threat posed to natural values
How can I identify them? Identification characteristics, especially how to distinguish them from native grasses
How are they spreading?  Dispersion strategies and human involvement.
How to manage them?  Duration of seed viability in soil, herbicides, etc.

Ian has also offered to help members and visitors to identify different grass species on the night.  If you have a specimen that you suspect is a weed, bring it along (preferably in a sealed plastic bag to prevent the spread of seeds).

When:  7.30pm on the second Friday in November (10th Nov). Members and visitors all welcome.

Where:  Uniting Church on Lyttleton St, Castlemaine – next door to the Art Gallery.  Due to exams being held in hall, this talk will be held in the chapel at the rear of the main church building.

There will be an excursion on the following day (Sat 11th Nov) to view some stipoid grasses in the field with a specialist.

If you have questions, please contact the Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club.

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