Pink ragwort has advanced inland
The weed pink ragwort is more widespread than Horizons Regional Council staff thought possible.
‘‘ It’s the poster boy of weeds,’’ Horizons environmental co-ordinator Craig Davey said.
He said pink ragwort had spread too far to consider eradication.
‘‘ It’s been in the dune land for 50 years. It started as a garden plant and spread. We saw it first from Whanganui to Wellington in the light sand country, but has spread further inland than we expected.’’
He said environmental staff and farmers saw it in dry sites such as by roads and in driveways and it had colonised in the Manawatu Gorge, but it did not take over pasture as some weeds had.
The small plants could be eaten by stock, but once it was big and woody, and prickly, stock didn’t like it, Davey said.
A mature plant had about 150,000 seeds, which were spread by the wind, he said.
If people do see it growing in new places, now is the time to pull it out, or spray it, as the plant is flowering at the moment. ‘‘We recommend containing it. But it is aggressive and although last year we tried to keep it out of Tararua, it spread there and it’s in the gorge now.’’
WIDESPREAD: Pink ragwort has spread further than originally thought.