Thistle harvest

Harvest of thistle flowersThere could be a million thistle seeds in this garbage bag.  And that’s potentially a million weeds that won’t be growing in the Wombat State Forest.

The thistle flowers went into the wheely bin at home and have been disposed of via landfill. But what are they doing in the forest anyway?  And what can be done to prevent their return.

These thistle flowers were “harvested” from Blackwood Ridge Rd on February 11.  There has been a few about over recent years, but this year the numbers have boomed.  They are confined to the areas where the verges have been disturbed.  The photo was taken in an area recently graded to provide drainage for the road.

Alas, there were too many to collect in the time available and we had to admit defeat.  Perhaps DELWP could institute a follow-up program to follow major road renovations in the forest.

According to the Department of Agriculture’s website, a single plant can produce 20,000 seeds.  That’s a lot of thistles to worry about in the forest.

The Port Phillip and Western Port Catchment Management Authority should be worried about this too.  The Scotch Thistle is “Regionally Prohibited” in the catchment.

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