Bridal creeper, Asparagus asparagoides
a South African invader, infests native vegetation in all southern
Australian states. It forms massive tuber mats in the soil and impenetrable
thickets of foliage. The tuber mats prevent native plant seedlings
from establishing and birds eating fruits spread seeds of the weed.
Three biological control agents have been released in Australia;
a leafhopper, Zygina sp. (in 1999), a rust fungus, Puccinia
myrsiphylli (in 2000) and a leaf beetle, Crioceris sp.
Both the leafhopper
and the rust fungus are causing impressive damage at release sites
in south-eastern New South Wales and Western Australia and are now
part of a national redistribution program.
studies, with personnel from other agencies from across southern
Australia, are underway to measure the impact of these two agents
on populations of bridal creeper.
by: Natural Heritage Trust, Cooperative Research Centre for
Australian Weed Management, Australian and New Zealand Environment
Victorian Department of Primary Industries, NSW Agriculture, South
Australian Animal and Plant Control Commission