Bitou bush, Chrysanthemoides monilifera rotundata
Bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides
monilifera rotundata) is a South African native which is now
rated as the worst weed in the Australian coastal environment, restricting
access to beaches and destroying native bushland.
It first found
its way to Australia in 1908, dumped as ballast from ships on the
banks of the Hunter River. Between 1946 and 1968, it was deliberately
planted by the Soil Conservation Service of NSW for soil and dune
stabilisation along the eastern coast of Australia.
Bitou bush currently
infests coastal areas of southern Queensland, New South Wales and
Lord Howe Island. It infests 900 km (80%) of the NSW coast and is
the dominant coastal plant on 400 of those kilometres.
Eight insects have been released in Australia, with the most recent,
the leaf-rolling moth Tortrix sp., being the most promising.
The bitou bush
tip moth, Comosotolopsis germana (feeds in stem tips) and
the bitou bush seed fly, Mesoclanis polana, (larvae feed
on developing seed) are both now widely established.
by: Natural Heritage Trust, Cooperative Research Centre for
Australian Weed Management, NSW Agriculture