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Media Releases

Posted on: 30 November, 2020

Weeding out ... St John's Wort

Council’s ‘Weeding out’ campaign is running through November and December to share information on our region’s priority weeds. This week we’re focusing on St John’s Wort as our ‘weed of the week’.

As we head into the warmer months, Snowy Monaro Regional Council is calling on all community members to get to know our region’s unwanted (priority) weeds. Together we can all play a part to protect the environment, help our famers and support our community.

The impact of weeds on natural vegetation can be devastating and is estimated to cost the NSW economy approximately $1.8 billion annually (NSW Department of Industry, 2018).

WHAT IS ST JOHN'S WORT?

St John’s Wort is an exotic, perennial, woody weed with perforated leaves and yellow flowers. It grows to about 30 – 90cm tall. Wort spreads via seed as well as underground runners and is very difficult to eradicate.

WHY IS ST JOHN'S WORT A PROBLEM?

• It is toxic to stock and can cause photosensitisation (effectively sunburn), failure to thrive, abortion and even death if grazed extensively.
• St John’s Wort is a priority weed in the Snowy Monaro Regional Council area due to its toxicity and invasiveness. This weed is scattered on the road corridor, on lands around towns, on ungrazed farmland and on many rural properties.
• St John’s Wort will also readily invade bushland including native grassland, woodland and even forested areas, reducing biodiversity and destroying natural habitat.
• St John’s Wort spreads quickly through paddocks and along tracks and trails. It invades both native vegetation and improved pasture.
• Seeds stick to fleece and fur and can reduce wool quality.
• Vehicles and equipment, as well as livestock and native animals, can spread seeds.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?

• Learn to identify and effectively control St John’s Wort.
• Search your property for new germinations or regrowth of St John’s Wort. Plants are more obvious from early December when they begin flowering. You can find new leaves emerging from October.
• If you find plants, control them prior to the flowers forming capsules. This will prevent seed set
• Dispose of any plants you remove manually in the designated Weeds bins at a Council Landfill.
• Download the free NSW WeedWise app for detailed information on how to identify and manage local priority weeds: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds
• Visit Council’s website to understand how we can help you with weed management: https://www.snowymonaro.nsw.gov.au/140/Biosecurity-and-Weeds
• Visit the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website for information on weed control methods: https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds/weed-control

Contact Snowy Monaro Regional Council if you have any questions regarding St John’s Wort or any other weeds on your property. Call 1300 345 345 to be connected to our Biosecurity Officers who specialise in weed management.

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