When cyclists from the Great Victorian Bike Ride “ascend” on Tarra Bulga next week they will notice along with the many native plants in flower some attractive looking flowering plants that are in fact not so desirable. One of the most obvious they will see is Creeping Buttercup – (Ranunculus repens). Although there are native Buttercup species this one comes from the Northern hemisphere. As can be seen by the sea of yellow along the roadsides at this time of the year, it has been well established for a long time and has also penetrate to some moist areas deeper in the park resulting in the displacement of native species.
Another weed that is threatening to take over and become more of a pest is Myosotis sylvatica or Wood forget-me-not. There are also native relatives of this plant in existence, but this species is native to Europe and has been introduced to Tarra Bulga from garden escapes. It is popping up all over the roadsides and is threatening to penetrate deeper into the park. Park staff and volunteers are vigilant in trying to remove seedlings whenever they are encountered but the task seems to be getting more difficult.
A weed that is very established in some sections of the park is Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum) and it is proving very difficult to control. It is a shrub that in some areas has formed dense thickets, dominating the understorey, it originates from Eurasia. A couple of years ago a trial site at Tarra Bulga was established and a rust that attacks the leaves of Tutsan was introduced. Unfortunately the rust has not successfully established at the site and so we are still looking for solutions to get this beast under control.