Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mean weeds: Scotland's gift to Australia

Last night we celebrated New Year's Eve with a few friends. We are no longer party animals and decided we would be on Sydney time and finished at ten. Very pleasant evening with nice food and some drinks.

This morning we walked near Bibra Lake and found an area which was host to quite a few Scotch Thistles. Neither of us has ever seen a Scotch Thistle in the flesh, or in the prickle for that matter. Very pretty bush with nasty thorns all over them. Tomorrow I will contact the local council and maybe the 'Friends of Bibra Lake' and suggest that they poison them off ASAP. If they don't want to, I will.
Western Australia has a few nasty weeds. As a kid I remember bicycle tyres were often punctured by doublegee seeds. Similar devices were employed during WW2 to puncture vehicle tyres. Doublegee has mostly been eliminated in the metropolitan areas but I am not sure about the country. One mean country weed, Caltrop has been seen in the city. It also was a weapon against horses in medieval times. It seems that the seeds of good plants aren't viable for too long, but the nasties have seeds that are viable for up to 40 years. Once again, the good die young.

The fight against Scotch Thistle is not new as shown from this snip from an early W.A. Government Gazette.

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