During a recent pleasant weeding session at The Fair project site I spotted a flowering plant that I haven’t seen before. I took photographs and uploaded them on Canberra Nature Map; see this sighting.
The ACT Weed Officer Steve Taylor confirmed the species to be Fireweed, Senecio madagascariensis, a highly invasive and toxic pest plant which is declared a Weed of National Significance.
The species is a prohibited and notifiable pest plant in the ACT.
I removed and disposed of the single plant and searched the surrounds however I could not find more flowering specimen.
Please keep your eyes open for fireweeds on your walks, particularly on the northwest slope of Mt Majura. If you spot a plant that looks like the fireweed take photos of the flower heads and leaves and upload the photos on Canberra Nature Map* for identification.
The following links provide information on Fireweed:
*Canberra Nature Map (CNM) is a repository for members of the public to report sightings of all local wildlife of the Canberra region whether they are pests, potential major weeds or rare or endangered species. The award-winning Citizen Science project provides a fantastic tool for learning and for sharing information about what creeps, crawls, slithers, hops, flies and grows in an area of interest.
CNM has over 1000 visitors a day and has become the authoritative source on ACT and surrounding region wildlife. Its real-time update capability and widespread use by ACT decision-makers mean that contributors know, the records they add in the morning can input into land management decisions made that afternoon.
Get your smart phone ready when you walk next time on Mt Majura…