All Victorians, including those Whittlesea and Hume, can help protect food growing communities, biodiversity, gardens, lakes and places of cultural significance by helping to stop the sale of two of the world’s most invasive aquatic weeds.
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Manager High Risk Invasive Plants Angela Constantine said the ongoing illegal trade of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes or Pontederia crassipes) and salvinia (Salvinia
molesta) is putting the state at risk.
“We’re running a campaign helping to raise awareness about the risks of these plants, as they can cause extensive damage by choking rivers, dams, lakes and irrigation channels,” she said.
“The continued trade of these plants helps them to spread fast and once introduced to a new area, these weeds quickly cover waterways.
“These weeds may look attractive, but their ability to quickly spread harms native plants and wildlife, and reduces water quality for farming and recreation.”
Water hyacinth and salvinia are primarily spread by people buying and selling them to go in ornamental ponds, dams and aquariums.
“It is illegal to buy, sell or give away water hyacinth or salvinia in Victoria, however in most cases home gardeners are unaware of the potential harmful impacts of these weeds,” Ms Constantine said.
“When you consider that one water hyacinth plant can produce more than 3000 seeds over summer, you can see how easily they can be spread from a backyard pond – they also have extensive root systems that
can generate other plants too.
“The plants can be carried by birds to other waterways and once established, the infestations can be costly and hard to control.
“Salvinia, also known as “water spangles”, is equally invasive, and can cover an entire dam in just one season.”
Agriculture Victoria will safely treat, remove and dispose of State prohibited weeds such as water hyacinth and salvinia, at no cost to the land holder.
If you suspect you have water hyacinth or salvinia on your property, please take a photo of the plant and email it to email@example.com, or call the Customer Contact Centre on 136 186.
You can also make a report via the Agriculture Victoria website – www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/waterweeds .