Is that a Weed?

It's important to get to know your weeds. If in doubt, don't pull it out.

One of our early lessons came from Steve Szydlowski from the ToVP. Steve made sure we were all very familiar with a small annual native herb called Trachymene pilosa or Dwarf Native Parsnip – known to us as Trachy. Recognising this plant is part of our induction for new weeders, and we’re happy to report that it has flourished this year. It is definitely not a weed.

The Friends have completed over 1100 hours of weeding at Jirdarup over the last two seasons, 2022 and 2023.  A common cry in the early days was ‘hey, can everyone come and have look at this?  Is it a weed or a native?’  This is obviously a pretty important distinction when weeding, and we are pleased to say that our ability to answer this question has improved dramatically over the last 2 years.

Armed with one of our key weeding principles of ‘if in doubt, don’t pull it out’ and pictures of the plant in question, we’ve used an array of tools including resource books, plant identification apps, groups and websites, and support from our partners at SERCUL and ToVP, to expand our knowledge and to weed with far more confidence.

We also recently attended a Weed Identification workshop hosted by the Weeds Society of WA, where even the experts admitted that telling the difference between native and non-native grasses can be tricky, particularly at the juvenile stage.  One of our key aims for the next weeding season is to develop a database of the native and non-native grasses at Jirdarup, along with handy identification tips to answer the question ‘is this is weed or not?’