(Gazania rigens, Gazania linearis)
(photo of Gazania linearis from http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/adelaidemtloftyranges)
We thought it would be beneficial to revisit some of the weeds we have looked at before, such as gazanias. These familiar natives of southern Africa can spread easily in coastal communities, because they withstand salt-laden winds and grow well in sandy soils. They also harbor white snails! Gazanias flower in bronze, yellow and orange shades, often with black markings. Gazania linearis has short, mostly underground stems and dark green leaves, while the stems of Gazania rigens form a mat above ground, and leaves are paler, more silvery. Either can form a monoculture, outcompeting native species for nutrients and moisture.
Gazania is now a declared plant under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004; it can’t be sold at nurseries etc., and it can’t be transported around the state. The Southern Fleurieu Coastal Action Plan gave gazanias a “priority threat rating” of 8, making them the second highest rated weed in the area, behind bridal creeper. If you want to grow something with similar colours, try a native such as the pretty, yellow Common Everlasting Daisy (Chrysacephalum apiculatum).
(For control measures, see the gazania fact sheet from Natural Resources Adelaide & Mt Lofty Ranges, which can be downloaded from http://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/adelaidemtloftyranges; search for gazania, 2017)