Prickly Pears, a problem?

19th April 2021
 'Do we have a Prickly Pear problem on the Merri Creek?'

Tony Faithfull writes 'I used to not think so, but I'm starting to think we have a problem'.

This statement is in regards to prickly pear species along the Merri Creek. Having surveyed from the Yarra River as far upsteam as Coburg, Tony has started mapping these species and has been shocked by the number of different species present along the creek (6 in 30 occurances). 

Prickly pears can be spread along waterways by floodwaters as seed and plant fragments are distributed downstream to create new infestations. They are also spread by birds eating the fruit and excreeting the seed elsewhere, and from discarded cuttings.

It is legal for many of these species to be grown - but they are also regarded as environmental weeds in Victoria.

To read Tony's original blog post, click here.

Image: Tony Faithfull. Cochineal insects on Drooping Prickly Pear on Merri Creek.

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