We are committed to preventing the invasion of alien vegetation into our Sanctuary.
Alien plants have to be managed and this is a huge task. We have a permanent work team removing invasive plants. They have been introduced into South Africa, from other Countries, through the ages, as ornamental garden plants. Unfortunately, they cause a negative impact to our indigenous vegetation.
In our Forest Sanctuary, we have various alien plants that have spread throughout Kwa Zulu Natal East Coast. They include:
Paraffin bush (Cromolaena odorata) introduced from
North America, from Florida and Texas to Mexico and the Caribbean.
This notious plant has become a major invasive species in KZN. We were well aware of its impact and from the earliest years we have prevented it as far as possible, from invading our Forest Sanctaury.
Guava (Psidium guajava) This is a well known fruit but unfortunately it speads rapidly into indigenous areas and it is an alien from Southern Mexico through to Central America.
Peanut butter cassia ( Senna didymobotrya) originates in Tropical Africa
Queen of the night (scereus jamacaru) originates in South America. It is similar in appearance to the indigenous Naboom (Euphorbia ingens) commonly known as Candelabra Tree
The indigenous Candalabra looks very similar but it has just two short thorns unlike the Queen opf the night invasive plant that has long thorns. The bees and birds love the indigenous Candalabra
(Euphorbia ingens) flowers
Potato Creeper (Solanum Seaforthianum (Solanaceae) introduced from Brazil – from Tropical Africa
Our challenge this summer has been a massive infestation of Potato Creeper ( Solanum seaforthianum (Solanaceae) ) It has invaded our Forest but it is a schedule 1b invasive plant meaning that it has serious negative effects on the environment. We have been systematically removing it from the forest. Luckily it is easily pulled out by its roots. We also remove the berries as each berry has over 30 seeds!
The Potato creeper t is a particularly notorious plant as it creeps over indigenous vegetation and trees and smothers them. This creeper probably “escaped: from a local garden. It has pretty purple flowers and striking red berries that the birds love. They disperse the berries that they favor over indigenous ones, thereby causing not only the distribution of the alien but also reducing the distribution of seeds and berries of indigenous trees and vegetation.
ALIEN PLANTS ARE BOTANICAL POACHERS! They have to be controlled and it is a huge task and costly necessity. We are doing all we can to prevent alien plants from infesting our beautiful indigenous Forest Sanctuary.