Territory and Municipal Services has issued a “Fireweed Alert” which sounds rather exciting:
Canberrans are urged to be on the lookout for infestations of Madagascan Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) which were recently discovered in Crace, Forde, Franklin and Bruce.
“While the weed is commonly found in the surrounding NSW region, the first serious incursion of Madagascan Fireweed in the ACT only occurred in 2011, when a member of the public spotted the plant along the Monaro Highway,” said Steve Taylor, Senior Invasive Weeds Officer, ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
“Since then, small infestations have also been spotted and brought under control along the Kings Highway, Tuggeranong Parkway, Gundaroo Drive and Horse Park Drive.
“If you suspect you have seen Madagascan Fireweed please take note of the location and call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81. Taking a photo of the suspected plant may also help save time in confirming reports.”
Wikipedia has this alarming warning about the effects of the weed:
Symptoms of poisoning from fireweed include gradual weight loss, jaundice, fluid in the lungs, blindness, sudden death without any other indications, aimless wandering, muscular coordination, twitching of the head muscles, abdominal straining, rectal prolapse, and irritability.
Which makes it pretty bad news in my book!