Sweet viburnum on rampage
COFFS Harbour gardeners are being asked to help stop what is becoming a very serious weed escaping from backyards.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) pest management officer Mr Tim Scanlon said sweet viburnum, or Viburnum odoratissimum, an evergreen small tree growing to six metres and sometimes sold under the name ‘Emerald lustre’ is becoming popular as a hedge or screen plant but is also spreading to bushland areas.
“In the past few years sweet viburnum has quickly spread to rainforest, creek bank and swamp forest communities in Coffs Harbour. As it is fast-growing, it has out-competed many native species,” Mr Scanlon said.
“Coffs Harbour City Council and NPWS bush regenerators have been controlling the species in bushland at Korora, Coffs Creek, Mullaway, Arrawarra, Sawtell and Toormina at great expense. Sweet viburnum has large shiny and leathery leaves. Its white fragrant flowers are star-shaped and form in clusters.
“The fact that sweet viburnum grows in a broad range of soil types and both full-sun and semi-shade means it can invade many different bushland areas in the Coffs Harbour area.”