This month’s pest plant is Woolly Nightshade, also known as tobacco plant or flannel plant because its leaves have a velvety texture . It has dense clusters of purple flowers, green or yellow berries about 1cm in size and oval, grey-green leaves. It is a major problem because its seeds are spread by birds, it colonises readily and it poisons the surrounding soil to stop other plants from growing.
Wood pigeons like the seeds but we really do not want it to spread into the Sanctuary so if you find it in your garden please pull out small plants, apply herbicide to medium-size ones and and cut down and treat any larger plants. Stumps are likely to grow again so you do need to treat them – see weedbusters for advice on this. Then replant with something like viburnum or native five-finger.
If you see it on public land please report it to Auckland Council, either online or by phone (details here).