Cape Town Invasives News

Hottentots Holland CREW finds a population of Montpellier Broom on Vergelegen

Hottentots Holland CREW finds a population of Montpellier Broom on Vergelegen

The Hottentots Holland CREW regularly go botanizing on Vergelelgen Wine Estate. In September 2013 they found a yellow pea in flower, but were uncertain of their identity. Working through the numerous identifications and backlog, they finally posted the plant on Ispot in March 2014 (http://www.ispot.org.za/node/244580?nav=search), where it was identified as Genista monspessulana, commonly known as French or Montpellier Broom.

 

Ispot record

SANBI’s ISP (Invasive Species Programme) identified the plant and alerted the City of Cape Towns Early Detection and Rapid Response Unit. Together with CREW and Vergelegen Environmental managers we went out to site to confirm the identification of the plant. The CREW volunteers assisted in hand pulling all the small individuals and the EDRR team went out to site a week later to remove the remaining large plants.

CREW volunteers hand pulling French Broom    CREW volunteers scouting the area for more plants

The population was found next to one of the farm roads, far away from houses. The origin of these plants is not known, but what is worrying, is that these plants were growing in and among the fynbos. Scouting the surrounding areas we found that this population did not seem to have spread far at all, but to be certain, we need to return when the plants are in flower.

View from where the French Broom was growing

The site will now be monitored and a follow up site visit will be planned for spring when the plants are in flower to see if any individuals were missed. Regular follow ups will ensure that we eradicate this population.