It’s not what you think. Nope, Hawaii didn’t just get invaded by the Australian army, but it is having to face a rather fierce Australian invasion of another kind.
Kauai forest restoration efforts include eradicating a very aggressive “superweed” known as Australian tree ferns. While these ferns are attractive, they’re growing so fast, native plants don’t stand a chance.
“It can cause severe changes in an ecosystem. It is far more dispersible than even miconia,” said U.S. Geological Survey botanist Jim Jacobi, referring to the plant that previously had been considered the state’s worst forest weed.
This may be the worst weed in the Kaua’i wet forest environment, said Trae Menard, director of the Kaua’i program for the Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i. It is found on other islands as well, but nowhere as widespread as on Kaua’i.
Chris Wichman, director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, is ready for the battle.
“We’re going to hit it with everything we’ve got — ground crews, helicopter control, plant nurseries and help from individuals — but it’s going to take everyone.”
You can read more at The Honolulu Advertiser.