Weed Profile: Boneseed

Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera) is one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its severe environmental impacts. This killer is invasive and has a threatening potential to spread rapidly.

Boneseed is a declared noxious weed in Victoria – it endangers rare and threatened plants.

Perhaps the most worrying aspect of Boneseed is that it thrives in coastal areas. It favours sandy soils and tolerates saline conditions.

Boneseed is recognizable by its erect, woody, evergreen shrub that can grow to 3m. The fleshy leaves are an elongated oval shape with toothed edges. When flowering, they have yellow daisy petals that grow in clusters. Boneseed also has round, green and black berries, each containing a seed.


–          Invades dunes and coastal areas;

–          Grows in most soil types and tolerates a wide range of climates;

–          Rapidly regrows after a disturbance;

–          Alters habitat and shifts food plants of native animals; and

–          Can restrict access to beaches, parks and trails.

It is for these reasons, along with the alarming fact that it has no natural enemies in Australia, that Boneseed has so rapidly invaded many areas of Victoria. It is now in mid-winter that the plant flowers and it is NOW that you need to take control before the killer takes over your garden.

What can you do to protect your area from Boneseed?

Boneseed is difficult to clear, it is very hardy and can withstand salt spray. Report an infestation to your local weeds officer.

It is easy to join a local Landcare of Coastcare group to remove Boneseed. Contact the State Landcare Coordinator on (03) 96378033 or see – http://landcarevic.net.au/regions.

If you want more information regarding Boneseed and other weeds go to The Weeds Australia website – here

More information about weeds and how to protect the coast from them is available here.

Below is a video about the importance of protecting our coast.

Information for this blog came from the Victorian Government, Victorian Department of Primary Industries and National Bitou Bush and Boneseed Management Group flyer.

Holiday fun on the coast for all

Looking for activities for the kids these school holidays? Perhaps activities that are not only fun but educational and with an environmental message might be just what you are after.

Get out and about and have some fun on the holidays and learn about the environment as well!

There’s so many options for holiday fun on the coast- one example is Parks Victoria’s holiday program – with  activities being held over the school holiday period between 7 July and 14 July at a variety of locations along the Surf Coast and Great Ocean Road (including Pt Addis and Urqharts Bluff) and across Victoria as part of their Junior Ranger program.

Activities include bushwalking and beach discoveries, and are suitable for primary school-aged children and their families.  They also have some DIY activities for both indoors and out.

The Marine Discovery Centre is also running free activities with Rockpool Rambles being held on the coast, find out more here. 

You can have fun and learn about the coast these school holidays either out and about or in the comfort of your own home!


If its cold and wintery you can have fun at home on a rainy day using our free printable activities like board games puzzles and brain-teasers that are not only educational but fun for all ages.

If the weather is fine, you could head out and discover the coast, find inspiration for an activity trail and discover the Surf Coast Walk here or explore the wonders of the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary and Split Point Lighthouse here.

For a comprehensive list of school holiday activities on offer throughout the state visit the Victorian Government’s School Holiday Activities Page here.

Are you getting out and about on the coast these holidays? Share your stories!

Anglesea heath back to its former glory

The coastal reserve above the Anglesea Surf Club has undergone a remarkable environmental transformation, thanks to a five-year project carried out by students and volunteers.

Year nine students from St Bernard’s College and Anglesea Coast Action (ACA) volunteers have spent more than 700 hours restoring the heathland back to its natural state. Students and volunteers met regularly at the site to remove the weeds with loppers and saws.

A big thank you to the St Bernard’s students and volunteers who spent over 700 hours restoring the area above the Anglesea Surf Club.

Why did this site need attention?

The site’s Indigenous vegetation was damaged during the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires and struggled to recover due to the quick regrowth of weeds.

Carl Rayner, secretary of ACA, said only small amounts of biodiversity remained in the reserve when the project began.

“The area has gone from a weed-infested coastal reserve with half a dozen species to a thriving heathland, which is now home to over 110 species of Indigenous plants,” he said.

“The result is amazing and I have never seen a transformation quite like it before.”

Vice president of Anglesea and Aireys Inlet Society for the protection of Flora and Fauna (ANGAIR), Neil Tucker, said the weeding work meant smothered native vegetation was able to germinate again and grow naturally.

“A wonderful variety of native plants have bloomed in the area including orchids, which no one knew were there,” he said.

How do St Bernard’s students give back to the environment? 

St Bernard’s campus director, Mark Smith, said the program taught the students about the need for everyone to take responsibility for the protection and preservation of the natural environment.

“We wanted them to contribute to an ongoing community project that fitted with our theme of environmental awareness – and the project was a perfect fit,” he said.

“The students are all from the city and spend four weeks at the school’s Santa Monica Campus each year. The students have benefited by gaining a better understanding of the coastal environment, especially in terms of learning about what plants are Indigenous and why it is advisable to plant them – and how invasive species have affected the coast and dunes.”

Year 9 student Josh Saliba is one of many St Bernard’s College students who have helped restore Anglesea Heath back to its natural state.

What other benefits have emerged from the project?

Mr Rayner said plenty of positive feedback had been received about the restored site.

“The view from the nearby lookout is magnificent and people have said to me that it’s now arguably one of the best views along the Great Ocean Road.”

The project was made possible through Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, ACA and ANGAIR funding.

Have you seen the coastal reserve above the Anglesea Surf Club recently?

Tell us what you think of the transformation!

Want to get involved in GORCC’s Environmental Education Program for schools? Click here for more information.

Interested in protecting and preserving the coast? Find out more about environmental volunteering on the coast here.

Check out what other local schools have done lately to protect our beautiful coast.

Action and art for conservation

Queens Park blitz a group effort

Action and art for conservation

Students from St. Therese Catholic Primary School have been working alongside local environmental volunteers to protect threatened Moonah trees while encouraging others to look after our coastline.

Grade 3 and 4 students from St. Therese Primary School students teamed up with with volunteers from Surf Coast Inland Plains Network (SCIPN),  Torquay Coast Action (TCA) and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) to plant 400 Moonah and Wirildra trees near  Whites Beach.

Drawing inspiration from the latest SCIPN wildlife card collection by local artist Mark Trinham, students also created and displayed their own artwork at the planting site.

St. Therese Primary School students Mickey Cotsopoulos, Charlotte Morgan and Olivia Gross with their artwork and GORCC conservation officer Georgie Beale

Native animals such as frogs, reptiles, mammals, bats, freshwater fish and many birds from the region feature in the cards, which were developed to promote local  wildlife and conservation education.

SCIPN operations manager Mandy Coulson said students had researched Moonah Woodlands in class and also worked on their art.

“Their artwork depicts local trees and animals, and has been displayed near the planting site to raise public awareness of the coastal environment,” she said.

For more information on Moonah Woodlands, please click here.

Glenda Shomaly, a volunteer from TCA, said St. Therese Primary School plays an active role in educating its students on the importance of maintaining and enhancing the local environment.

“St. Therese Catholic Primary School students plant 400 trees a year  as a part of their carbon offset project,” she said.

The school’s sustainability coordinator, Gerard McCarthy, said students were excited to participate in the day’s activities.

“Opportunities like this allow the students to further understand their local environment and how to look after it,” he said.

“As they grow up, they will be able to appreciate their own efforts made to protect the area.”

This educational activity was made possible by a grant received from the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, which is celebrating 25 years of land care this year.

Why did the site need rehabilitation?

The area, which borders Fishermans Beach and Whites Beach, was chosen because only one per cent of Moonah trees remain there due to decimation.

GORCC coastal project manager Mike Bodsworth said GORCC was grateful to the students and volunteers for their assistance in an area requiring restoration.

“GORCC has supported their work by fencing the site to protect the re-vegetated area and give it the best chance of survival,” he said.

Our coastal ecosystem will be threatened if Moonah Woodlands are not planted in the area.

More information

Torquay Coast Action hold regular working bees along the coast.

For further information please phone 5261 6266.

Check out what other students have done to help the coast in our previous blogs:

Queens Park blitz a group effort

Plunging in for fish count

Students take lead on coast care

Heart of coast restored by hand

Jan Juc Coast Action will work with local volunteers throughout a two year project to restore grasslands atop the Jan Juc cliffs.

Jan Juc Coast Action hopes the Jan Juc grasslands restoration will have the same success as the Grassy Groundcover Restoration Project which spanned three years and restored native grasslands across Victoria.

“The Grassy Ground Cover Restoration Project demonstrated that it is possible to recreate grasslands,” said native grasslands expert Paul Gibson Roy.

Jan Juc Coast Action Chairperson, Luke Hynes, said the project is to begin in late August.

“Grasslands are a vegetation type that has been severely depleted across Victoria.

 “Grasslands are a vegetation type that has been severely depleted across Victoria.

“We should be trying to maintain and enhance the grassland areas of the Jan Juc cliffs as there are only a few examples of this vegetation type remaining,” said Mr Hynes.

The project is based on the techniques developed by Mr. Gibson Roy.

“There is less than one per cent of native grasslands remaining, they could be considered one of the most endangered species in Australia,” said Mr. Gibson Roy.

Jan Juc Coast Action will use the same techniques used in the Grassy Ground Cover Restoration to restore the Jan Juc grasslands.

Mr Hynes said the grassland restoration involves taking off the top 10 to 15 cm of soil which will remove the high level nutrient soil and any weed seed in the soil.

“We will then reseed back into the exposed soil with native grassland seeds.

“The low nutrient, weed seed free soil should provide a great substrate for the native grasslands species to thrive,” said Mr Hynes.

Volunteers have been actively involved the Grassy Groundcover Restoration project and the Jan Juc Coast Action Grasslands Restoration.

“Volunteers are incredibly important. Most of our research was undertaken on farms and public land and the project relied heavily on farmers and the community, “said Mr Gibson Roy.

Learn more about coastal volunteering in this Coast Action/Coastcare video clip.


Mike Bodsworth, Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Coastal Project Manager said that GORCC is supportive of Jan Juc Coast Action’s initiative.

Jan Juc Coast Action working bees take place on the first Sunday of each month

For more information on Jan Juc Coast Action click here or if you would like to volunteer contact Luke Hynes ph. 0406 113 438 or email luke@beaconecological.com.au

Have a look at these links for more information.

Coast Action/Coastcare

Grassy Groundcover Gazette

Greening Australia

Jan Juc Coast Action

Volunteering on the Surf Coast

This column bought to you by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee, to visit the  GORCC website click here.

This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times Tuesday 23 August 2011

Are you or anyone you know involved in the Jan Juc grasslands restoration?

Are you interested in coastal volunteering?

Do you know of any other environmental projects happening on the Surf Coast?

Let us know your thoughts and opinions!

Students take lead on coast care

Geelong VCE students recently got hands on in the protection of the environment as the first participants in a new coastal environmental education program.

The enthusiastic year 12’s from North Geelong Secondary College were helping to preserve threatened coastal Moonah Woodlands as part of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s recently launched Environmental Education and Activities Program.

GORCC conservation team leaders with North Geelong Secondary College VCE Students

Principal of North Geelong Secondary College, Nicholas Adamou, said the College was proud to be the first school taking part in the program.

“North Geelong Secondary College strongly values environmental education.

“Society is increasingly facing environmental issues and we believe we should be taking the lead and getting involved.

“We fully support worthwhile programs such as this one,” said Mr Adamou.

The GORCC Education and Activities Program offers opportunities for all ages to learn about and care for coastal environments and is offered free to schools and groups.

Fran Forsyth, North Geelong Secondary College VCE outdoor education teacher said the program formed part of the school’s unit four VCE Environmental Studies and their State of the Environment topic.

“GORCC’s Environmental education program was an opportunity to learn in a practical, hands on sense, and the program fits perfectly with what we are currently studying,” said Ms. Forsyth.

“GORCC’s Environmental education program was an opportunity to learn in a practical, hand on sense, and the program fits perfectly with what we are currently studying.”

GORCC Conservation Team Officer Georgie Beale, who led the activity, said the students participated in a range of activities.

“Activities included planting, a beach cleanup, rubbish pick up along Spring Creek and site maintenance which involved the removal of old guards around the Moonah Trees.

“It was a positive experience for both the students and for us, and helped to create awareness of the work involved in managing coastal sites”

Moonah Woodlands are listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1998, which identifies them as a threatened ecological community and high conservation priority.

A bee on a flowering Moonah tree

The Environmental Education and Activities Program is led by GORCC’s experienced Conservation Team, and has been set up through funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program.

IF your school or group is interested in getting involved, visit the GORCC website.

This article appeared in the Surf Coast Times fortnightly ‘Green the Coast’ column.

Here are some more links if you would like to learn more about the threatened Coastal Moonah Woodlands.

Learn more about Coastal Moonah Woodlands

A field guide to Coast Moonah Woodlands in Victoria

Read about other local native flora

Joint forces protect threatened woodlands

Would you be interested in participating in a GORCC Environmental Education and Activities program? Click here for more information.

There’s an environmental education opportunity out there for you!

There are lots of opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in learning to help the environment and volunteering on the Surf Coast.

Is there one to suit you?

Educational Opportunities offered by GORCC

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) has recently launched an education program which has been specifically designed to be flexible, catering for a range of ages, skills and requirements and is available to schools and groups. Check out the Education and Activities program 

Stay tuned because GORCC is currently developing further educational resources which will be made available online and will include fact sheets, web clips, games, puzzles, activities, lesson ideas and more. These reources will be fun and interactive and will be made accessible for use by teachers, students, parents and anyone interested in coastal environments by the end of this year.

If you’re looking for educational resources already available look at our fact sheets and video clips.


GORCC has launched a new environmental education program.


Environmental volunteering can be an educational opportunity too!

If you are interested in making new friends and challenging themselves consider volunteering with one of the many volunteer groups operating on the coast. Volunteering is a great way to have new experiences, build knowledge and skills and is a hands on way to make a real difference. Volunteering can also be a great addition to your resume as well as being good for your health and fitness.

Many groups offer learning opportunities such as informative walks and resources. Get in contact with a local group to find out what they offer. For a contact list and details of local coastal volunteer groups click here.


St Bernard’s Catholic College students working with Anglesea Coast Action


There are a  range of other environmental education programs, activities, learning resources and more available from many different organisations and providers. Check out just a few examples of the opportunities on offer:

Plants and Animals Education Page

Forests Education

Threatened Species Education and Information Resources

Eco-Logic Education and Environment Services

Parks Victoria Education

Marine Discovery Centre

The Sustainability Hub

Birds Australia Education Resources


Australian Maritime Safety Authority Education Page

Victorian Association for Environmental Education

Australian Water Education Toolkit

Sustainable Schools

Do you know of any other great environmental education resources?

Have you or your family been involved in environmental education programs or accessed any resources?

Please share your thoughts and experiences!