Story: Weeds of the bush
This large Chilean rhubarb (Gunnera tinctoria) was growing in the Pohangina valley, in the Manawatū, in 1997. The South American species is often planted around pond edges in gardens, and was first noticed in the wild in 1968. Chilean rhubarb produces huge amounts of seed, which are spread by birds and water. The plant can tolerate salt spray and grow in a variety of conditions, from wet cliffs to dry banks, but is especially problematic on coastal cliffs in Taranaki. Since July 2003, land occupiers in Taranaki have been required to destroy all Chilean rhubarb on their property.
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Department of Conservation
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