Acaena novae-zelandiae   Pirri-pirri-bur I

Acaena novae-zelandiae Acaena novae-zelandiae close

This introduction from New Zealand or Australia has taken a particular liking to the dunes of Lindisfarne. It isn't obvious why the local distribution varies but in some places there are one or two plants and in others you can't help but tread on them. The burs stick to both natural and man-made fabrics, breaking into separate seeds each remaining attached by its own spine if you try to rub them off. Walking through the plants can leave your shoes literally covered in the burs.

English Nature would rather we all cleaned every single bur off before leaving the island but this can be such a daunting task that I doubt many casual visitors will even try, much less succeed. The idea is to prevent transfer to the dunes on the mainland but the plant is already there to no-one's surprise. Although this invader has dotted itself around the country the greatest concentration is around Holy Island.

There is a little in Ireland and since 1999 it has established itself in southern Scotland and the central belt where, I am reliably informed, it has become enough of a nuisance for East Lothian council to become concerned.

Holy Island (Lindisfarne) Northumberland 15th July 2006

Added on 8th Aug 06, updated 29th Apr 08, updated 20th Feb 10, updated Se3 22nd Apr 10, 2nd May 2011, updated 26th Feb 2012

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