Emex australis in Western Australia; an amenity or conservation problem?

Greg Keighery, Department of Conservation and Land Management, PO Box 51, Wanneroo, Western Australia 6065, Australia.


Emex australis is widespread in Western Australia, with numerous records from most large national parks and nature reserves. Generally found only in highly disturbed sites (roads, tracks, firebreaks, picnic sites, old homesteads and clearings) in conservation reserves. On pastoral properties it is also mainly found on tracks, stock pens and watering points.

Natural areas invaded by Emex include edges of creeks, riverine flats, alluvial flats (claypans, edges saline lakes) and granite rocks. These are the sites of biological diversity and refugia in arid Western Australia. Emex is also recorded as a major weed of naturally disturbed seabird rookeries of the Abrolhos Islands. Emex has become a food source for Major Mitchell cockatoos, inland red tailed black cockatoos, galahs, little and long billed corellas in the largely cleared northern wheatbelt.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1996) 11 (4) 143-144.