The results of the prestigious International Garden Photographer of the Year have been announced at the beginning of the month and although not reason for the photograph do present an opportunity to put the spotlight on the problems of non-native invasive species.
The overall winning photo is certainly impressive but also controversial as it shows Russell lupins growing wild in New Zealand where they are classed as an invasive weed by the Conservation Dept. who state: ‘Forms dense stands, prevents native plants establishing. Increased soil nitrogen may induce change in species composition in plant communities. Causes sand and gravel to build up, altering shape of rivers and contributing to flooding and erosion. Increased cover prevents some birds nesting, and increases predation for those bird species that do.’
One New Zealand paper has already headlined the story as ‘Thug hiding in an award wining photograph’.