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The term weed can mean different things to different people. Generally speaking a weed is defined as any plant that grows at a site where it is not wanted. Weeds can either be an exotic species or a native species that has established itself and persists in an ecosystem where it previously did not exist.

Weeds pose one of the most serious threats to Australia's natural environment, biodiversity and primary production industries.  They displace local native species and contribute to land and water degradation, as well as reducing farm and forestry productivity.

The majority of our invasive weeds were first introduced into Australia for their aesthetic value. Some of the worst weeds found in our open spaces and native bushlands have escaped from our backyards, where they threaten the health and value of those areas. Garden escapees often out-compete native plants, significantly altering the natural balance and threatening biodiversity. Of the almost 3000 introduced plant species known to be established in the Australian environment, 65% are "escaped" garden plants.

Prevention is the most effective method of dealing with weeds. The home gardener has a major role to play in the fight against weeds. By choosing to grow plants that are not invasive or choosing to plant local native species the humble gardener will be helping to protect our natural environment, biodiversity and vulnerable ecosystems.  

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