Author Archives: Joe

Agapanthus, the worst weed?

The article below was submitted to the Blue Mountains Gazette in January.

  • Agapanthus, the worst weed?

By Joe Goozeff

Agapanthus is the worst weed because of its severely detrimental impact on bushland and the difficulty with its eradication once it is established in the bush. How can you help? Deadheading!

Agapanthus are very popular plants in the Upper Mountains, with their large tuft of dark green shiny leaves and blue to purple or white flowers clustered in a large globular flower head, held high above the leaves on a stout shiny stalk up to 1 m high. Individual plants if left to spread can quickly form clumps, that over time can grow up to two metres or so in diameter and a metre in height.

Many people grow them as borders along fences, and on the road edge to define their nature strip, and while agapanthus are very effective as physical barriers, they do have disadvantages. They are a very aggressive plant, plant one and you will soon have a dozen. Leave them alone for a while and you will soon have huge clumps of them The rootballs of the clumps will expand into impenetrable masses, undermining paths, fences and building foundations close by.

The main problem is that their seeds are rapidly spread into bushland, and these seeds spread very easily, and the seeds produce new plants very easily. The seeds at the top of that long stem are spread by the wind and birds, and those seeds that fall to the ground can be carried by rainwater elsewhere. These seeds can travel long distances and produce many plants.

As an example of how they can spread, some years ago the Central Park Bushcare Group removed some agapanthus from an area of bush adjoining the Park in Wentworth Falls. There were dozens of plants growing in very poor soil in a small area of dense bush more than fifty metres from the nearest track. The agapanthus probably came from seeds carried by wind. In another case, in a plot of bush known as The Wild, off Fletcher Street in Wentworth Falls, the Charles Darwin Bushcare Group discovered a huge clump of agapanthus, some five metres across, where the stream flowing through the bush is slowed by a fallen tree and the agapanthus seeds washed down the stream from plants growing on the side of the road, have taken root.

Allowing seeds to disperse can cause major damage to native bushland, and when the seeds are carried by stormwater and creeks into the valleys, there will be damage to the National Park.

The best way to stop the seeds from spreading is to decorate your home with the flowers, and, when they are no longer decorative, put them in your green bin. Of course, if you have too many flowers you can remove the seed heads after the flowers have finished and put them in your green bin. You can use secateurs to do this, or cut the stalk off at the base with a small sickle. Small plants can be dug out. This should be done at the end of January.

If you wish to plant something instead of agapanthus, consider Blue Flax Lily (Dianella caerulea), Mat Rush (Lomandra longifolia), or Crinkle Bush (Lomatia silaifolia).

Joe Goozeff is the coordinator of the Jamison Creek Catchment Community Group. The Group meets regularly to plan activities, seek grants and make submissions on environmental and planning issues relevant to the Jamison Creek catchment. To find out more about the Group contact us at

You can find out about the Bushcare Groups mentioned by phoning the Council on (02) 4780 5000.

Agapanthus clump on a creek line.

The Naming of Jamison Creek.

The valley of Jamison Creek above the waterfall was known as Jamison Valley until about 1834.

Governor Macquarie wrote in his journal, 16 May 1815 “a very extensive pretty valley, with a sum of very fine fresh water, with tolerable good Feed for Cattle, … I have this day named this place Jamison’s Valley” (Blue Mountains Geographic Encyclopaedia p.275). Sir John Jamison was a friend of Macquarie, and a pioneer pastoralist.

Charles Darwin wrote of the view from the waterfall:

‘About a mile away there is a view exceedingly well worth visiting. Following down a little valley and its tiny rill of water, an immense gulf unexpectedly opens through the trees which border the pathway, at the depth of perhaps 1500 feet. Walking on a few yards, one stands on the brink of a vast precipice, and below one sees a grand bay or gulf, for I know not what other name to give it, thickly covered with forest. The point of view is situated as if at the head of a bay, the line of cliff diverging on each side, and showing headland behind headland, as on a bold sea coast.’

What we do.

From here

to here

this is Jamison Creek.

The Jamison Creek Catchment Community Group is a collection of people who enjoy and appreciate Jamison Creek and its surroundings and are working towards improving the health of the Creek and so the National Park into which it runs.

We arrange various activities to increase awareness of the value of the Creek. We occasionally have an information booth in Wentworth Falls and we have a stall at events such as the Festival at The Lake. We arrange trips around the Catchment to look at the work being done by Council in reducing pollutant inflow into the Creek. We work closely with the Bushcare Groups in the catchment.

We hold meetings regularly to plan activities, seek grants and make submissions on environmental and planning issues relevant to the catchment.

You can contact the Group by email at