2015 Favourite Plant and Worst Weed winners announced

2015 winner (photo: Jessie Prebble)

Favourite Plant

The 2015 Favourite Plant and Worst Weed election has once again come to an end. Voting for your favourite New Zealand plant and worst weed was run through November after being kicked off at the Dunedin Conference. The 13th annual competition for favourite plant was anyone's guess at the start of the vote, then quickly became a one horse race earning 25% of the vote.

The winner of the 2015 Favourite Plant as voted by you is…

Giant Emperor Daisy (Pleurophyllum speciosum)

This “At Risk - Naturally Uncommon” megaherb is found only on subantarctic islands. It grows to an impressive metre across and has stout scapes up to a metre in height topped with violet composite flowers. A sight to be seen in flower and one which has not been sighted by many, as the habitat which they occupy is visited only by a few people each year. Some of the voters had this to say:

“Stunning on its own, stupendous en masse.”

“I've had the privilege to see fields of this flowering on Campbell and it is a stunner."

“What isn't there to admire in this magnificent megaherb? Its isolated location lends it an almost mythical presence amongst New Zealand plants. Unusually large with brilliant purple inflorescences Pleurophyllum speciosum is the personification of a botanical legend. This plant alone is worth travelling the distance south to Campbell Island; I would do anything to visit this plant again.”

You can download a poster of the winner here.

Worst Weed

The worst weed competition which is in its fourth year was a close affair this year, with the winner only managing 17% of your votes. This species is a pain all over the country and is again, a much deserved winner, that’s three out of four years. 

The winner of the 2015 Worst Weed as voted by you again is . . .

Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis)

There is little needed explanation about this pestilent menace of a plant. I will leave it to the voters to express their thoughts:

“Hate it!”

“This is a pernicious weed which wrecks an unprecedented level of havoc among our native ecosystems and urban gardens throughout New Zealand; by acknowledging its particularly detrimental impact on the environment I hope that people nationwide are inspired to take their best efforts to remove this species from our ecosystem.”

“Here's one for John Sawyer (he hated it and made a point about it being accidentally show cased in the "LOTR Fellowship of the Rings" film).“

Thanks again voters!! More details will be announced in the December Trilepidea.

- Matt Ward (NZPCN Council)