Driving around Marlborough by car, it is easy to miss the colourful diversity of roadside flowers, but slow down and explore the region by bicycle or on foot, and the variety of wildflowers on the roadside and in parks and reserves is quite astonishing. Over spring and summer, the region becomes a blaze of colour, but not all the source of colour is welcome.
Ever since humans first arrived in Aotearoa, humans have, intentionally or unintentionally, introduced foreign plant species. Polynesians brought primarily crop species such as kumara and yams, however with British colonialism, introduction of a large number of plant species for purely decorative purposes began. Many of these plants escaped from gardens and proliferated, many becoming invasive weeds.
New Zealand has a great diversity of indigenous flora, and introduced species that proliferate can displace native species, however desirable or not, introduced plants that have naturalised can provide a colourful display.
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