Trees & Shrubs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Polygala myrtifolia / P. myrtifolia var. grandiflora
Erect shrubs, 1.5-4 m high. Leaves are dense, oval, growing very close to stems. Pinkish-purple pea-like flowers, grouped at ends of branchlets. Flowers occur on the ends of leafy branches almost all the year round. Fruit is a flat, almost circular capsule to 1 cm wide, containing 2 seeds about 0.4 cm long. P. m. var. grandiflora is a much stronger species. Flowers are larger, and the longer tapering leaves are darker green.
Threat / Problem
• Serious environmental weed that forms dense thickets.
• Increased fire risk due to high flammability and increased fuel load of dense thickets.
• Produces prolific quantities of seed that can remain viable in the soil for many (3-10) years.
• Germination stimulated by fire.
• P. m. var. grandiflora once thought to be sterile, is now recorded as being able to set seed, and so could also become a problem plant.
• Grows readily from seed, dispersed by wind, water, seed contaminated soil and dumped garden refuse.
• Best from June to October before flowering and seed set.
• Hand pull small plants, cut and swab larger plants.
• Herbicide spray the prolific germination of seedlings after
removal of larger shrubs (best in Autumn).
• Follow-up required for many years.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Erect shrub to 3 m high. The leaves can vary from greyish greengreen, oval, 1.5-4 cm long by 0.7-2.5 cm wide, with a blunt tip. Masses of striking red, pea-shaped flowers, 2.5-4 cm long in July to October are a feature.
Flowers are followed by oblong, flat, seed pods, 4-5 cm long by 1 cm wide, which burst open in hot
weather and throw the seed out. Common in woodland and heath mainly along the coast and also grows in deep sands. Can be propagated easily from seed or cuttings.
OR GROW ME
Bushy, spreading shrub, to 3 m high. The interesting foliage and stem arrangement are a feature of the plant. Phyllodes (modified stems that look like leaves) attach directly to ribbed branchlets, are pointed, oval-shaped. Globular yellow flowers form singly on short stalks from September to February.
Seed pods are flat 3-5 cm long by 1-1.2 cm wide. Highly variable with location, so try to use local stock.
Common on coastal dunes and limestone along the west coast of Eyre Peninsula.
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