Herbs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Pimpernels (scarlet or blue)
Annual creeping herb with foursided stems forming mats up to 1 m across. The shiny, rounded, bright green leaves are stalkless, arranged opposite each other, are 0.4-2 cm long by 0.3-1.5 cm wide. Flowers are small, fivelobed, about 0.8 cm across, flat, bright pinkish-orange (or blue) on slender stalks, and only open in bright sunshine, from August to November. Fruit is a small, spherical capsule, 0.4-0.6 cm in
diameter. Found mainly in disturbed areas.
Threat / Problem
• Fast-growing invader of disturbed areas and poisonous to stock.
• Reproduces from seed, spread by wind, water and soil movement.
• Spot spray with approved herbicide before setting seed.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Erect perennial herb often with a woody rootstock. Stem is slender, striate (with longitudinal striping), simple or sometimes branched from the base, 0.1-0.5 m tall. Leaves are usually scattered, stalkless, linear, 0.4-2.5 cm long by 0.1-0.4 cm wide, often clasping the stem.
The small, deep blue-purple flowers that form from October to January, in a terminal spike 2-10 cm long, have three petals 0.3-0.4 cm long. Fruit is an elongated capsule 0.7-0.9 cm long. Found in woodland, on flats, rocky outcrops and low dunes.
OR GROW ME
Perennial, much-branched, suckering shrubs to 0.6 m high. Leaves are usually stalkless, variously toothed, narrow wedge-shaped or linear, 0.4-2.5 cm long by 0.2-0.5 cm wide, flat or folded lengthwise. Flowers are bright-blue and form in terminal clusters, mainly from June to December.
Widespread in sandplains and mallee communities, more in drier areas. Can be propagated from seed or cuttings.
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