Herbs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Erect perennial herb to 1.5 m high. Leaves are long, thin, green above, and white cobwebby below, with toothed margins and a “wing” extending down the stem from the leaf stalk (native Senecio species do not have this wing). Clustered heads of small bright yellow daisy flowers September to April.
Threat / Problem
• Very fast-growing, vigorous competitor. Readily occupies disturbed areas such as following burning or clearing.
• New plants grow from prolifi c seed. Seed spread by soil movement, wind and water.
• Most effective before setting seed. Hand pull any time. Cut at ground level.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Attractive small shrub or herb 10-80 cm high. Bright yellow daisy flowers throughout the year with more in winter and spring. The bright green leaves are extremely variable 1-7 cm long, soft and fine textured.
Widespread and common throughout temperate coastal Australia growing in a wide variety of situations from exposed headlands to moist river flats. It prefers open, sunny and well-drained position.
OR GROW ME
Spreading shrub with reddish stems, 1-3 m high. Leaves are lance-shaped, coarsely toothed, whitish beneath. Male and female flowers occur on separate plants. The male flower spikes are reddish up to 17 cm long. The clusters of female flowers are followed by oval-shaped capsules 1 cm in diameter which “explode” in hot weather to release the seed.
Caterpillars of the Bitterbush Blue butterfly rely on the Coast Bitterbush for food, eating the leaves, fruit and male flowers of the plant. Propagation is best from cuttings.