Herbs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Yellowish-green, bushy, upright perennial or biennial herb to 1.0 m. Plants have several green to reddish, slender leafy stems which branch at the top to produce 1 to 5 flowering stems. Flowers are yellow-green cup like structures, quite distinct from the bright green leaves. Forms extensive monocultures in sandy calcareous soils near the coast and flowers from August to September.
Threat / Problem
• Spreads rapidly forming dense patches in dunes and salt marshes, displacing native vegetation and has properties that inhibit germination of native plants
• Can change the shape of dunes making them more prone to erosion and impacting beachnesting birds
• Produces toxic milky sap that irritates the skin and eyes
• Seeds scatter when ripe fruits burst open, also spread by vehicles, birds, ants and garden waste dumping. E. paralias seeds are very salt tolerant and buoyant. Seeds may be viable for up to 2 years in salt water.
• Hand pull (wear protective clothing). Ensure taproot is removed. Spray with broadleaf herbicide while actively growing.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Pale Turpentine Bush
Slender, erect shrub, 0.5-1.5 m high, leaves very variable (long and thin), 0.5-4 cm long by 0.1-0.7 cm wide, with blunt to rounded tips, down-curved margins, shiny green above, white-woolly beneath.
Male and female flowers without petals, occur on separate plants. Male flowers are small, light-green to yellow or white, in groups of 1-3 with numerous stamens. Female flowers singular from August to December. Fruit are globular capsules 0.6-0.7 cm long with up to three seeds.
Common along the coast, forming a low shrub layer or scattered under mallee in hills.
OR GROW ME
Compact low shrub, 0.3-1.0 m high. Branches finely woolly when young. Fruit has five thin, membranous fan-shaped wings, prominently veined, spreading to 0.7 cm diameter.
Flowers and fruits from January to June. Good rockery plant. Attractive “silver” foliage for “night” gardens, and can make interesting silver hedge. Fire resistant.
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