Herbs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Freesia alba X leichtlinii
Cormous (regrowing annually from an underground swollen food-storing stem) perennial herb to 0.4 m high. Long, thin leaves, with blades to 35 cm long and 1.5 cm wide grow from the base, forming a fan.
Forms spikes of usually white to cream flowers with yellow and purple markings. Flowers 5-6 cm long, 6 petals, joined together like a trumpet, from July to October. A wider range of colours exist in nurseries. Fruit breaks open at maturity to release seeds from a non-fleshy capsule, 0.6-1.5 cm long, 0.4-0.8 cm wide.
Found in a wide range of soil types in disturbed natural vegetation and bare areas.
Threat / Problem
• Invades disturbed areas, displacing native vegetation, particularly native orchids.
• Reproduces primarily from seed dispersed by water, soil movement, birds, garden waste dumping.
• produces numerous corms along the stem which can form new plants.
• Spot spray when flowering begins.
• Dig and dispose of corms.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Erect shrub 0.5-1 m, stems covered with dense spreading hairs, leaves narrow-elliptic, to 0.8 cm long by 0.3 cm wide. Flower heads terminal, with 3-18 small, white flowers up to 1.3 cm long in each head from August to November.
Found in heath, usually on sandy soil. Butterfly nectar plant.
OR GROW ME
Annual, sometimes perennial herb with slender erect stems 0.1-0.5 m high with few branches and small sparse linear leaves, 0.5-2 cm long. The mainly solitary flowers are on the ends of the stems.
Flowers have five blue, round petals 0.6-1 cm long and white anthers. The rounded, brown seed capsule is 0.3-0.5 cm broad.
Found in open woodland and grassland, full sun to light shade in gardens it is often an annual, and due to its slender form, best displayed in massed plantings that reseed each each year.
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