Herbs Weed profiles & Native alternatives
I’M A WEED
Prostrate, annual or biennial, spreading succulent plant covered with large, glistening bladder cells. Leaves are thick, flat, rounded, 2-4 cm long with undulating margins turning reddish with age. Flowers resembling daisies with fine white spreading “petals” form on short stalks September to February. Common in disturbed coastal areas and inland.
Threat / Problem
• Invades disturbed, saline areas. After plant death, salt will leach from the dead plants into the surrounding soil inhibiting germination of native plants.
• Reproduces vegetatively and from seed. Spread by wind, water and soil movement.
• Hand pull or spot spray in Summer before seed is released.
• Ensure erosion-prone sites are suitably stabilised immediately following treatment.
GROW ME INSTEAD
Prostrate groundcover to 0.2 m high spreading up to 2.5 m. Leaves are rounded with distinctive crinkled edges, in groups of three, on short stems. Flowers are scarlet, pea-shaped, 2-2.5 cm long with a yellow centre, from August to November. Fruit are redbrown, almost cylindrical pods, 3-5 cm long that split open when dry.
Prefers moist, well drained soil, tolerates full sun and part shade. Source of nectar for butterflies.
OR GROW ME
Evergreen low, open shrub to 1 m high with trailing branches. Some forms are prostrate. Small, cylindrical, semi-succulent leaves up to 2 cm long are covered with fine white hairs, giving the plant a grey appearance. Flowers are insignificant, but the small, fleshy, edible, globular fruits that ripen from yellow to bright red are a colourful feature.
Prostrate forms can provide good ground cover. Easily propagated from seed or cuttings, and has a wide climatic and soil tolerance. Important food source for a wide range of birds.
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