Local Weeds to look out for
Everyone knows Guinea Grass, Lantana and Prickly Pear but here are some other common weeds found in our area that might be less familiar.
Name: Silver Leaf Sunflower Origin: Americas
Common in the sand dunes, this invasive plant sets a lot of seed and is easily spread by birds. It is relatively easy to control with a little effort over several seasons. Feel free to pick the flowers! (and bin them when they fade)
Name: Painted Spurge (aka Flase Poinsettia) Origin:Tropical North America
Introduced as a garden plant, the milky sap is poisonous and an skin irritant. Wear gloves when removing. It loves sandy soil and disturbed sites. Grows to 70-90cm high and seeds prolifically. The seed also seems to be viable for long periords in the soil. There is also a white version around.
Name: Stinking Passionflower (Passiflora Foetida) Origin:South America
Passionfruit vine with very strong smell when leaves are crushed. Hairy leaves, small yellow fruit.
Name: Mossman River Burr (Cenchrus Echinatus) Origin:Central America
Small grass with burr like seeds that attach to fur, skin and clothes. Sharp and Nasty. Best pulled out wearing gloves with rubber on the fingers.
Name: Siratro (Maroptilium Atropurpureum) Origin:South America
A legume with maroon flowers. Originally introduced for cattle feed and is a serious weed in the area. Seeds prolifically and has a very strong, long tap root. Will strangle and smother other plants. There is a similar looking native vine that has lilac coloured flowers and is not as vigorous. Siratro leaves have a bump or shoulder to them where the native vine has oval shaped leaves.
Name: Coral Creeper (Baleria Repens) Origin: Africa
A small woody creeper, with dark glossy leaves and coral coloured tubular flowers. The seeds are propelled explosively several metres from the plant in an audible crack. Pretty but highly invasive. Can get up to 2 metres when it scales trees.
Name: Coral Berry (Rivina Humilis) Origin: America
A small herbacous shrub with sprays of red berries containing lots of seed. It favours shady areas.
Name: Mile a Minute(Ipomea Cairica)
As the name suggests, fast growing creeper, capable of smothering other vegetation. Crawls along the ground, setting down roots as it goes.
Name: Mother of Millions(Bryophyllum Delagoense) Origin: Madagascar
Grows in sun or shade. When removing you need to get all the plant material as any leaf or plantlet left behind will grow a new plant.
Want to know more: The Envirolink Centre in Yeppoon has great resources on localweeds and local native plants.