WEEDS FOUND IN THE SHIRE OF GINGIN
Remember before you weed:
|work from good areas towards bad|
|don't start on large weed infestations unless you can get back to do the follow-up work|
|many plants require 3 years or more of control|
|make minimum disturbance where possible|
|aim for control and not eradication|
|plan before you weed|
AFRICAN LOVEGRASS (Eragrostis curvula)
Photo: Keith Turnbull Research Institute
African Lovegrass is a summer growing perennial grass. It is often found on disturbed sites but it seldom invades well-managed farmland or native bush areas although it has the potential to encroach into these areas. It is a large, tufted perennial to 1m tall, with greyish-green, often in-rolled leaves. Lovegrass produces many seeds in greenish-purple or blackish flowers that can be up to 40cm long.
The main features that make Lovegrass a weed include-
|it causes a major fire hazard|
|reduces traffic visibility on roads|
|blocks surface drains|
|increases costs of road maintenance|
|detracts from the surfaces of playing areas|
|reduces aesthetic appearance|
|reduces pasture production|
Individual tufts can be spot sprayed with glyphosate. Old stands may first need a spring burn or slashing to remove dead material.
GERALDTON CARNATION WEED (Euphorbia terracina)
Photo: John Dodd – Western Weeds
Geraldton Carnation Weed is a leafy, pale green, erect perennial plant up to 1m high, growing in dense strands. Several red or green stems often arise from the same short crown.
It exudes a sticky white sap from the stem when broken which may cause temporary blindness.
The flowers are yellow and inconspicuous and form a cup-like shape. The fruits are small, about 5mm long, three lobed and smooth and contain many greyish smooth seeds.
Geraldton Carnation Weed is of limited significance to agriculture, however stock that graze it heavily or eat infested hay may be poisoned.
Geraldton Carnation Weed can be controlled by chlorsulfuron at 10g/ha. This damages clovers, but it can be applied through a weed-wiper to taller plants. Cultivation also gives control, but it is mostly found on light soils that pose an erosion risk if worked.
PATERSON'S CURSE (Echium plantagineum)
Paterson's Curse plants usually have erect stems 30-60cm in height but plants up to 2m have been recorded. Basal leaves are formed as a rosette around the plant. Both rosette and stem leaves are covered with soft hairs which become quite stiff and irritating as the plant dries out.
Flowers are bluish purple, although white and pink flowers have been found. Flowers are trumpet shaped and form in clusters at the end of the flowering stems. Flowering usually commences in September and will continue for many months depending on available moisture.
Paterson's Curse is an extremely invasive weed that reduces pasture productivity and stock carrying capacity by competing with and excluding more beneficial pasture species. This weed is also toxic to stock with toxins that damage the liver.
It can be controlled with B group herbicides although some resistance has been found. It can be controlled by wiping with glyphosate, metsulfuron or chlorsulfuron. It can also be well controlled by mowing, as it is highly visible at flowering. It is vulnerable to cultivation and solarisation.
BRIDAL CREEPER (Asparagus asparagoides)
Photo: Graeme Pritchard Insert: Rod Randall –Western Weeds
This South African plant is an urgent weed problem. It bears small glossy green leaves, white flowers, then red berries on slender twining stems. It is quickly spread by birds and smothers native vegetation. Underground tubers form a dense mat starving other plants.
CALTROP (Tribulus terrestris)
Photo: Rod Randall – Western Weeds
Caltrop is a prostrate plant with fine delicate looking leaves. It often goes unnoticed until the menacing spiny fruits are formed. It is usually found on roadsides, footpaths and in firebreaks. It has small yellow flowers whose petals fall rapidly and a 5-segmented burr is formed. The burrs readily stick to animals, car tyres, shoes or virtually anything with which they come in contact.
ONE-LEAF CAPE TULIP (Homeria flaccida) TWO-LEAF CAPE TULIP (Homeria miniata)
Photo: Robin Knox Photo: Penny Hussey
Both species can over-run pasture land, greatly reducing the carrying capacity of the pasture. They are poisonous to stock. One-leaf has a single grass-like leaf 30cm or more high, whereas two-leaf has two or more leaves. The salmon pink flowers of the two species are similar. Two-leaf are slightly smaller and more numerous. Both species reproduce from underground corms.
SKELETON WEED (Chondrilla juncea)
Skeleton Weed is a threat to WA's valuable grains industry and is a target for eradication. It has almost leafless stems and bright yellow flowers are produced in summer. The hairless rosette leaves appear in winter and have backward pointing barbs/lobes.
SUSPECT SKELETON WEED PLANTS MUST BE REPORTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE