Weed of the Week: Ochna


Name: Ochna

Scientific name: Ochna serrulata

How to identify the weed: A small woody shrub growing to around 1.5m in height. It has glossy leaves with serrated margins. Flowers are yellow and have five petals. When the petals fall they leave sepals that turn bright red when the fruit appears which come through green and turn black when ripe.

Why is the weed a problem: Introduced from Africa, it has been readily dispersed by humans because of its visual appeal. It is also spread by birds who can quickly spread the seeds into a disturbed area where the plants form dense colonisations and out-compete native vegetation.

How to manage the weed: Mechanical removal of plants is the most successful method of control. Hand pulling small plants after rain and grubbing larger plants is recommended. The plant has an angled tap root so you must ensure you remove the entire root system, otherwise it will regrow. There are also a number of registered herbicides suitable for controlling this weed and optimum times of the year for treatment. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.

Any other interesting facts: Ochna is also commonly known as Mickey Mouse plant, due to its bright red, yellow and black colours.

Ochna serrulata

Ochna serrulata

Ochna serrulata

Ochna serrulata