Name: Yellow bells
Scientific name: Tecoma stans
How to identify the weed: A large multi-branched shrub that grows 1.5 – 5m in height. It produces showy clusters of yellow, tubular flowers 3 – 5cm long. It has paired leaves with several elongated, sharply-toothed leaflets. Large elongated capsules are produced, which release winged seeds when they split.
Why is the weed a problem: It is regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland and New South Wales, readily spreading from garden to bushland. It invades bushland quickly, spreading easily through its light wind-borne, winged seeds. Seeds may also be dispersed during floods.
How to manage the weed: Chemical control is the most effective way to eradicate this weed. Dispose of all seed and be prepared to treat regrowth for up to 18 months following initial treatment. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Any other interesting facts: Introduced as a garden ornamental from tropical America, this plant is now widespread throughout the coastal areas of eastern and northern Australia and Christmas Island.
Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans)
Name: Singapore Daisy
Scientific name: Sphagneticola trilobata
How to identify the weed: A vigorous ground cover forming a mat, usually in disturbed areas. It has glossy green leaves growing opposite from the stem and the leaves are usually three-lobed with toothed margins. It has a yellow-orange daisy flower approximately 2-3cm across with 8-13 petals that are finely toothed at the tip. Flowers are prominent all year round.
Why is the weed a problem: Introduced from native tropical America this plant has spread rapidly in the coastal parts of south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales. It is regarded as a significant environmental weed in Queensland due to it’s invasiveness and abilty to smother native vegetation. The plant is spread by stem fragments and cuttings, rarely by seed.
How to manage the weed: Manual removal of the entire plant is one method of control for small infestations. Foliar spraying with appropriate chemicals is also highly effective. If using chemical control, ensure there is no run-off of the herbicide and no contact with other desirable species. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Any other interesting facts: Singapore daisy is native to tropical America.
Name: Easter cassia
Scientific name: Senna pendula
How to identify the weed: A woody, multi-branched shrub growing 2-4m in height. Compound leaves borne alternately along stems, with 3-6 soft, oval leaflets on each leaf. Bright yellow five-petalled flowers are borne in leafy clusters at the tips of the branches. Cylindrical, pendulous seed pods form shortly after, approximately 10-20cm in length. They contain 5-40 black seeds.
Why is the weed a problem: Easter Cassia produces dense thickets in the understorey, rapidly outcompeting native vegetation and inhibiting access. It is listed as a priority environmental weed in two NRM regions and is actively managed in Queensland. It is a significant weed, spreading quickly by seed that is moved by water, dumped garden waste and contaminated soil.
How to manage the weed:Chemical treatment is the most effective method to eradicate this weed. After treatment, dispose of all seed and be prepared to treat regrowth for up to 18 months. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Any other interesting facts: Easter Cassia produces masses of yellow flowers around Easter time, which is how it came about it’s name!
Senna pendula – flowers and pods
Scientific name: Lantana camara
How to identify the weed: Lantana is a shrub that forms dense thickets. The branches have small prickles with hairy opposite leaves that average around 6cm in length and when crushed produce a distinct odour. Flowers which are present for most of the year form clusters around 2.5cm in diameter. The colour can vary from pale cream to yellow, white, pink, orange to red. The fruit appears green and turns black when ripe. It is extremely common on small acreage and on larger rural properties.
Why is the weed a problem: This plant has serious environmental impacts. It outcompetes native vegetation, taking away the natural food and habitat for many native species. It is mainly spread by people, birds and other animals like foxes. It is also a major problem to rural producers as it has the ability to poison stock.
How to manage the weed: An integrated approach to the control of this weed gives the best results and varies according to size, density and location of the infestation. Generally, it is best to start with smaller infestations first. Large infestations of Lantana can be mechanically controlled by repeat slashing, grubbing, stick raking or ploughing and by using appropriate fire regimes. Biological control agents have been introduced for the treatment of Lantana but cannot be solely relied upon to manage this plant. There are also a number of registered herbicides available for use. Lantana can be habitat for some of our small native animals, so before removal it is important to take their needs into consideration. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Any other interesting facts: Lantana is listed as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) due to its invasiveness, potential for spread and environmental, social and economic impacts.
Name: Dutchman’s pipe
Scientific name: Aristolochia elegans
How to identify the weed: A fast growing vine up to 3m in length with tubular flowers shaped like a traditional Dutchman’s pipe. Its flowers range from red to purple with white and yellow markings. It has heart shaped, glossy green leaves. The vine has a woody stem that has the ability to coil around supporting structures.
Why is the weed a problem: This environmental weed is so similar to certain native plants, that it tricks butterflies into laying their eggs on its leaves. When the larvae hatch and begin to feed, this weed then poisons them. The local Richmond Birdwing butterfly is a threatened species due to this weed.
How to manage the weed: Manual removal and disposal of all plant material, including the crown and roots, is a very effective control method. Chemical treatment is also an effective control method. Eradicating this weed before the seeds set can help to reduce future infestations. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Interesting facts: This weed is a highly popular garden ornamental. If you have it in your garden, try replacing it with the native alternative, Pararistolochia praevenosa.
Name: Broad-leaf pepper tree
Scientific name: Schinus terebinthifolius
How to identify the weed: Commonly found in backyards in the Redlands this is a large spreading tree, 3-10 metres in height, often with multiple trunks. The shiny, hairless leaves are arranged alternately along the stems, with 5-9 stalkless leaflets on each leaf. Toothing is often observed on the leaftlet margins in younger trees. The leaves have a distinctive pepper aroma when crushed. Flowers are inconspicuous and borne in clusters towards the end of the branch. Small glossy berries turn bright red as they ripen.
Why is the weed a problem: A native of tropical South America, this plant grows quickly and forms dense stands that out compete native vegetation. It contains toxic resins that can impact on the health of people and animals that come into contact with any parts of the tree. It also harbours a disease known to kill mangroves.
How to manage the weed: Chemical treatment is the most effective way to eradicate this weed. Dispose of all seed and be prepared to treat regrowth for up to 18 months following initial treatment. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Any other interesting facts: This plant has been listed on the Global Invasive Species Database as one of the top 100 worst invasive weeds in the world!
Common name: Asparagus fern
Scientific name: Asparagus aethiopicus
How to identify the weed: Commonly found in backyards this weeds is a low-growing, herbaceous perennial with arching, spiny stems up to 2m long with creeping underground stems and tubers. Waxy pale green fern-like ‘leaves’ up to 2.5cm, singley or in clusters. Its small white or pink flowers are borne in clusters. Small round, glossy berries can be present all year round, turning from green to red as they ripen.
Why is the weed a problem: Introduced from southern Africa, this plant readily adapts to most conditions forming a dense thicket that smothers understorey vegetation and prevents natural regeneration. It is quickly spread to new areas through dumping of garden waste and birds consuming the berries.
How to manage the weed: Remove the crown of the plant by cutting the bulk of the roots from the ground with a sharp knife and dispose of the entire plant. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Any other interesting facts: The underground tubers only store water and play no part in reproduction.
Weeds can have a significant impact on our environment as well as create additional management costs to Council.
Council encourages residents to learn more about weeds including how to identify and manage them in your own backyard. To help residents learn more we’ll be providing information a ‘Weed a Week’ every Wednesday up until the end of March.
We need the help of residents to stop the spread of weeds as they don’t discriminate between property boundaries. Keeping an eye out for weeds and removing them is important in stopping them from increasing their territory in the Redlands.
Weeds can have a number of negative impacts including:
• damage to our natural, agricultural, water and coastal systems;
• impact on agriculture and the poisoning of animals;
• changing our biodiversity by out-competing native plants and degrading wildlife habitat;
• impact on recreational activities and our gardens; and
• increase of fire hazard in bushland areas.
Weed of the Week
Scientific name: Cabomba caroliniana
Why is the weed a problem: Cabomba is listed as a Weed of National Significance and is considered one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential spread and economic and environmental impacts.
How to identify: An aquatic weed with stems growing up to 10m long. The leaves form fan shaped structures.
How to manage: Prevention is the best form of control. It is important to treat infestations as soon as they are identified. Mechanical or manual control, ensuring you remove and destroy all parts of the plants, is suitable for small infestations. For more information, please contact IndigiScapes on 3824 8611.
Image credit to Abyss Diving
For those who want to have weed information at their fingertips ‘The Weeds of Southern Queensland’ guide developed by the Weed Society of Queensland is also now available from the Apple App Store.