Don’t fall for this bleed­ing heart

Ho­ma­lan­thus­pop­uli­folius

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents -

WHAT IS IT?

This Aussie in­ter­loper is a small tree (up to 5m) with smooth, heart-shaped leaves that turn red with age – its al­ter­na­tive name is the ‘bleed­ing heart tree’ for this rea­son. It has clus­ters of spikes of small flow­ers (up to 17cm long) from Septem­ber to Novem­ber, fol­lowed by smooth fruits with dis­tinc­tive ‘rab­bit ears’ that stick up from each fruit like an­ten­nae.

It pro­duces a large amount of seed which is then spread by birds, and it’s shade tol­er­ant so it easily es­tab­lishes in na­tive bush, not just on the mar­gins.

Cur­rently, Queens­land po­plar seems to be pop­ping up in warmer ar­eas of New Zealand, North­land and the Coro­man­del in par­tic­u­lar, but it’s also found around Auck­land, Tau­ranga, Raglan and Pukerua Bay, north of Welling­ton.

3 WAYS YOU CAN GET RID OF IT

1. Grub out seedlings (all year round). 2. Cut and stump paint larger plants with pi­clo­ram gel. 3. Spray smaller plants with met­sul­furon methyl 600g/kg (5g /10L).

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