Weed with a vel­vet touch

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents -

Lo­ca­tion: Na­tion­wide Dis­tinc­tive fea­tures: leaves are cov­ered in short hairs, giv­ing them a vel­vety tex­ture Why is it weedy: forms a dense cover of fo­liage, shad­ing out other plants, then stems take root, form­ing new plants and creat­ing a dense thicket.

Vel­vet groundsel is a branchy shrub that grows up to 2.5m wide and high, with mostly red­dish, hairy stems. Its large, soft leaves are 10-20cm across, maple leaf in shape with slightly un­du­lat­ing edges, and cov­ered in short hairs, giv­ing them a vel­vety tex­ture.

Large clus­ters of small, yel­low, daisy-like flow­ers, with a brown­ish-yel­low cen­tre ap­pear from July to Novem­ber, fol­lowed by fluffy white seed­heads.

Vel­vet groundsel spreads eas­ily, forms new plants from stems, and shades out and sup­presses na­tive species and other de­sir­able plants, most com­monly in for­est mar­gins, bush rem­nants and wet­lands.

Look out for daisy-like flow­ers

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