1 easy-to-kill weed

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents -

Lo­ca­tion: na­tion­wide

Dis­tinc­tive fea­tures: bushy, spread­ing, hair­less, smelly, peren­nial. Can get to 2m high (or more if sup­ported) and has a deep, pli­able tap­root. The hol­low, brit­tle stems are softly woody near the base and usu­ally red­dish. The nar­row, oval leaves (40-150mm x 15-50mm) al­ter­nate. They are light green when young, but oc­ca­sion­ally turn red­dish in au­tumn. From Novem­ber to Au­gust dense, erect, cylin­dri­cal flower clus­ters (up to 7cm long) are pro­duced along the main stem and turn from green to pink. They are fol­lowed by suc­cu­lent, juicy, pur­ple-black berries (8mm in di­am­e­ter) con­tain­ing seeds.

Why is it weedy: inkweed grows and ma­tures quickly and spreads a lot of long-lived seeds over a wide area. It tol­er­ates wind, fire, and wet to mod­er­ately-dry con­di­tions. Will com­pete for space with pas­ture, and in­hibit the es­tab­lish­ment of na­tive seedlings.

How does it spread: birds, move­ment of soil, and by wa­ter.

How to kill it

1. Pull out small plants and leave on site to rot down. 2. Slash stems close to ground and leave on site to rot down. 3. Cut down and paint stumps (all year round): met­sul­furon­methyl 600g/kg (1g/l).

Look for 7cm-long flower clus­ters, fol­lowed by pur­ple-black berries

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