(Goodenia amplexans) (Photos: Flower, E.Cousins; Cape Jervis; whole plant, https://spapps.environment.sa.gov.au/SeedsOfSA/speciesinformation.html?rid=2105)
February is probably not the best time to be checking this small shrub out on our site at Cape Jervis. It will already be showing the effects of the hot, dry summer, but it is a survivor, and flowers for a lot of the year. The plant only grows to about 1m high, with lots of stems growing from the base. These tend to get a bit straggly over summer, and the leaves can brown off a bit. However, it will already have put on a great display of yellow flowers on those stems. Like most goodenias, the flowers have 5 petals, grouped as a pair and a trio, with each petal having a wavy edge. The leaves are somewhat sticky, and they smell. One of our friends actually terms it the stinky goodenia! However, it is the way the base of the leaf wraps around the stems that gives this plant its common name of clasping goodenia. Note how the leaves are long in relation to their width, and the edges are saw-toothed. Once you know which plant it is, you can recognise it very quickly, even at a distance.
(Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp monilifera)
(Flower Image from https://keyserver.lucidcentral.org/weeds/data/media/Images/ chrysanthemoides_monilifera_subsp._monilifera /chrysanthemoidesmoniliferamonilifera8.jpg, sighted 3-1-2019; seedling and seed, C. Schultz, Cape Jervis)
We featured this South African incomer a few years ago, but given its preponderance around SA, we thought it was time to remind everyone of it…small plants are easy to hand pull, big ones set seed too fast! Hence it is good to be able to identify it quickly and eradicate, before it becomes too widespread in your area. This is a Weed of National Significance: “It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.” Boneseed is aggressive and fast growing, degrading local bushland and hence food sources for native animals. It thrives on nutrient-poor soils, including coastal regions. Any wonder it likes Cape Jervis?
Look for an erect bright green shrub, with leaves having serrated margins. The daisy-type flowers are yellow, with 4–8 petals. It’s no wonder the species survives so well, when one plant can produce thousands of seeds, which can remain viable for more than 10 years!
See http://weeds.ala.org.au/WoNS/bitoubush/ for management plans for both boneseed and its close relative (and companion in weed-crime), bitou bush.