Weed of the Month-April 2018


(Acacia cyclops)

(Photos, C. Schultz: 3-9 month old seedlings, 3-4 year old plants, twisted open seed pods, Cape Jervis)

Another repeated weed of the month – because this woody weed just keeps coming back. Its distinctive seeds are attractive to birds who spread this seed far and wide around the Cape. It’s the distinctive black seed, surrounded by a ring of red, like a blood-shot eye, that gives Cyclops its name. Cyclops was a mythical Greek giant who only had one eye. The old seed pods are really twisted…one way to identify this plant. The flowers are round, unlike those on Acacia longifolia ssp. sophorae, which can look similar if you only look at the leaves.

Native to W.A., this plant is now a weed in S.A. where it rapidly crowds out local plants. The verges of Sorata St were cleared of cyclops a few years ago and now they are covered again. Cyclops thrives on limestone and sandy soils, and is very hardy even when exposed to salty winds. It can flower after only 2 or 3 years and seeds can germinate with just a whiff of moisture.

The only good thing about A. cyclops is that it does not require poisoning to eliminate, just pull out small seedlings or use loppers to cut the stem at ground level.