Weed of the Month-August 2018



 (Alternanthera pungens)

(Photos: https://weeds.brisbane.qld.gov.au/weeds/khaki-weed, sighted 4-7-18)

Thankfully, we have not seen this weed on our own site at Cape Jervis, but it has been spotted at Fishery Beach, and we have certainly seen it on other sites. It likes to invade lawns so keep an eye out in yours, because it is hard to get rid of! A low growing plant, it has ground-hugging runners forming a dense mat, as each runner travels up to 60cm. The stems are reddish-green and a little hairy. New roots are produced at stem nodes, meaning patches of the plant can spread out quickly. Tight clusters of greenish-yellow flowers are produced at leaf junction, as can be seen in the photo above. These are fairly inconspicuous, but as the flowers mature into fruits, parts become really hard and you will notice them then, because you will be stepping on prickly burrs! Another thing you might notice from the photo above is that the paired leaves differ in size…one is a lot larger than the other. Each has a short stalk, a few hairs, an oval shape, and prominent veins on the underside. If you see this plant, let the Dept of Environment & Water know, as it is a declared and notifiable weed. Be careful you don’t carry any of the burrs off on your clothing…burrs (and hence seeds) are easily dispersed when caught in animal fur, on clothing or tyres.