Weed of the Month – September 2014


(Arctotis stoechadifolia)


(Photos: partially opened flower, mat formed by plant; E. Cousins, Cape Jervis)

The silvery foliage and daisy-like flower would make this an attractive ornamental in a garden … if it would just stay there! Another garden escapee, this weed is found on the coastal reserve at Cape Jervis, but it certainly isn’t restricted to there. It is a major problem in other S.A. reserves, such as the Hallett Cove and Scott Creek Conservation Parks. You’ll recognize it by its woolly stems, heavily lobed leaves, and daisy-like flowers which vary in colour from white through pink and purple. In sand dunes, it can grow into dense mats (see photo). These mats cause local plants to be lost through shading, smothering and competition for resources. Apparently, this weed can also cause the structure of sand dunes to alter, e.g. by becoming steeper in slope.