Weed of the Month – July 2015


(Langunaria patersonia)

(Photos: E. Cousins, Cape Jervis; tree, seed pod, leaf)

This is a weed in the Marino Conservation Park, and in other coastal cliff top regions. Although not common at Cape Jervis, it does occur. Look out for trees 12-20m tall, with dense, glossy grey-green foliage. In spring and summer, 5cm hibiscus-shaped pink flowers appear at the leaf axils (that is, in the angle between the upper surface of the leaf and the stem). Fuzzy capsules follow the flowers; these contain orange seeds and fine, white hairs that irritate the skin, leading to another common name: the itchy bomb tree! It likes well-drained soil, sunny positions, and doesn’t object to salt spray, so has been planted in coastal gardens from which seeds then escaped! Watch out for it on the Fleurieu.