Weed of the Month – November 2015


(Arctotheca calendula)

(Photos: E. Cousins; flowers; plant; a patch at Cape Jervis.)

We have seen large patches of this weed at Cape Jervis, and also in Deep Creek CP. It likes both disturbed sites and natural areas: wasteland, pastures, coastal environs, grasslands, etc. So not a very choosy plant about habitat, unfortunately! It flowers in late winter-spring, when the yellow, daisy-like flowers are very distinctive, with their black centres and a single ring of petals. Before the flowers, you’ll see a rosette of ground-hugging leaves, heavily lobed, with a few hairs on top but felt-like underneath. The flower stems are very hairy. It spreads only by seed. These can spread short distances by wind, but also on people and animals. So be careful to clean tools and footware etc., if you work near them!! Once seeds set, to control this environmental weed, you need to poison or dig out the tap roots. Just slashing won’t work!