Weed of the Month – September 2016


(Malva parviflora)

Microsoft Word - WEED OF THE MONTHseptember16_malva_parviflora.d

(Photos: E. Cousins, clumps along roadside, close-up of leaf; Cape Jervis)

Originally from the Mediterranean, this weed is now widespread around Australia. It likes disturbed sites such as the roadside pictured above, or vacant urban blocks. Around Cape Jervis, it grows up to about 50cm tall, but can grow to 150cm in other, more hospitable areas. The leaves look a little like those of geraniums and can be much the same size, up to 9cm. They have 5-7 lobes, have rounded teeth around the margins, and pronounced ribs underneath. You can’t see them in the photo above, but there are fine hairs on the leaves. Clusters of small (1cm) pink flowers will appear at leaf junctions. Fruits, also small, dry to brown segments. The weeds at Cape Jervis weren’t flowering when the photos were taken, but with so many plants around you probably won’t have much trouble finding some to look for flowers and fruit yourself!