Time right to hunt for noxious weed

Time right to hunt for noxious weed

Cropping News
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A noxious weed, poisonous to humans and livestock, is famously hard to find, but now, while it is flowering, is a good time to eradicate it.

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The Cape Tulip may be pretty but it is noxious to humans and livestock.

The Cape Tulip may be pretty but it is noxious to humans and livestock.

LAND owners in Victoria are being urged to keep an eye out for two species of a noxious weed that can be fatal to humans and livestock.

Agriculture Victoria officials have said both the one leaf and two leaf cape tulip plants had been identified within the state, particularly within the Wimmera region.

Every part of both species is poisonous to grazing animals and in severe cases poisoning can lead to paralysis and death.

Problematically, even dry material from cape tulips can cause poisoning to stock and can be a problem if included in hay, which is currently being cut across the region, and fed to animals.

However, the good news is that now, during the plant's flowering period, is the easiest time to identify it.

Ag Vic leading biosecurity Officer Michael Moerkerk said both species had similar flowers, with six pink-salmon coloured petal-like segments with a yellow centre.

Stems are usually zig-zagged in appearance and grow to 75 cm high. Both species have long strap-like leaves and as the name implies, cape tulip (one-leaf) has only one leaf per plant, whereas cape tulip (two-leaf) has two to three leaves per plant.

Mr Moerkerk said there are two control methods to remove cape tulip from an infected area: the application of a registered herbicide, or the physical removal of the entire plant, including the roots (and corms), from the soil.

It is critical to control the plant, with Mr Moerkerk highlighting the vast amounts of seeds and corms (bulb like structures) it can throw out each year.

"Plants can produce up to 1,200 seeds per plant and 7,000 corms per square metre," he said.

The story Time right to hunt for noxious weed first appeared on Farm Online.

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