Echium plantagineum L. Paterson's Curse
Mant.Pl.Altera 202 (1771)

Conservation Code: Not threatened
Naturalised Status: Alien to Western Australia
Name Status: Current

Brief Description
Grazyna Paczkowska, Thursday 21 November 1996

Erect annual or biennial, herb, 0.1-0.6(-1) m high. Fl. blue/blue-purple/pink/white, mainly Sep to Dec or Jan. Weed of roadsides, vacant lands & disturbed grounds.

Distribution

Beard’s Provinces: Eremaean Province, South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Geraldton Sandplains, Hampton, Jarrah Forest, Mallee, Murchison, Nullarbor, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren, Yalgoo.

IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Central band, Nullarbor Plain, Dandaragan Plateau, Eastern Goldfield, Eastern Murchison, Edel, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Hampton, Lesueur Sandplain, Mardabilla, Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Cross, Southern Jarrah Forest, Tallering, Warren, Western Mallee, Wooramel.

IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Armadale, Augusta-Margaret River, Bayswater, Beverley, Boyup Brook, Broomehill-Tambellup, Busselton, Carnamah, Chapman Valley, Coolgardie, Denmark, Dowerin, Dundas, Gingin, Goomalling, Gosnells, Greater Geraldton, Irwin, Jerramungup, Kalamunda, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Kellerberrin, Koorda, Kulin, Mandurah, Manjimup, Menzies, Merredin, Mingenew, Moora, Mount Marshall, Mukinbudin, Mundaring, Narrogin, Northam, Northampton, Perenjori, Quairading, Rockingham, Shark Bay, Swan, Tammin, Three Springs, Toodyay, Trayning, West Arthur, Wongan-Ballidu, Yalgoo, Yilgarn, York.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Thursday 24 July 2014

Alternative Names. Salvation Jane, Blueweed, Lady Campbell, Riverina Bluebell.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Annual. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Water, machinery, animals (ingestion and adhesion), contaminated hay and grain. Toxicity. Poisonous to mammals, potential allergen. Seedbank persistence. Up to 6 years. Fire response. Smoke can stimulate seedling emergence.

Notes. Can also be biennial. Widespread weed in warm temperate regions, found mostly in areas dominated by winter rainfall. Adapted to a wide range of soils. Forms dense monocultures. Produces large amounts of seed that can germinate at any time throughout the year, however most germination occurs after substantial rains in autumn and winter. Seed may remain dormant in the soil for up to 6 years but most will germinate within 2 years. Roughened seed coats allow seed to adhere to wool, fur and clothing. Capable of having plastic responses to different habitat types. Herbicide resistance to Group B/2 herbicides has been recorded in Western Australia. A biological control program started in the late 1980s and 6 agents have since been released. The first, a leaf-mining moth is widely distributed but has had limited impact. Of the remaining six agents, four are currently being redistributed across southern Australia. Declared plant in Western Australia.

Additional information. Origin. Macaronesia, temperate asia. History of use/introduction. Ornamental, bee-plants, seed contaminant.

Suggested method of management and control. Plants are best treated when young. Spot spray in late autumn/winter when most seed has germinated for the year with 0.5 g/10 L chlorsulfuron + wetting agent, this will also help prevent further germination. Glyphosate at 75 ml -100 ml/15 L or metsulfuron methyl 5 g/ 100 L applied at early flowering will control existing plants. Grubbing and cutting are suitable for young plants as long as 20 to 40 mm of taproot is removed. Slashing or mowing can cause out of season flowering and seed production. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar TypeJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecComments
GerminationOOOOYYYYYOOO 
Active Growth     YYYYYY  
FloweringY       YYYY 
FruitingYO        OY 
Manual Removal    YYYYYY   
Herbicide Treatment    YYYYO    

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.

 

References

  • Bowran, D., Hashem, A. & Preston, C. (2000) Group B/2 resistant Salvation Jane (Echium plantagineum). WeedScience.org URL: http://www.weedscience.org/Case/Case.asp?ResistID=5030 - Accessed April 2010.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • CSIRO (2005) Paterson's curse, Echium plantagineum (Salvation Jane, Riverina bluebell, blue weed, purple bugloss). CSIRO Australia URL: http://www.ento.csiro.au/biocontrol/patcurse.html - Accessed April 2010.
  • Grigulis, K., Sheppard, A.W., Ash, J.E. & Groves, R.H. (2001) The comparative demography of the pasture weed Echium plantagineum between its native and invaded ranges. Journal of Applied Ecology, 38 (2): 281-290.
  • Hussey, B.M.J., Keighery, G.J., Dodd, J., Lloyd, S.G. & Cousens, R.D. (2007) Western Weeds. A guide to the weeds of Western Australia. 2nd Edition. The Plant Protection Society of Western Australia, Victoria Park.
  • Katelaris, C., Baldo, B.A., Howden, M.E., Matthews, P.A. & Walls, R.S. (1982) Investigation of the involvement of Echium plantagineum (Paterson's curse) in seasonal allergy. IgE antibodies to Echium and other weed pollens. Allergy, 37 (1): 21-8.
  • Moore, C.B. & Moore, J.H. (2002) Herbiguide, the pesticide expert on a disk. Herbiguide, PO Box 44 Albany, Western Australia, 6330.
  • Morely, T. & Stapleton, P. (1999) The Patersons Curse management handbook. Keith Turnbull Research Institute, Frankton.
  • Parsons, J.M. (ed.) (1995) The Australian weed control handbook. 10th Edition. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
  • Parsons, W.T. & Cuthbertson, E.G. (2001) Noxious weeds of Australia. 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.
  • Piggin, C.M. (1978) Flowering and seed production of Echium plantagineum L. Weed Research, 18: 83-87.
  • Piggin, C.M. (2006) Dispersal of Echium plantagineum L. by sheep. Weed Research, 18 (3): 155 - 160.
  • Piggin, C.M. & Sheppard, A.W. (1995) Echium plantagineum L. In The Biology of Australian Weeds, Vol. 1. (eds. R.H. Groves, R.C.H. Shepherd, & R.G. Richardson). R.G. & F.J. Richardson, Melbourne.
  • Sharma, G.P. & Esler, K.J. (2008) Phenotypic plasticity among Echium plantagineum populations in different habitats of Western Cape, South Africa. South African Journal of Botany, 74 (4): 746-749.
  • Smyth, M.J, Sheppard, A.W. & Swirepik, A. (1996) The effect of grazing on seed production in Echium plantagineum. Weed Research, 37 (2): 63-70.
  • Stevens, J.C., Merrit, D.J., Flematti, G.R., Ghisalberti, E.L. & Dixon, K.W. (2007) Seed germination of agricultural weeds is promoted by the butenolide 3-methyl-2H-furo(2,3-cpyran-2-one) under laboratory and field conditions. Plant Soil, 298: 113-124.
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program (2009) Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. URL: www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl - Accessed October 2009.

Project information and acknowledgements