Watsonia borbonica (Pourr.) Goldblatt
Ann.Missouri Bot.Gard. 74:571 (1987)

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

Brief Description
Amanda Spooner, Thursday 16 August 2007

Cormous, perennial, herb, to 2.5 m high. Fl. white/cream/pink/purple/red, Sep to Nov. White sand, grey sandy clay, brown gravelly sand, grey-brown alluvium, granite. Hills & flats, along river banks & lake edges, road verges.


Beard’s Provinces: South-West Province.

IBRA Regions: Jarrah Forest, Swan Coastal Plain, Warren.

IBRA Subregions: Northern Jarrah Forest, Perth, Southern Jarrah Forest, Warren.

IMCRA Regions: Leeuwin-Naturaliste, WA South Coast.

Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Augusta Margaret River, Dardanup, Denmark, Donnybrook-Balingup, Gosnells, Harvey, Manjimup, Mundaring, Plantagenet, Serpentine-Jarrahdale.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)
Kate Brown and Karen Bettink, Monday 26 August 2019

Alternative Names. Pink Watsonia.

General Biology. Growth form. Geophyte. Life form. Annually renewed corm, some dormancy between fire. Reproduction. Offsets, possibly seed. Dispersal. Wind, water, soil. Time to first flowering. 2-3 years. Seedbank persistence. Medium, 1-5 years. Fire response. Generally survives fire. Prolific flowering and seed set follow summer fire.

Notes. In South Africa it has been noted Watsonia borbonica is particularly abundant after fire and is known at some sites to only flower in the first and second years following fire. The increased flowering post fire is followed by prolific seed production.

Additional information. Origin. Southern Africa. History of use/introduction. Garden escape. Similar exotic species. Watsonia meriana, W. versfeldii.

Suggested method of management and control. Wipe individual leaves with glyphosate 10% or spray dense infestations 2,2-DPA 10 g/L + Pulse®. Apply just as flower spikes emerge at corm exhaustion. 2,2-DPA at 5 g/L+ Pulse® is also quite effective and is appropriate to use when particularly concerned about off-target damage, for example following fire when Watsonia is growing among germinating native seedlings and resprouting native shrubs. 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 Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Dormant Y Y Y                 Y  
Active Growth       Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y    
Flowering                 Y Y Y    
Optimum Treatment               Y Y        

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



  • Brown, K. (2006) Control of Bulbil Watsonia (Watsonia meriana var. meriana) invading a Banksia Woodland: Effectiveness of 2,2-DPA and its impacts on native flora. Ecological Management and Restoration, 7 (1): 68-70.
  • Brown, K. & Bourke, C. (2014) Wild Native Rose: Untangling the causes of population decline. Australasian Plant Conservation: Journal of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, 23 (2): 9-11.
  • Brown, K. & Brooks, K. (2002) Bushland Weeds: A Practical Guide to their Management. Environmental Weeds Action Network, Greenwood.
  • Brown, K. & Paczkowska, G. (2013) Plant communities of seasonal clay-based wetlands of south-west Australia: weeds, fire and regeneration. Ecological Management & Restoration, URL: http://site.emrprojectsummaries.org (EMR Project Summaries).
  • Brown, K., Paczkowska, G., Huston, B. & Withnell, N. (2008) Managing Watsonia invasion in the threatened plant communities of south-west Australia’s clay-based wetlands. Australasian Plant Conservation: Journal of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation, 17 (1): 8-10.
  • Du Plessis, N. & Duncan G. (1989) Bulbous plants of Southern Africa. Tafelberg Publishers Ltd, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • 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.
  • Le Maitre, D.C. (1984) A short note on seed predation in Watsonia pyramidita (Andr.) Stapf. in relation to season of burn. Journal of South African Botany, 50: 407-415.
  • Le Maitre, D.C. & Brown, P.J. (1992) Life-cycles and fire stimulated flowering in geophytes. Ecological Studies, 93: 145-160.
  • Lighta, M.E., Kulkarnia, M.G., Ascougha, G.D. & Van Stadena, J. (2007) Improved flowering of a South African Watsonia with smoke treatments. South African Journal of Botany, 73 (2): 298.
  • Manning, J., Goldblatt, P. & Snijman, D. (2002) The color encyclopedia of Cape bulbs. Timber Press (Inc.), Portland, USA.
  • Nonkenge, S. & Notten, A. (2005) Plantzafrica. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. URL: http://www.plantzafrica.com/plantwxyz/watsonborb.htm - Accessed December 2007.

Project information and acknowledgements