Prostrate annual or perennial, herb (with spiny inflorescences), 0.01-0.5 m high. Fl. white, Jan or Mar to May or Jul or Dec. Red-brown clay, pindan soils, laterite. Flat plains, creek banks, drainage channels, roadsides, farmyard.
Beard’s Provinces: Eremaean Province, Northern Province, South-West Province.
IBRA Regions: Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Central Kimberley, Dampierland, Esperance Plains, Gascoyne, Geraldton Sandplains, Mallee, Ord Victoria Plain, Pilbara, Swan Coastal Plain, Victoria Bonaparte.
IBRA Subregions: Avon Wheatbelt P1, Avon Wheatbelt P2, Cape Range, Carnegie, Chichester, Fitzgerald, Fitzroy Trough, Fortescue, Geraldton Hills, Hamersley, Hart, Ord, Ord-Victoria Plains P1, Perth, Pindanland, Roebourne, Victoria Bonaparte P1, Western Mallee, Wooramel.
Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albany, Ashburton, Broome, Carnarvon, Corrigin, Derby-West Kimberley, Dowerin, East Pilbara, Exmouth, Halls Creek, Irwin, Katanning, Kent, Moora, Narembeen, Wanneroo, Wiluna, Wyndham-East Kimberley.
Alternative Names. Creeping Chaffweed.
General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Primarily seed, also stem and root fragments. Dispersal. Soil, animals (adhesion), tyres, clothing. Toxicity. Causes allergies in humans, poisonous to stock. Seedbank persistence. Long term, 5+ years.
Notes. Major weed of warm temperate and tropical areas around the world. Naturalised in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland. Forms a dense monoculture on bare ground and/or disturbed areas and capable of outcompeting native plant species. Prefers light soils, warm temperatures and sufficient moisture. Spreads vegetatively and by prolific amounts of seed that remains viable for a number of years. Fruits are indehiscent, one-seeded, and have sharp bracts or burrs which are problematic in agriculture and residential areas. Seed germinates in spring and goes on to form a dense matt during summer if adequate moisture is available. Roots develop at the nodes of the spreading stems. Has a deep, woody taproot that allows plants to regenerate following drought. The top growth dies off in winter and the dormant plant is sustained by the fleshy taproot. Declared plant in parts of South Australia and Victoria.
Additional information. Origin. Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela. History of use/introduction. Seed contaminant, medicines. Similar native species. Alternanthera nodiflora.
Suggested method of management and control. Difficult to control as it is deep-rooted. If removing physically, cut roots well below surface and avoid spreading plant fragments. Spot spray with 1% glyphosate before flowering. 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.
|Germination||O||O||O||O||Y||Y||Y||O||Dependant on moisture levels|
Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.
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Western Australian Herbarium (1998–). FloraBase—the Western Australian Flora. Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/