What does Groundsel look like and how to control it?
Initially brought into the country as an ornamental plant prior to 1900, groundsel quickly managed to escape garden cultivation and naturalise in many coastal regions of South east Queensland and northern New South Wales. This is a relatively fast growing shrub up to three metres in height enjoys salt marshes, marshy land and waste areas. It constantly threatens native vegetation and is known to cause allergies from its air-borne pollen.
A tall, rounded shrubby plant with distinct deeply toothed margins to the leaves. Foliage is silvery green in colour and can withstand high salty environments well. Flowers are in numerous clusters of attractive cream fluffy or starry flowers and seeds are dispersed from late summer and autumn where germination occurs through winter.
How to control groundsel
Although some registered herbicides have proven to be successful, the best way of controlling this weed is from physical removal of the plants. Mature plants may require cutting and herbicide carefully administered to the open wound, while young plants should be removed directly from the ground.
An effective groundsel killer is Searles Tree & Blackberry Killer. This product also controls blackberry, wattles and lantana in home gardens.