Mexican Devil

South America

General description

Bushy, woody, many-stemmed perennial <3m tall. Opposite, purplish stems covered in sticky hairs. Poplar-shaped opposite leaves dark green on upper side, lighter green underneath, irregular round teeth on edges, & prominent leaf veins; leaf stalks have sticky hairs. Numerous cream to white flowers (Aug-Dec) in dense clusters at end of stems.

Prefers damp places but tolerates a wide range of conditions. Often found growing with mistflower.

Seeds dispersed by wind, water & roadside mowers.

Infests a large range of plant communities with moderate to high light intensity.

Site management

Slash or lightly spray to weaken population until native vegetation gets ahead. Permanently exclude livestock to allow for regeneration competition & minimise disturbance. Easiest to control at onset of flowering. In shady forest, often vertebrate pest control alone can lead to successional loss of weed, or by interplanting with taller, shade-loving species. In low-growing habitats, dense groundcover planting may be necessary. In open, moderately-lit sites, continuing control will be needed.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out or hand pull small infestations.
2. Weed wipe all year round (300ml glyphosate/1L or 2g metsulfuron/1L ).
3. Spray (lightly, not to run off) Aug-Jan when in flower but before seeds present (200ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L or 3g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L).
4. Spray aquatic sites (200ml glyphosate/10L, use glyphosate formulation approved for use over water).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Ageratina riparia

Mistflower has narrower leaves with sharp teeth, & smaller flowerheads.

RPMS status

Not a legally declared pest plant
Mexican devil - Main species image