General description

Evergreen shrub < 2m. Young stems covered in dense reddish-purple hairs, older stems almost hairless. Large, broad, oval leaves <25cm long 25cm wide covered in short reddish hairs; dark green with reddish veins above & underside often purple. Bunches of fragrant, fluffy, pink/purple-red flowers (Nov-Jan) on ends of branchlets. Small, cylindrical, dry, dark brown fruit.

Forest margins, clearings. Tolerates shade, wet conditions but not frost.

Many light seeds, wind dispersed. Stem layering & from stem fragments.

Forms dense clumps & large oval leaves shade out other plants.

Site management

Follow up at least 6-monthly to control seedlings. Replant densely where possible to minimise seedling growth. Fairly easy to manage as seedlings do not compete aggressively for space.

Recommended approaches

1. Hand pull or grub out small infestations.
2. Cut back large plants & stump paint (250ml glyphosate/1L or 1g metsulfuron/1L or 100ml Tordon Gold/1L).

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

Similar species

blue spur flower
Plectranthus ecklonii, P. grandis

Both Plectranthus species lack red veins on leaves. Plectranthus flowers have erect spikes and a blue coloured.

velvet groundsel
Roldana petasitis

Velvet groundsel has alternate leaves and their margins have coarser teeth. It has yellow daisy like flowers.

Search tags

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
Community Initiatives - Whole Region
bartlettina - Main species image