South Africa

General description

Trailing, herbaceous groundcover. Stems densely covered in purple hairs. Broad, oval, pungent leaves <12cm long by 7cm wide, green above & glossy purple underneath, with purple veins that are visible on upper surface. White flowers (Dec-Aug) speckled with small purple spots. Small, dark brown nutlets.

Forest edges, roadsides, watercourses, disturbed or low forest, garden sites. Prefers shady to semi-shady situations, & well-drained soils. Tolerates frost.

Seed dispersal minimal, vegetative spread from vigorous sprawling runners.

Forms thick dense mats smothering native seedlings & suppressing regeneration. Can completely dominate roadsides.

Site management

Follow up within 3-6 months to kill resprouted runners. Replant bare sites.

Recommended approaches

1.Weed-eat or rake small areas, or rotary slash or mow larger areas where possible to minimise initial spray.
2. Weed mat, leaving for up to 6 months.
3. Weed wipe, all year round (250ml glyphosate + 2ml penetrant/1L or 1g metsulfuron + 1ml penetrant/1L or 100ml triclopyr + 1ml penetrant/1L).
4. Spray, all year round (100ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L or 2g metsulfuron + 10ml penetrant/10L or 30ml triclopyr + 10 ml penetrant/10L).

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

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
plectranthus - Main species image