Sweet Pea Shrub

Also known as:
Parrot Bush, September Bush, Myrtle-Leaf Milkwort
Family:
Polygalaceae
Origin:
South Africa

General description

Attractive, much-branched, perennial shrub <2 tall. Alternate, oval, light green leaves. Young stems covered in short curly hairs. Pinky-purple pea-like flowers with a white keel (most of year except short period in summer) at end of branches. Dark brown hairy seeds (5 mm) inside a flat heart shaped winged capsule (10 mm).

Coastal fringes, coastal cliffs, inland scrub, islands. Tolerates shade & wet conditions but frost-tender.

Prolific seeder with most falling close to parent, some spread by wind & water. Seedlings often regrow after fire.

Vigorously spreads along coastal cliffs (e.g.Auckland West coast) displacing native shrubs.

Site management

Easy to kill, however seedling regrowth usually formidable, budget for extensive follow up. Eradicate systematically, working downhill or in blocks along coastline. Replant where possible.

Recommended approaches

1. Hand pull small plants.
2. ln summer slash larger plants in regenerating shrubland.
3. Stump paint all year round (1g metsulfuron/L or 100ml Tordon BK/L).

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

Search tags

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
National Pest Plant Accord species - nationwide
sweet pea shrub - Main species image