General description

Prostrate, scrambling, hairless, evergreen perennial <50cm tall. Forms dense mats of long running stems with roots at nodes. Dark green, glossy, leathery leaves, opposite & oval, pointed tips, hairy midribs & edges. Blue-violet tubular flowers (with paler centres) <5cm in diameter all year round.

Waste places, roadsides, banks, lowland & coastal forest, alluvial flats. Tolerates shade and wide range of soil conditions.

Dispersed by seed & garden dumping. Moved with soil & on machinery.

Similar to tradescantia it forms a thick carpet that smothers other plants even in shade conditions. Stops regeneration of native seedlings.

Site management

Extremely difficult to kill. Follow up spray when foliage is still small to prevent recovery of root reserves. This usually means 4 times a year.

Recommended approaches

1. Weedmat for 6 months or more, check edges for creeping stems.
2. Hand pull removing all plant material including runners. Repeat regularly.
3. Weed wipe, all year round (300ml glyphosate + 2ml penetrant/1L).
4. Spray all year round (200ml glyphosate + 20ml penetrant/10L). Requires constant follow up, spray regrowth (300ml glyphosate + 20ml 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
periwinkle - Main species image