Bulbil Watsonia

South Africa

General description

Robust, clump-forming perennial <2m high. Stout corms have thick fibrous coat. Upright, sword-like leaves, folded, tough, fibrous & drooping. Brick-red or salmon-pink tubular flowers (Oct-Nov) on long erect stems. Distinctive fruit, shining red-brown cormils replace flowers in the lower part of the inflorescence.

Roadsides, waste places, open shrubland, near settled areas.

Corms and cormils dispersed in water and in mud stuck to animals and machinery.

Forms a dense, pure mass of corms that excludes regeneration of native plants.

Site management

Work downhill, downstream & in from edges. Maintain clean roadsides. Follow up annually spring - summer.

Recommended approaches

1. Dig out small sites only if removal of all cormils possible.
2. Weed wipe spring - summer (1g metsulfuron + 150ml glyphosate + 10ml penetrant/1L).
3. Overall spray after flowering (100ml glyphosate + 10ml penetrant/10L) or spring - summer (3g metsulfuron + 150ml glyphosate + 10ml penetrant/10L).

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

Similar species

wild gladiolus
Gladiolus undulatus

Gladiolus has shorter stems and lacks aerial corms on stems. Leaves are surrounded by deep red-purple sheaths.

Crocosmia X crocosmiiflora

Montbretia is a smaller plant, its leaves are softer and droop over. It lacks aerial corms on stems.

RPMS status

Not a legally declared pest plant
bulbil watsonia - Main species image