Booyong Conservation RetreatConservationWeeds

Mother of Millions

Since the drought, we have discovered a wide variety of new weeds emerging. One of these is the prehistoric looking Mother of Millions.

Mother of Millions is a perennial succulent and will reproduce rapidly if not removed. It produces hundreds of tiny plantlets that quickly form new colonies and grows up to one metre high.

We thought we had only five small plants at Booyong beside the shack dam. However, when Brett and I went to weed them we discovered hundreds of tiny succulents. This area will need to be checked regularly now to ensure they don’t continue to rapidly reproduce!

Mother of Millions has adapted to dry conditions and will survive in periods of drought. It’s interesting as we removed this plants flowers a few weeks ago and left it on a weed pile, it is on the surface and the flowers are still vibrantly red, it has survived exposure to the air and without soil.

This weed is toxic when ingested by livestock (causing heart failure) and poisonous to humans and household pets. The flowers which are present between May and 
October, are five times more poisonous than the leaves and stems.

Mother of Millions originated in Africa and Madagascar and was introduced to Australia as a garden plant. It reproduces rapidly, thus the name Mother of Millions and can survive in the soil a number of years before germinating.

As ours is a small infestation and we don’t use pesticides at Booyong, we have immediately removed them and will check continually for new infestations. The plants have been burnt in the fire pit, you can otherwise be stored in black plastic bags until completely decayed. Fire can be used for large infestations.

We are constantly identifying trees, plants and weeds at Booyong and encourage you to check your local council for more information about weed control in your area.