ConservationWeeds

The Wild Tobacco Bush

At Booyong we’ve discovered a small wild tobacco bush and since the identification I have been amazed by their presence both along the roadside and at home in Sydney. I actually want to jump out of the car and weed the curb and there is a large tree a few doors up from me and it’s been driving me crazy. This feeling subsided somewhat when I spotted a lovely pair of king parrots enjoying the flowers buds yesterday, but then I consider the seeds being spread ….. Acquiring knowledge is hard, I’ve actually contacted the local land care group today so I can weed our local land care group and make a difference in Sydney too!

The scientific name is Solanum mauritianum and it belongs to the Solanaceae (nightshades) family. The evergreen shrub can grow approximately 4m high, they have large grey green leaves covered in velvety hairs and violet purple flowers followed by clusters of large berries that ripen from green to yellow. This weed is poisonous to humans and toxic to livestock, however the fruit is a valued source for some native birds. The tobacco bush rapidly invades vegetation and displaces native vegetation. For more information including how to eradicate the weed see The NSW Government Primary industries website.

In my research of the tobacco bush, I’ve discovered a great free resource called the Environmental Weeds of Sydney Region App. It’s a field guide for your mobile phone and helps to identify common weeds found in the Sydney area, including more than 50 species. They include identification notes and photographs that help with identification and recommended control methods.

For Google Play for Android phones and tablets: http://bit.ly/1TbtckA and iTunes App Store for iPhones and iPads: http://apple.co/1KaMHHu

In August, 2016 we discovered and removed some Tobacco Bush from the old Kiwi fruit farm, it was wonderful to be able to identify this weed!

 

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