Weed of the Month: Chinese Violet

Not as delicate as it looks!

The Chinese Violet may look like a delicate flower, however it is a very aggressive creeper that rapidly forms dense infestations in gardens, crops and bushland. Native to India, the Malay Peninsula and Africa, it is now a major weed in many tropical areas of the world, including Queensland and NSW.

There is one known infestation in the Port Macquarie Hastings LGA, which looks to have been spread via dumping of garden waste in bushland.

Whilst this plant may start out as a pretty ornamental specimen, it’s explosive seed capsules and ability to grow from fragments enable it to spread quickly out of pots or garden beds.

It creeps over surrounding plants and invades the bushland understory, smothering the competition and reducing productivity. It grows especially well on sandy soils near the coast.

It has distinctive white flowers with purple stripes or blotches on the bottom lobe. It then produces a green seed pod which is pointed at the end.

Exploding pods can cover up to 1 metre of ground

The pod will brown and harden, before splitting explosively to release 4 seeds that can land over a metre away.

If you suspect you have seen this plant, DO NOT try to control it on your own.

Chinese violet is subject to a state-wide Control Order, which means all infestations must be reported to the Biosecurity Officer at Council. Council will assist with the identification and control of any infestations.

Learn more by visiting NSW WeedWise or contacting the Biosecurity Officer.

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