Growth Habit: Mirror bush can grow up to 8m in height, although it is almost always seen as a shrub between 1 and 2 metres.
The leaves are in opposite pairs and semi-succulent, bright green with a glossy upper surface, and duller green underneath. They are 2-8 cm long by 1-5 cm wide with recurved leaf margins. Stems are also fleshy, greenish-grey becoming woody with age.
Type of Plant: A dense evergreen spreading shrub or tree.
Flowers: Inconspicuous pale green or whitish clusters of flowers occur along the stem, but are normally hidden by the dense outer foliage. Separate male and female plants (dioecious). Flowering time: Nov-Dec.
Fruit/Seed: Two small seeds are produced in many bright orange-red succulent, ovoid berries 8mm round.
Dispersal: Birds eat the berries and later pass the seeds. Can also root from stems where they touch the ground.
Distribution: Found throughout Tasmania in gardens, amenity plantings and bushland.
Status: Undeclared in Tasmania, but is considered a significant environmental weed.
- Mirror bush is capable of forming dense colonies in native bushland, displacing native flora and fauna and impeding revegetation.
- It’s canopy will smother all other vegetation.
- It’s succulent orange fruits are spread by birds into many bushland areas including swamp forests, dunes and sea-cliff scrub.
- Very hardy, tolerating drought, salt, frost and most soil types, common in coastal environments.
For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
- Grow other species instead, such as: Mexican Orange Blossom (Choisya ternata), Yellow Dogwood (Pomaderris elliptica), native Coprosma species, or the hardy non-invasive Coprosma ‘Evening Glow’.
- Grubbing (all year). Small plants/ seedlings.
- Herbicide (summer, spring and autumn). Herbicides registered in Tasmania include glyphosate and triclopyr + picloram. The cut-stump technique is useful on larger plants.
N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.