Growth Habit: Leaves are dense, oval, growing very close to stems, 1.5 – 4 cm long. Stems are purplish with short hairs when young. Smooth and woody when older.
Type of Plant: Erect shrub, 1.5-4 m high.
Flowers: Clusters of pinkish-purple pea-like flowers, grouped at ends of branchlets almost all the year round.
Fruit/Seed: Fruit is a flat, almost circular capsule to 1 cm wide, containing 2 seeds about 0.4 cm long. Produces an abundance of seed all year round.
Dispersal: Grows readily from seed, dispersed by wind, water, birds, ants, seed contaminated soil and dumped garden refuse.
Distribution: Likes sandy soil. Widespread coastal areas and roadsides. Also in riparian vegetation and dry forests.
Status: Undeclared in Tasmania, but can be a serious environmental weed, especially along the coast.
- Serious environmental weed that forms dense thickets in coastal areas, including dune systems, coastal bluffs and heath but also inland grassy woodlands.
- Dominates shrub canopy, displacing native vegetation and causing habitat loss.
- Increased fire risk due to high flammability and increased fuel load of dense thickets. Germination stimulated by fire.
- Produces prolific quantities of seed that can remain viable in the soil for many (3-10) years.
- Do not plant Polygala, replace any you have in your gardens.
- Best from June to October before flowering and seed set.
- Hand pull small plants, cut and swab larger plants.
- Herbicide spray the prolific germination of seedlings after
removal of larger shrubs (best in Autumn).
- Follow-up required for many years.
N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.