Rusty-leaf Pittosporum (Pittosporum ferrugineum) is an Australian native plant outside its range in SEQ. In coastal SEQ, it can form thick stands with weedy potential. It can be mistaken for the native Pittosporum undulatum. Unlike P. undulatum which is hairless with wavy leaf margins, P. ferrugineum is Latin for ‘ferruginous, rustcoloured’ and refers to the distinctive, rusty brown hairs covering new shoots, leaves and flowers. It is a small, slender-trunked tree to <10m. Control with herbicide using cut-stump or basal bark methods.

Ming Asparagus (Asparagus retrofractus) is a garden ornamental that has recently become established in bushland in SEQ. It is a is a scrambling shrub to 3m with silver, zig-zagged stems. It has needle-like, small cladodes (leaves) in clusters along stems, resembling pom-poms, hence its other common name, Pom-Pom Asparagus. This is an emerging weed and has the potential to becomes a serious environmental weed like other weedy asparagus species. If you see Asparagus retrofractus, it should be reported and targeted for eradication.

Article and photos by Nadia Joyce
Sunshine Coast Council

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