Inkweed

Inkweed - Phytolacca octandra
Inkweed – Phytolacca octandra

A common weed that has emerged and become conspicuous since the 2009 fires are Ink-weed Phytolacca octandra. This erect, herbaceous perennial from tropical America used to be a noxious weed in Victoria. It is still considered to be a troublesome weed. It infests bare soil areas and is spread by birds colonising large areas Ink-weed can grow up to 2 metres high and has brittle spreading branches. Red coloured stems which grow from a well-developed tap-root. It has smooth bright green leaves. Greenish white flowers occur close together on upright tapered spikes between August and November. The fruits are dark purple to black berries which exude a red-purple juice. This plant can turn up in gardens and bushland unnoticed and can dominate large areas inhibiting the growth of more desirable species. Ink-weed can be grubbed out being careful to get as much of the tap-root as possible. It will also respond well to being sprayed with an appropriate herbicide. Brush Off (Metsulfron Methyl) can be effective. (Text Source from SGLN weeds website)

Phytolacca octandra -  Inkweed
Phytolacca octandra – Inkweed, This clump of Inkweed has gotten away and produced hundreds of new seeds. Inkweed now chokes this small gully.
Phytolacca octandra -  Inkweed
Phytolacca octandra – Inkweed, Flower
spike with newly forming berries.
Phytolacca octandra -  Inkweed
Phytolacca octandra – Inkweed, This inkweed needs to be controlled now before it flowers and sets seed. If hand-pulling make sure the tap-root is removed.
Phytolacca octandra -  Inkweed
Phytolacca octandra – Inkweed, Showing the shiny purple-black berries.

2 thoughts on “Inkweed

  1. I am trying to find a organisation I can contact about a major problem with ink weed in our area, it is along the roadside of our property coming from a badly infested site on plantation leased land. The weed is now establishing itself into our paddocks, can you advise who I can contact. Property in Boolarra South

    1. Maybe contact the plantation company and see if they will do anything first. HVP have said in the past they respond to complaints from neighbours. Otherwise try contacting DELWP.

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