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Blue Heliotrope

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Botanical Name: Heliotropium amplexicaule
Other Common Names:

Declarations

 
Class Regions
Class 4Bogan Shire Council,Cabonne Council,Castlereagh Macquarie County Council,Cobar Shire Council,Dubbo City Council,Lachlan Shire Council,Mid-Western Regional Council,Narromine Shire Council,Weddin Shire Council,Wellington Council
Landholder Responsibilities: Growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority and the plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed
Why Is It Bad?: Blue Heliotrope will increasingly and seriously affect agriculture, the natural environment and tourism values. Agricultural production would be severely affected through both pasture and stock health. Infested crops and pastures are of low value and low carrying capacity. If consumed, stock can suffer severe health problems often leading to death. Tourism values of native grasslands and natural riparian environments are reduced due to the obnoxious odour emitted during growing and flowering periods. Reduction of biodiversity levels in sensitive environments such as grasslands will occur when these sites are infested with Blue Heliotrope.

Identification

Habit: Herb
Leaves: Leaves are oblong-lanceolate, 2-8cm long and 5-15mm wide. Leaves are dull green, hairy and alternate.
Flowers: Flowers are purple or lilac with a yellow centre. Flowers are densely clustered along a coiled stalk.
Fruit: Fruit form into 2 nutlets each containing 2 seeds
Roots: Root system is made up of a strong slender taproot, reaching 1-2m depth, and many lateral roots.

Control Methods

Manual Removal:
Chemical Use:
Fire:
Slashing & Cutting:
Biological Control: The leaf beetle (Deuterocampta quadrijuga)
Grazing: Sheep (especially Merinos) and goats can be used (but not every year) and horses, cattle and pigs should never be used.
Cultivation & Scalping: This should only be a short term solution but is also capable of increasing the problem as roots fragments can reshoot.
Smothering: A vigorous perennial pasture needs to be maintained in order to out-compete Blue Heliotrope. It is an effective long term solution.
Solarisation:
Competition:
Monitoring: Successful treatment programs rely on ongoing monitoring of sites. Regrowth and new seedlings can easily become larger infestations if follow-up treatments are not part of the management program

Images

Click an image to view a larger version


Image Credit: Scott Kahler


Image Credit: Scott Kahler


Image Credit: Andrew Cosier


Image Credit: Megan Power


Image Credit: Megan Power





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