Bifora

Bifora testiculata (L.) Sprengel

Family: Apiaceae.

Names:

Bifora is used as the common name because there are no other species of Bifora in Australia and there are several other plants that are commonly referred to as carrot weed.
Testiculata refers to the testicle shaped seed pods.

Other Names:

Carrot weed, because the leaves resemble those of carrot.
Bird's eye.

Summary:

Annual hairless herb, 20-30 cm tall, with striped stems, finely divided leaves and strongly smelling of coriander.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two. Spear shaped, tip rounded to pointed. Hairless. Merging base.

Leaves:

Rosette leaves:

Stipules -
Petiole -
Blade - Lobed almost to the midrib with three segments and angular lobes that are finely toothed.

Stem leaves:

Blade - Lobed almost to the midrib with two segments and widely spreading, acute tipped, parallel sided lobes. Leaflet base tapered. Tip pointed.

Stems:

200-300 mm long, branching, striped, hairless, strong foul smell,

Flower head:

Umbrella of 2-3 longitudinal lines with 2-3 flowers each in leaf axils. All flowers fertile.

Flowers:

Ovary - Style bent back to level of disk.
Involucre - Single parallel sided bract.
Petals - 5. White, spreading with a broad shallow notch at the tip.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Pod. Looks like dog balls. Very wrinkled, indented base, conical tip.

Seeds:

Remains enclosed in the skull-like pod. Cream or whitish yellow with 3 darker stripes on the back. Spherical to tear shaped, 4 mm diameter. Surface dimpled, wrinkled, grooved and hairless with two holes near the beak.

Roots:

Taproot.

Key Characters:

Fruit indented, not flattened and fruitlets very wrinkled.
Striped foul smelling stems.
Flowers with 5 white, notched petals.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Annual.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

Flowering times:

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Southern Europe and Mediterranean region.

Distribution:

SA.

Courtesy Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

The fruits are used as a spice.
Does not host Root Lesion Nematodes (Pratylenchus neglectus or thornei)

Detrimental:

Weed of field crops.
Tolerates many common herbicides.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

Noxious weed of South Australia (Class 9) and Tasmania

Management and Control:

Difficult to control.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

No other species of Bifora are in Australia.

Plants of similar appearance:

Cotula.
Fumitory.

References:

Black, J.M. (1965). Flora of South Australia. (Government Printer, Adelaide, South Australia). P 536.

Moerkerk. M.R. and Barnett. A.G. (1998) More Crop Weeds (R.G. and F.J. Richardson, Victoria). P51.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #174.1.

Acknowledgments:

Collated by HerbiGuide. Phone 08 98444064 or www.herbiguide.com.au for more information for more information.