A perennial, evergreen to semi deciduous shrub to 2.5 m tall with clusters of bright red berries formed from white flowers. It has narrow, 5 cm long, glossy green leaflets that turn burgundy in winter.
Alternate. 2-3 pinnate up to 200 mm long, joints often swollen at the bases. Clustered near the tops of stems and held horizontally.
Petiole - Stem clasping, short.
Blade - of leaflet, glossy, lime green turning to red then purple in autumn, oval to diamond shaped, up to 70 mm long, conspicuous midrib. Tip pointed. Edges convex. Base tapered. Hairless.
Erect, slender, cane like, woody, clumped, scared or sheathed by leaf bases
Terminal panicle, erect to arching, up to 400 mm long, many flowered
White, 7.5 mm diameter. Bisexual.
Ovary - Superior. Single carpel and ovule.
Style - short.
Stigma - abruptly conical
Sepals - Many, free, spirally arranged.
Petals - White, 3-6, free.
Stamens - 6
Anthers - almost stalkless, releasing pollen by lengthwise slits on the inner side.
Bright red, globular berry, 10 mm diameter.
Long strong taproot.
Leaves 2-3 pinnate, >10 cm long.
Stems without spines
Flowers white to cream
Fruit red. Adapted from Gwen Harden.
Perennial. Flowers in summer, leaves turn red in autumn and most fall off.
Summer in NSW.
Seed Biology and Germination:
Several cultivars have been introduced and planted.
Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Spread by birds, seeds and intentional plantings.
Origin and History:
China, India and eastern Asia.
Naturalised near Tamworth.
Temperate, sub tropical.
Invasive weed of the USA.
Not recorded as toxic
Management and Control:
Seedlings and small plants can be hand pulled.
Manually remove small plants. Cut off larger plants near the base of the stem and paint it immediately with glyphosate or triclopyr.
None in the same genus.
Plants of similar appearance:
White Cedar has lilac flowers.
Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).
Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).
Harden, Gwen J. (1991). Flora of NSW. (Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney). Volume 1. P572. Diagram.
Lamp, C. and Collet, F. (1990). A Field Guide to Weeds in Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).
Lazarides, M. and Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO handbook of Australian Weeds. (CSIRO, Melbourne). #685.1.
Randall, J.M. and Marinelli, J. (1996) Invasive Plants. (Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Inc. Brooklyn). P63. Photo.
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