Kunzea

Kunzea species

Synonyms -

Family: Myrtaceae

Names:

Kunzea honours the German naturalist Gustav Kunze.

Summary:

Evergreen shrubs, usually with alternate leaves and globular flowers at the ends of branches.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

First leaves:

Leaves:

Usually alternate,
Stipules - None or tiny.
Petiole -
Blade - Small, simple, dotted with oil glands, smooth edges, often leathery.

Stems:

Flower head:

Often in a dense globular head at the ends of branches with scale like bracts.

Flowers:

Yellow, pink-purple or white. Radially symmetrical. Usually stalkless. Floral tube is usually broadly cup shaped.
Ovary - Inferior or almost so. 2-5 celled with 2-many ovules per cell. The top is usually smooth and shiny with a slight depression around the base of the style
Style - Simple, terminal, threadlike.
Stigma - Small or head like.
Sepals - 5, small, free, green with papery edges. Connected to the floral tube.
Petals - 5, free, larger than sepals, spreading and overlapping
Stamens - 5 to many, longer than petals, free, in 1 or more rings, not in bundles. Thread like filament.
Anthers - Versatile, not erect, 2 parallel cells, release pollen by lengthwise slit. There is a small globular gland on the connective.

Fruit:

Dry, woody capsule, 2-5 valved with hard persistent sepals on top. Seed released through slits at the top (midway between partitions) when ripe.

Seeds:

Tiny.

Roots:

Taproot with many laterals.

Key Characters:

Trees or shrubs
Leaves with aromatic oils.
Inflorescence terminal, compact, usually globular.
Flowers pink-purple or white, < 10 mm long, actinomorphic (radially symmetrical)
Floral tube well developed.
5 Sepals connected to the floral tube.
5 Petals, free.
Ovary inferior or half inferior.
Fruit dehiscent.
Adapted from Nancy Burbidge and B.L. Rye.

Biology:

Life cycle:

Perennial.

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.
Will regrow from the stump if damaged.

Flowering times:

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

None.

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Spread by seed.

Origin and History:

Native to southern and eastern Australia.

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA as ornamental plantings.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental, gums, shelter.

Detrimental:

Little forage value and most species ignored by cattle and sheep.

Toxicity:

Not recorded as toxic.

Legislation:

The Wildlife Conservation Act prohibits removal of native plants from the wild in their native range on government land.

Management and Control:

Manual removal is usually effective.

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Burning followed by bull dosing or chaining is usually the most cost effective for large stands. Blade ploughing would probably provide good control.
Individual trees can be sawn off close to ground level and the stump painted immediately with Access®. Basal bark spraying with Access® in diesel is effective. Saplings can be sprayed overall with Garlon®, Grazon® or glyphosate.

Herbicide resistance:

None reported.

Biological Control:

Unlikely because it is an Australian native species.

Related plants:

White Tick Bush (Kunzea ambigua)
Spearwood (Kunzea ericifolia)
Violet Kunzea (Kunzea parvifolia) - Weedy.
Kunzea obovata - Weedy
Agonis spp.
Beaufortia spp.
Callistemon spp.
Calytrix spp.
Chamelaucium spp.
Darwinia spp.
Eucalyptus spp.
Kunzea spp.
Leptospermum spp.
Melaleuca spp.
Verticordia spp.

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

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

Bodkin, F. (1986). Encyclopaedia Botanica. (Angus and Robertson, Australia).

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra).P267-268. Diagram.

Cunningham, G.M., Mulham, W.E., Milthorpe, P.L. and Leigh, J.H. (1992). Plants of Western New South Wales. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P512-513. Photographs.

Everist, S.L. (1974). Poisonous Plants of Australia. (Angus and Robertson, Sydney).

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). #551.

Marchant et al (1987). Flora of the Perth Region. (Western Australian Herbarium, Department of Agriculture, Western Australia). P410.

Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. (1992) Noxious weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne).

Acknowledgments:

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