Perfolia Chalkwort

Gypsophila perfoliata

Family: Caryophyllaceae

Order: Caryophyllales

Names:

Gypsophila is from the Greek gypsos meaning plaster of Paris and phylos meaning lover and refers to the abundant growth, of some of these species, on soils with free lime.
Perfoliata
Perfolia Chalkwort. Wort is Old English for weed, so Chalkwort refers to this plant as a weed of chalky or limestone soils.

Other Names:

Summary:

A plant with fine stems and numerous small white flowers grown for floral arrangements.

Description:

Cotyledons:

Two.

Leaves:

Stipules -
Petiole -
Blade -

Stems:

Fine.

Flower head:

Flowers:

White and numerous.
Ovary -
Calyx -
Perianth -
Sepals -
Petals - White.
Stamens -
Anthers -

Fruit:

Seeds:

Roots:

Key Characters:

Biology:

Life cycle:

Physiology:

Reproduction:

By seed.

Flowering times:

Seed Biology and Germination:

Vegetative Propagules:

Hybrids:

Allelopathy:

Population Dynamics and Dispersal:

Origin and History:

Distribution:

ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, WA.
Not naturalised.

Habitats:

Climate:

Temperate.

Soil:

Prefers soils with free lime.

Plant Associations:

Significance:

Beneficial:

Ornamental. Floral arrangements.

Detrimental:

Toxicity:

May contain a saponin, which is suspected of poisoning stock.

Legislation:

None.

Management and Control:

Thresholds:

Eradication strategies:

Cut the root at least 100 mm below ground level with a shovel then remove the top growth leaving the root in place to monitor for re shooting. Retreat as required.
Burning the top growth with a flame thrower is also used early in the growing season.
More work is required on control with herbicides.

Herbicide resistance:

Biological Control:

Related plants:

Chalkwort (Gypsophila tubulosa = Gypsophila australis)
Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata)

Plants of similar appearance:

References:

Burbidge, N.T. and Gray, M. (1970). Flora of the Australian Capital Territory. (Australian National University Press, Canberra). P169 Diagram of G. australis.

Gardner, G.A. and Bennetts, H.W. (1956). The toxic plants of Western Australia. (West Australian Newspapers Ltd, Perth). P28.

Lazarides, M. and Hince, B. (1993). CSIRO handbook of economic plants of Australia. (CSIRO, Melbourne). 614.

Acknowledgments:

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