SummaryA perennial, weak stemmed, succulent running herb with parallel veined, spear shaped leaves with hairy bases on stems that root at the nodes. It has small, white, 3 petalled, terminal flowers.
Stems:Green to red, striped, branched from the swollen nodes, scrambling, smooth and hairless. Round and solid in cross section, 25- 4000 mm long x 1-8 mm diameter. Nodes often covered by the brown papery sheath remnant left after the leaf blade falls off. Roots form at the nodes.
Flower head:Terminal clusters.
Flowers:Bisexual, radially symmetrical (actinomorphic). No stalks. Terminal clusters. Without nectar. Wind pollinated.
Roots:Fine roots on stem nodes.
Key Characters:Succulent running herb.
Seed Biology and Germination:Vegetative Propagules:
Hybrids:Ecology, Population Dynamics and Dispersal:
Distribution:ACT, NSW, TAS, VIC.
Soil:Especially abundant along streams.
Detrimental:Weed of damp shaded areas. Garden escape.
Toxicity:Causes nitrate toxicity in Cattle
Symptoms:Rapid death, often within a few hours of exposure. Panting, staggering, collapse, little evidence of struggling before death, chocolate coloured blood.
TreatmentVenal injection of 1-2 g of methylene blue in 100-200 mL water for cattle.
Legislation:Management and Control:
Biological Control:Related plants:
Plants of similar appearance:Blue Periwinkle (Vinca major) has blue flowers and is less succulent than Wandering Jew.
References:Auld, B.A. and Medd R.W. (1992). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. (Inkata Press, Melbourne). P20. Photo.