Saturday, April 19, 2014

Soliva sessilis

Onehunga Weed

Botanical name: Soliva sessilisFamily name: Asteraceae

OnehungaB1.jpg Overview

Turf weeds that put prickles in your bare feet when you walk across a lawn are never popular, especially in home lawns and recreational areas. Onehunga weed is probably one of the most hated turf weeds in New Zealand for this reason. It is an annual weed which is very small in size, usually fitting beneath the blades of the mower without barely being touched each time the lawn is mowed. It normally acts as a winter annual. This means it spends most of summer as a dormant seed in the soil. It germinates in autumn once the soil becomes moist but before the lawn recovers from summer dryness. If the lawn cover hasn't died back over summer, Onehunga weed seedlings have much more trouble establishing. Once they are established, the plants grow throughout winter then produce clusters of spined fruits near ground level (arrowed in the top picture) ready for some unsuspecting passer-by to step on them and distribute the fruits elsewhere in the lawn in their feet or jandals. Once the lawn begins to dry in summer, the plant dies, having completed its life cycle, though the spiny fruits are often left with spines sticking upwards even though the plant has died. It doesn't always grow as a winter annual though, as it can also establish in spring under some circumstances.

Onehunga weed seedling Distinguishing features


Louisette said...

Wonderfull, best regard from Belgium

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I am trying to figure out if I had seen something similar around here....