Mother of Millions

Bryophyllum delagoense

Family: Crassulaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , , , , ,

Description

A perennial herb to 1 m high.

Leaves are notched near the apex, 2–15 cm long, succulent (fleshy), without a stalk (sessile).

Plants have a flat-topped cluster of drooping, bell-shaped, orange-red to scarlet, four-lobed flowers, 2–3 cm long. It flowers mainly winter to spring. The plant is conspicuous when it flowers.

The fruit is a dry capsule containing many seeds.

The plant is like a chameleon; it is green coloured if growing in grass and brown coloured if growing in rocky areas.

Mother of Millions is toxic when ingested by livestock; it is also poisonous to humans and household pets.

Dispersal

By seed and from every part of the cylindrical leaves.

Impact on bushland

The plant spreads easily and invades bushland, forming a thick carpet.

Distribution

, . Whole of Local Government Area.

Alternative planting

Native plants

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.

Control

A well planned approach is needed to treat this weed and ensure it is not spread further during treatment or disposal. Follow-up treatment is needed for many years.

  • Hand remove plants carefully, loosening the soil with a knife or trowel. Ensure all pieces are removed and disposed of.
  • Spray with herbicide when plants are actively growing. Treatment is not always completely successful; monitor and regular follow-up is required.

For more info

For key points on these techniques: