Turkey Rhubarb

(Also known as Rambling Dock)

Acetosa sagittata

Family: Polygonaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , ,

Description

A vigorous prostrate and climbing perennial herb. It can grow to 5m long. The plant produces chains of underground tubers.

Leaves are a distinctive bright green with an arrow-head shape.

Flowers are arranged in branching clusters. The plant flowers in spring. Flowers change from green-cream in colour to red.

The cream-coloured paper-like fruit is three-winged and turn brown with age. Each wing contains one seed.

Dispersal

Seed is spread by wind and water. It also spreads in dumped garden waste and contaminated soil.

Impact on bushland

Plants produce thousands of seeds that germinate under native vegetation. As the plant grows it smothers the supporting plant. Turkey Rhubarb will regenerate from tubers if top growth is removed.

Distribution

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Wonga Wonga Vine (Pandorea pandorana)
  • Water Vine (Cissus antarctica)
  • Old Man’s Beard (Clematis aristata)
    NB: not Clematis cultivars; these can also be environmental weeds.

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

Control involves stopping seed production. Pull off flower heads and bag.

All control technques will require regular follow-up to eliminate this weed.

  • Dig out tubers in areas where erosion will not be a problem.
  • Scrape and paint stems with herbicide. If spraying, ensure that total coverage of leaves with herbicide is achieved.

For more info

For key points on these techniques:Refer to the NSW Department of Primary Industry’s Noxious and Environmental Weed Control handbook.