Boneseed or Bitou Bush

(Also known as Bitou Bush)

Boneseed - (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera), Bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera subsp. rotundata)

Family: Asteraceae

Type of weed:

Priority Weed State Priority Weed. (See more weeds of the class.)

Flowering Months: , ,


A vigorous evergreen erect shrub to 3 m tall.

Leaves are 3-8 cm long, oval-shaped with irregularly toothed edges. New leaves are light green and covered with a white cotton-like material, mature leaves are dull green and leathery.

Flowers are bright yellow and daisy-like, to 30 mm in diameter. It flowers profusely, mostly from August to October.

Boneseed Flowers: Flowers usually have 4 to 8 petals, clustering at the ends of the branches.

Bitou Bush Flowers: Mature plants produce lots of bright yellow daisy-like flowers with 11-13 ‘petals’.

Boneseed and Bitou Bush produce up to 50,000 seeds per plant, which are green and fleshy at first, maturing to black.


Seeds are dispersed by birds and animals which eat the fruit, ants which carry it to their nests, the dumping of garden waste and the movement of contaminated soil.

Impact on bushland

Boneseed is a highly invasive weed that smothers native plants.


, . Mt Victoria to Lapstone; particularly Medlow Bath.

Alternative planting

Native plants

Upper Mountains:

  • Banksia marginata, B. ericifolia, B.spinulosa
  • Lambertia formosa
  • Native Daisy (Olearia spp)

Lower Mountains:

  • Christmas Bush (Ceratopetalum apetalum)
  • Olearia spp
  • Ozothamnus diosmifolius

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.


  • Hand remove
  • Spray
  • Stem inject or frill
  • Cut and paint

Manual control

Hand remove

Grasp stem at ground level. Rock weed backwards and forwards to loosen roots, then pull out gently. Carefully tap the roots to dislodge attached soil. Replace disturbed soil and pat down.

  • Leave weeds so that roots do not make contact with soil; on a rock, for instance. A small amount of debris may be hung in a tree or removed from the site.
  • Vary the position of your body to avoid fatigue when removing plants by hand over extended periods.

Chemical control

Note: Herbicides that may be used for this weed include Glyphosate, Picloram, Metsulfuron methyl.


Please consult the Herbicide page of this website to help you decide whether to spray, how to do it safely and more.

Extra considerations for weeds with underground reproductive structures
  • Further digging may be required for plants with more than one tuber. Some bulbs may have small bulbils attached or present in the soil around them. These need to be removed. It may be quicker and more effective to dig weeds out.
  • Learn and understand how the herbicide works. For bulb and corm species the most effective time is after flowering and before fruit has set.

Stem injection or frilling

Stem injection
Drilling holes at 45° and squirting poison into holes
Apply poison immediately after drilling

At the base of the tree, drill holes at a 45° angle into the sapwood (just under the outer bark) at two finger space intervals around the entire base of the tree. Repeat this process below the lowest branch


As an alternative to drilling, make cuts into the sapwood with a chisel or axe. Fill each cut/hole with herbicide immediately. Repeat the process at 3 cm intervals around the tree.


Plants should be healthy and actively growing. Deciduous plants should be treated in spring and autumn when leaves are fully formed. For multi-stemmed plants, inject or chip below the lowest branch or treat each stem individually. Herbicide must be injected immediately before the plant cells close (within 30 seconds before translocation of herbicide ceases.)

Cut and paint

Applying poison to cut stump from squeeze bottle
Apply poison immediately after cutting

Useful for small to medium sized woody weeds up to 10 cm in diameter.

Make a horizontal cut as close to the ground as possible with secateurs or loppers, and immediately apply concentrated Glyphosate to the exposed stump surface. Do not allow the surface to get covered with soil.

Specific control tips for this weed

  • Small plants can be hand pulled quite easily due to the shallow root system. Make sure all parts of the root system are removed.
  • Larger plants may need to be treated with the cut and paint method using herbicide.

Because the berries are bird spread, it is best to treat plants before they fruit. Bag any fruit and treat in a hot compost to kill the seeds. Other parts of the plant can be spread to dry out off the ground. Once it is dead material will decompose in place, or may be composted.

For key points on these techniques:

  • See Weed Control Techniques
  • See Risks associated with control

For key points on these techniques:

State Priority Weed

Control measures:

  • The plant must be eradicated from the land and be kept fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed; and the land must be kept free of the plant.
  • If the weed is part of a new infestation of the weed on the land, notify the local control authority as soon as practicable.

For more info

For key points on these techniques: