Type of weed: Succulent
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.
By seed and from every part of the cylindrical leaves.
Impact on bushland
The plant spreads easily and invades bushland, forming a thick carpet.
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.
- 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.
Note: Herbicides that may be used for this weed include Metsulfuron methyl.
Please consult the Herbicide page of this website to help you decide whether to spray, how to do it safely and more.
Specific control tips for this weed
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 key points on these techniques:
Local Priority Weed
- The plant should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
- Plants under 4 metres in height should be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed.
- The spread of this plant should be adequately contained to prevent spread impacting on priority assets. Weed notices will only be issued for these weeds under special circumstances.