Boneseed

(Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera)

Boneseed - flowers and fruit

What is boneseed?

  • Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. monilifera) is a serious environmental weed.
  • Boneseed is a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of boneseed are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • Boneseed is also a Weed of N​ational Significance (WONS).

How to identify boneseed

  • Boneseed is an evergreen woody shrub growing to 2 metres or more in height and width. The elongated leathery leaves are dull green in colour and around 40 to 70 mm long and 20 to 35 mm wide.
  • Boneseed flowers from mid-spring to early summer. The yellow flowers develop in clusters at the ends of the branches and resemble the flowers of a daisy. The fruits are green and fleshy at first then becoming black at maturity. The fruit eventually flakes off to leave the inner seed exposed.
  • The seeds are hard and bone-like in texture and colour. Seeds are shed during summer and autumn. Heat may crack the seed coat and large numbers of boneseed seedlings may appear after fire.
  • For help in identifying boneseed, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora database for boneseed illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 for help.

Bonseed seedling, Photo: Greg Stewart,East Coast Regional Weed Strategy GroupBoneseed - paddock infestation.  Photo: TIAR
Image top: Boneseed flowers and fruit.
Images above, left to right: Boneseed seedling, © Greg Stewart, East Coast Regional Weed Strategy Group; Paddock infestation, © TIA.

Boneseed in Tasmania

  • Boneseed is common in several coastal areas of Tasmania, especially along the north coast east of Wynyard and on parts of the east coast. Boneseed is common in the Tamar Valley and in and around Hobart. Elsewhere in Tasmania boneseed occurs occasionally as a weed of disturbed bushland and coastal vegetation.
  • Boneseed can invade the understorey of native forests and bushland, and is particularly invasive in coastal areas. Boneseed competes with native plants and reduces biodiversity, and dense infestations can be a significant fire hazard.

What is the legal status of boneseed in your area?

The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with boneseed are laid out in the boneseed Statutory Weed Management Plan.

Use Table 1 (Zone A municipalities) and Table 2 (Zone B municipalities) in the Statutory Weed Management Plan to find out whether your area falls in an eradication or containment zone.

Detailed management and control guidelines for boneseed can be found in the Boneseed Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Boneseed Control. For further information see Weed Links and Resources.

See also
Herbicides for Boneseed Control
Statutory Management Plan for Boneseed
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
APVMA

Boneseed Control Guide

Do

  • Plan your control program, this will save time and money in the long-run.
  • Use hand-pulling for younger plants.
  • Consider burning for large infestations: follow-up treatment of seedling re-growth is essential.
  • Before burning, seek advice from the Tasmanian Fire Service. Where native vegetation may be impacted by fire seek advice from DPIPWE.
  • For large infestations, start with small outlying infestations to reduce spread of the plant, then work inwards.
  • Re-vegetate cleared areas with native plants to reduce the chance of re-infestation.

Don't

  • Don't start your control program without first planning your approach.
  • Don't rely on slashing: plants regrow strongly from the cut stumps unless they are treated with herbicide.
  • Never burn boneseed without follow up treatment of regrowth.

Spread of boneseed

  • Boneseed is spread by birds and animals which eat the fruit, digest the fleshy part and then pass the seed unharmed through the digestive system. Ants can also carry the fruits to their nests where they eat the flesh and discard the seeds.
  • Boneseed fruits and seed are also spread in moving water.
  • Seed can be spread in gravel or topsoil collected from areas infested with boneseed. The inappropriate dumping of seeding plants after removal can also lead to spread of the weed.
  • See the Washdown Guidelines for Weed and Disease Control for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading boneseed.

Physical removal

  • Slashing or mowing will not eradicate boneseed. Plants regrow strongly from the cut stumps unless they are treated with herbicide.
  • Boneseed plants have a relatively shallow root system. Seedlings and young plants can be readily pulled by hand; however larger plants require a tractor or similar equipment.
  • When bushes are pulled out, the ground disturbance may stimulate seed germination, making the boneseed problem worse. Follow-up treatment including pulling of seedlings or herbicide treatment is essential.
  • For low to medium boneseed density, handpull small plants and treat larger plants by cut-stump herbicide treatment. This minimises soil disturbance and damage to native vegetation.

Burning

  • Fire can be used to control dense infestations of boneseed. Burning kills seedlings and most mature plants and stimulates the germination of the seed in the soil. Regrowth seedlings can then be treated by pulling or with herbicide.
  • Use fire carefully. Consider burning only where the boneseed infestation is very dense and few native species are present. Avoid burning adjacent bushland.

Chemical control

Herbicides for Boneseed Control

Herbicides for Boneseed Control


Important Disclaimer
To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.

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