14 Jan Mickey mouse plant
The long tap root makes manual removal extremely difficult and it seeds far too easily into Sydney’s bushland
Origin: South Africa
Habit: A dense evergreen shrub 2-4m high with rough stems. Bark has numerous lenticels (corky spots) protruding outwardly.
Leaves: Alternately arranged oblong to lanceolate leaves to 6cm long, glossy green on both surfaces, slightly paler below. Leaf margins finely serrated and often wavy, new growth is reddish-brown in colour.
Flowers: Yellow with 5 petals in Spring-Summer. Green calyx turns red after petals drop and fruit matures.
Fruit: Succulent green berries to 8mm across, in clusters of 4-6. Ripen to black in Summer. Each berry contains a single seed.
Roots: Strong tap-root formed, with characteristic kink that renders it susceptible to breaking. Will reshoot form any root stock left in ground.
Dispersal: Seed spread by water, animals (foxes, rats & birds), humans, contaminated soil (earthmoving equipment, car tyres etc) and garden refuse dumping.
Control: Hand pull/dig juvenile plants. Scrape and Paint. *Hard to kill.