bitou bush

Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. Rotundata
Shrub
Opposite
Simple
Yellow
Green

Distinguished by sprawling habit, flowers in heads with up to 13 petal-like ray florets (some may not develop) and egg-shaped, green, fleshy fruit 5–8 mm long, drying to a seed with a black bony covering. Leaves mostly without teeth or slightly toothed.

Common names 
Also known as: bitou bush,
Family 
Asteraceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Autumn- Winter
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
Africa
Notifiable 
Yes
State declaration 
Class 1
Council declaration 
Class E - Early detection and eradication
Known distribution 

Widely and densely dispersed along coastal NSW up to South East Queensland in coastal areas

Habitat 

Typically coastal in distribution and particularly problematic in Dune systems. Prefers sandy light soils but is not considered

Habit 

Small perrenial evergreen Shrub (monilifera) to 1 metre tall

Impact and control methods 

Due to its aggressive growth pattern and preference for coastal areas this weed is a major threat to dune systems, replacing and overpowering native species, reducing native habitat and disrupting foodwebs that are critical for migratory bird species and plant pollinators such as bees.

Stem and leaves 

Stems are woody many branched and often purplish in appearance. Leaves alternate 3-8 cm long. Leaves are ovate to spathulate and taper at the base with a short stalk attachment to the stem, margins may be slightly toothed. Young leaves may be covered in a light cotton-like hairs. Mature leaves glaborous.

Flowers and fruits 

Flower heads are yellow 2-3 cm in diameter and appear as clusters at the end of branches. Fruit is green and fleshy 3-8mm in diameter when first formed, but quickly turns black and breaks away to expose a white coloured inner seed coat. Seeds may remain viable for up to 10 years.

Reproduction and dispersal 

Dispersed by animals (predominantly birds) passing the indigestible seeds with a bony covering; also by water.