Coral Creeper

Barleria repens
Shrub
Opposite
Simple
Red
Pink
Green
Discoloured

Barleria repens (Coral Creeper) is distinguished by it shiny, dark green foliage, showy tubular pink-red flowers that have five spreading lobes and are mostly produced in late summer and autumn and sprawly growth habit.

Common names 
Also known as: Small Bush Violet,
Family 
Acanthaceae
Deciduous 
No
Flowering time 
Summer- Winter
Native/Exotic 
Exotic
Origin 
Africa
Notifiable 
No
Council declaration 
Class C – Containment and reduction
Known distribution 

Coastal Queensland

Habitat 

A weed of urban bushland and disturbed forests, with potential to colonise and dominate riparian vegetation, roadsides, and disturbed areas.

Habit 

A scrambling herb usually less than 70 cm tall but recorded at up to 2m in height within natural areas.

Impact and control methods 

Barleria repens (Coral Creeper) has the potential to cause environmental damage by colonising riparian zones and forming dense thickets that displace native vegetation and prevent movement of animals.

Stem and leaves 

The shiny, dark green, opposite leaves have entire margins The younger stems are green and sparsely hairy, that become more woody with age. These stems tend to produce roots where they touch the ground, enabling this plant to spread quite quickly.

Flowers and fruits 

The showy tubular flowers have five spreading lobes and are mostly produced in late summer and autumn (i.e. from February to April). These flowers are borne in the leaf forks and have two large green leafy bracts at their bases. Forms with pink, mauve and purple flowers are common in South Africa, but the form that is cultivated and naturalised in Queensland has bright red or pinkish-red flowers. The fruit is a small club-shaped capsule that splits open when mature

Reproduction and dispersal 

Reproduces by seed and vegetatively through rooting stems. Its seeds may be propelled up to a few metres from the parent plant through a mechanims of explosive release from their fruit. They may be further dispersed by water, animals and in mud. Propagules are commonly spread from gardens into bushland via dumped garden waste and through roadside slashing.