Lifestyle

Mother of Millions adapts to survive

GROWING PROBLEM: Mother of Millions spreads rapidly, producing hundreds of tiny plantlets.
GROWING PROBLEM: Mother of Millions spreads rapidly, producing hundreds of tiny plantlets. CONTRIBUTED

MOTHER of Millions, or Bryophyllum delagoense, is a native of Africa and Madagascar and was introduced to Australia as a garden plant.

Mother of Millions and associated plants reproduces rapidly, producing hundreds of tiny plantlets which quickly form new colonies.

It is adapted to dry conditions and can survive long periods of drought. This increases the plant's potential to persist and spread.

There are also less common Bryophyllum species. Five Bryophyllum species are invasive in Queensland.

Mother of Millions is a Class 2 declared pest plant under Queensland legislation.

These plants also produce small plantlets along the edges of their leaves, are adapted to dry conditions, and are poisonous.

Hybrid Mother of Millions can be distinguished by the shape of its leaves.

Mother of Millions, hybrid Mother of Millions, and resurrection plant when ingested are all poisonous to humans and household pets with dogs being particularly susceptible.

The toxic effects of these plants can cause heart failure. The toxins are present in all parts of the plant. Flowers are five times more poisonous than the leaves and stems. If livestock have eaten a large amount of plant, they may die suddenly of heart failure.

Poisoning generally occurs when the plants are flowering between May and October. Mother of millions is a succulent perennial plant growing 30cm to 1m in height.

The stems are pinkish-brown or greyish.

The leaves are pencil-shaped, pale green to pale brown with dark green patches and a shallow groove on the upper surface. There are up to seven projections at the tip of each leaf which when broken off can develop into new plants.

The flowers are orange-red and occur in a cluster at the top of a single stem.

Each plant produces small plantlets along the edges of its leaves which detach and form new plants.

Mother of Millions should be removed immediately using a combination of control methods including hand removal, fire, herbicide application and rehabilitation.

For small infestations, Mother of Millions can be removed by pulling up individual plants by hand. Once the plants have been removed they should be burnt; stored in black plastic bags until completely decayed or buried. All of these procedures will prevent regrowth from leaf fragments.

Care needs to be taken as plantlets may detach from the leaves during removal and establish as new plants.

For large infestations, fire is the most economical control option available and will kill the plants and much of the seed stored in the soil. Using fire first will reduce the cost of any spray applications.

Some groups have reported a 30% reduction in Mother of Millions each year by using control burning with follow-up spot spraying.

Thorough spraying of mother of millions with herbicides is effective if sufficient wetting agent (non ionic surfactant) is used to penetrate the waxy outer covering of the plants - especially that of the plantlets.

Spraying with herbicides may not be 100% successful so the site should be monitored for regrowth and an appropriate follow up treatment carried out.

Four insects have been imported into Australia for testing as biological control agents.

Landcare

The Bundaberg Landcare Nursery in Faldt St is open on Thursdays and Fridays 10am-3.30pm, phone 0466 884 128.

Landcare President Michael Johnson 0422 297 062 or email bundylandcare@gmail .com.

Ian Read, Regional Coordinator for the Queensland Government Weed Network, 4159 9365 or email ian.read7@ bigpond.com.au.

Topics:  gardening weeds



TECKnology to help with animal problems in Bundy

ANIMAL CONTROL: Alexandra Park zookeeper David Flack introduces TECKnology's Leslie Lowe and Brian Little to resident dingo Lowana.

Duo can relocate snakes, bats, bees and more

PHOTOS: Road safety work recognised

Dennis Walsh presents Susan Rewalt with her award at the Road Safety Awards.

Special ceremony held at Bargara

Free hearing check Friday

Get in for your free hearing check from noon tomorrow at, 3/17 Barolin St.

Over 3.5 million Australians live with hearing loss.

Local Partners

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy a slick, impressive effort

New Uncharted game for PS4 hits the shelves

Bride and Prejudice's Chris reveals more family heartache

Grant and Chris feature on the TV series Bride & Prejudice. Supplied by Channel 7.

His dad’s health has dealt a massive blow to their happy life

Nicole's ready to bust out of Doctor Doctor's love triangle

Nicole da Silva stars in season two of Doctor Doctor.

New season gets a fresh injection of relationship dilemmas.

MOVIE REVIEW: Tom Cruise flying high again in drug drama

Tom Cruise plays pilot Barry Seal in the movie American Made.

FILM STAR delivers his best performance in some time.

The Project will now be on six nights a week

The Project presenters Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar.

The Project is expanding with a Sunday night edition and a new host.

Click your fingers, tap your toes

Helen Peters, Elisabeth Wallis-Gaedtke, Evalee Sharples and Kemal Avunduk rehearse for Fascinating Rhythm, Sunshine Coast Oriana Choir's performance of hot jazz, sizzling samba, Latin beats and smooth swing sounds at Lake Kawana Community Centre on August 26-27.

Libby to set beat for Fascinating Rhythm this weekend

Margot Robbie is unrecognisable in London

Margot, is that really you?

MARGOT Robbie looks completely unrecognisable as Queen Elizabeth I.

REVEALED: New shops for Coast centre's $12million revamp

Coast retail centre expands as part of $12million refurbishment

Residents fear sand mine sell out by State Minister

Sand mine opponents attend the Nambour Council Chambers.Cou

Further testing undertaken on site, despite claims of significance

Investors quick to snap up property in key growth corridor

High-profile commercial site sells at auction for $4.920m

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping