|Botanical Name||Tradescantia fluminensis|
DescriptionHairless trailing plant with succulent stems, rooting readily at nodes. Dark green, shining, 30-60 mm long arranged alternatively along the stems. Clusters with several star-shaped flowers with 3 delicate white petals 10 mm long. Whole plant easily broken. Lacks seeds.
Where is it found?Streams, alluvial flats, lowland forests, coastal areas and inshore islands, damp sites on sheltered rocklands, damp shrublands, wetland margins. Can rapidly invade light gaps. Prefers cool moist and shaded conditions. Common and locally abundant, especially under disturbed forest and streamsides.
Why is it a problem?Forms extensive, sometimes deep carpets up to 500 mm in depth which may obliterate all native ground covering plants. Also prevents regeneration of all upper tier species except perhaps karaka, nikau, kawakawa and a few others. Small plants of alluvial terraces as well as gully and stream dwellers are heavily impacted. Difficult to control and spreading rapidly.
How does it spread?Succulent stems break extremely easily. Fragments of the plant are broken off and washed downstream or may be picked up and carried by animals. Dumped garden rubbish often initiates a source of infestation. Road machinery such as graders and mowers may also spread the plant.
How do I get rid of it?
Small areas can be satisfactorily controlled. If present in a confined area removal is possible. A good time is during a distinctive drought period. Can be raked or hand pulled. The most effective control is to gather up plant with a rake and dispose of all vegetative parts. The mats of stems can be rolled up and removed. Follow up treatment is required.
Bury deeply or burn. Very difficult to compost. Stems can survive composting and exposure to sun.
Tordon 2G granules are effective but the quantity required to cover areas of plant spread are inhibitive to this treatment's viability. Escort/Roundup/Pulse mixture has given satisfactory results providing conditions are warm and dry to ensure good uptake by the plants. Grazon has been very effective.
Rate Triclopyr (Grazon) 50 ml in 10 litres water plus 10 ml Penetrant. Activated Amitrole 200 ml in 10 litres water plus 10 ml Penetrant.
Hand pull small infestations. Contain the spread of larger infestations if possible. Spray large areas.