UNDESIRABLE TREE OF THE MONTH: SOLANUM MAURITIANUM (BUG WEED)

When admiring the flowers of the Bugweed, don’t be distracted by their beauty.  This plant which is native to South America, has become a widespread invasive weed in many countries and islands in the southern hemisphere.  This plant is fast growing and can reach up to 10m in height within 10 years.

Blue flowers with a yellow centre are borne in clusters throughout the year and in cooler months these plants will drop their felt-like green-grey leaves.

Bugweed tolerates a wide variety of growing conditions and spreads like wild fire when birds drop their seeds after having consumed the clusters of yellow fruit which appear in autumn.

The milky sap and hairy leaves may cause skin irritations in humans and the tree has a pungent, unpleasant odour when disturbed.

Bugweed should be eradicated as it is a category 1b alien invasive species as required by the NEMBA Act of 2004. 

SUGGESTED REPLACEMENT:  Our indigenous Bloukappie (Polygala Myrifolia) will be the ideal plant to replace Bugweed.  It grows in similar conditions and will grow up to 3m tall in a few years.  Clusters of mauve or purple flowers throughout spring, summer and autumn makes this a very rewarding choice and because it’s from the legume (pea) family it is also good for the soil.

Brand’s Tree Felling can assist in effectively removing Bugweeds.  Contact us on 0861 708 000 or brandstf@mweb.co.za for a free quote.