Kunzea Ericoides

Although Kunzea Ericoides is native to mainland Australia (Victoria, NSW and Queensland) and New Zealand, it is not found naturally in Tasmania and can be a very invasive species. It is similar in appearance to Leptospermum Scoparium (tea tree), and is often assumed to be a native here. The Tasmanian species, however, is Kunzea Ambigua (or tick bush) - this is highly scented and valued for its essential oil.

Kunzea Ericoides is an upright, spreading shrub to 3m and has small narrow leaves up to 20mm long which are aromatic when crushed. It flowers here in January/February and has profuse amounts of scented small white flowers.

It also produces copious amounts of very fine seed (like dust) from about April. This is easily distributed inadvertently by brushing past seeding plants and picking up the tiny seeds on clothes. Machinery and equipment e.g. slashers and mowers are another way that the seeds are distributed along roadsides.

It is growing in a number of locations in the Gowrie Park area and Mount Roland Rivercare Catchment Inc is currently taking steps to control this through funding provided by Landcare Tasmania.

 

If you have Kunzea Ericoides on your property there are various ways that you can control it, but it is important to avoid disturbing the plants at seeding time when there is the greatest chance of spreading seed inadvertently.

Weed work done to date by Mount Roland Rivercare Catchment Inc as part of the Gowrie Park Weeds Project has shown that Kunzea Ericoides responds well to spraying with weed killer.

A report on the status of Kunzea Ericoides at Gowrie Park at the commencement of works can be downloaded here (PDF 2.9MB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional information