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Acetosa Sagittata - Turkey Rhubarb

 

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Acetosa Sagittata.jpg 

Habitat

This noxious vine climbs all over other plants and scrambles across the ground. It is often found growing in old, neglected gardens and where people have been dumping garden rubbish. It favours disturbed, damp areas. It is particularly troublesome where it is growing in amongst rubble dumped on the edge of bushland.


Description

Turkey Rhubarb has distinctly arrowhead-shaped, light green leaves. The stems have purplish ridges running along the length. The flowers form on the end of the stem and produce large clusters of three-winged capsules which are green to purplish at first, then turning papery and brown around a three-sided seed.

This weed produces tubers below the ground. Large tubers, up to 15 cm long, form near the base of the plant. From the top of these large tubers underground stems grow out, with more tubers growing on these stems. Turkey Rhubarb can regrow from the tubers or from the seed. Seedlings send down a taproot which quickly starts to swell to form a tuber.

Category: 4


Control & Removal Methods

To remove the plant, firstly you will need to cut off any papery clusters containing the seeds. Then use a trowel or mattock to carefully lift the tuber at the base of the stem to locate those underground stems which run from the top of the tuber. Carefully scrape the soil away from these stems to locate the smaller tubers along the length so that these can be removed. All tubers and underground stems must be removed - these can be bagged and put out in the green waste collection.

Continue to check the area for some time as any mature plants will have dropped seed over the years and these will germinate readily in the disturbed soil. Any tubers that have been missed will also reshoot. It can be difficult to get out all the tubers at the one time if the soil is rocky or filled with rubble.