Sticky Weed, Pellitory, Asthma
arrived in Sydney by ship as seeds in clay clinging to Italian marble to be used
for fireplace surrounds. Consequently, the weed is most common around the
harbour foreshores and the old established suburbs.
It is often found
growing thickly in and around rock walls and along footpaths. The plant is not
very distinctive in appearance and is often hidden in amongst other plants. It
is a small perennial herb growing about half a metre high, with pink-reddish
stems. The leaves and small green flowers are covered in sticky hairs, attaching
themselves readily to skin, clothing and pet fur. The seeds are spread either by
being carried by people and pets or by being washed down hill.
Sticky Weed is covered in fine hairs, which can irritate
sensitive skin. As well, the fine pollen can irritate the lungs of people who
suffer asthma. Sticky Weed produces large amounts of pollen in spring, summer
and autumn. People sensitive to Sticky Weed may find that their skin itches,
their nose becomes swollen and irritated and they may have difficulty
& Removal Methods
Wear gloves when handling
Sticky Weed. The small seedlings can be pulled out easily and left to dry out
and die in the sun. Mature plants require a strong garden tool to dig out the
roots. If you try to pull out larger plants, the stems may break leaving the
roots to regrow. Spray large areas of Sticky Weed with glyphosate and follow up
by removing or spraying any seedlings for several months at least.
Sticky Weed is very invasive. Avoid spreading it to new areas.