Weed profile: Spanish heath

by admin on June 6, 2010

Spanish heath

Spanish Heath (Erica lusitanica) is identified as a high priority weed for the southern region.

Spanish Heath invades native vegetation, pasture and roadsides, forming dense infestations and creating a fire hazard due to its extreme flammability.

Spanish Heath is a winter-flowering shrub typically growing to 2m tall. It has densely clustered tiny leaves and white to pink tubular flowers.

Images of this weed are available from Department of Primary Industries and Water.

A number of control options are available for Spanish Heath:

  1. Hand pulling is suited to small seedlings only. The extensive root system of larger plants prevents successful removal.
  2. Repeated cultivation and establishment of competitive grass and legume cover in pasture situations controls this weed effectively.
  3. Burning and slashing are not recommended for Spanish Heath, as fire promotes its growth and slashing may disperse seeds over long distances.

Land managers should note that no herbicides are registered for use against Spanish Heath in Tasmania. High volume spraying and cut and paint are effective control methods permitted under APVMA Permit No. PER8949.

Consult the APVMA web site for more detail on permitted products and rates of application.

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