This is an upright herbaceous plant or small shrub usually growing up to 1 metre.
The slender stems become slightly woody with age, especially near the base of the
plant. Younger stems are greenish in colour and mostly hairless.
Leaves are simple and alternately arranged along the stems and are borne on stalks.
They are oblong or narrowly egg-shaped in outline.
Flowers are whitish and arranged in elongated axillary clusters in the forks of the
upper leaves. Numerous small flowers are produced in each of these clusters. These
flowers have 4 small ‘petals’ and are initially white or pinkish but turn greenish as
they mature. Flowering occurs mostly during spring and summer.
Berries are small and rounded that contain a single seed. These fruit turn from
green to bright shining red (occasionally orange) as they mature.
Habitat prefers damp, shady sites in closed forests, forest margins, riparian
vegetation, waste areas, urban bushland and gardens in tropical and sub-tropical
Weed characteristics leaves have an unpleasant smell when crushed. It becomes a
weed of forests and urban backyards.
Dispersal by birds, water and in mud attached to animals and vehicles.
This species is not a declared plant under Queensland legislation but its control is recommended.
How to act
Foliar spraying can be an effective method. Small infestations can be hand pulled.
Refer to Weed Control Methods.
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