Iva axillaris Pursh
Poverty weed is a State prohibited weed
State prohibited weeds are the highest category of declared noxious weeds in Victoria. By definition, they are either not yet in Victoria, or are here in small numbers, where their eradication is still possible.
All sightings should be reported to Agriculture Victoria immediately by calling 136 186 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why is it important to report poverty weed sightings to Agriculture Victoria?
Poverty weed is a strong competitor, and dense infestations can completely exclude other plants. Chemicals found in both the roots and leaves of the plant inhibit the growth of other plants, while large food reserves in its roots allow plants to survive through drought conditions.
It has a strong smell and taste and is unpalatable to stock. Spread mainly occurs when earth-moving or cultivation equipment drags pieces of root from infested to uninfested areas.
Poverty weed originated in North America where it has become a significant weed of rangelands, cereals, overgrazed pastures, and irrigated crops in Canada and the north-western United States.
It has not established on any other continent except Australia. It was first recorded from Newstead in north-central Victoria in 1926 and there are currently infestations in northern Victoria.
How to identify poverty weed
A long-lived perennial herb usually about 20 to 30 cm high but can reach 40 cm. It reproduces from both roots and seeds. The top-growth dies off in autumn and re-shoots in spring.
Its leaves are aromatic (when crushed), hairy, grey-green, 10-30 mm long and grow directly from the main stem. Lower leaves are arranged opposite each other; upper leaves are smaller and alternately arranged.
The flower head is greenish yellow (5-7 mm across) nodding on a short stalk at the base of upper leaves and appears in summer.
What should you do if you find poverty weed?
If you think you have seen a poverty weed plant, please contact Agriculture Victoria on 136 186 or send an email to email@example.com.
Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of this weed yourself. Agriculture Victoria will treat, remove and dispose of poverty weed safely, at no cost to the land owner.