Senegal Tea Plant

(Gynocoronis spilanthoides)
Senegal teaplant - flower and leaves
Image: Senegal tea plant flower and leaves, © NSW Agriculture.

Status of Senegal tea plant in Tasmania

  • Senegal tea plant is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of Senegal tea plant are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with Senegal tea plant are laid out in the Statutory Weed Management Plan for Senegal Tea Plant.

What does Senegal tea plant look like?

  • Senegal tea plant is a perennial (long-lived) freshwater herb which forms rounded bushes or mats. The stems are initially erect then collapse to a scrambling mat. Steps can reach 1.5 m long and are hollow when mature. The leaves are opposite, dark green, with slightly toothed and wavy margins. The flowers are small and whitish in colour and are clumped into daisy-like heads. The roots are numerous and arise from the stem nodes.
  • Spread of Senegal tea plant is by seed and stem fragmentation. Seed and stem fragments are spread in water. The plant is used in aquariums and has been spread via the aquarium plant trade.

Impacts of Senegal tea plant

  • The thick, floating mats formed by Senegal tea plant allow it to cause major environmental damage in natural aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats. Dense infestations can exclude light, impede gas exchange and compete with native flora and fauna. Senegal tea plant infestations can seriously limit recreational and boating activities, increase silting and contribute to flooding. The plant's hardiness and extremely fast growth rates under fertile conditions make it difficult to control.

What you need to do

  • If you locate Senegal tea plant anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be Senegal tea plant, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Statutory Weed Management Plan for Senegal Tea Plant
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie
Weeds in Australia - Weed Management Guide

Important Disclaimer
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