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Trad/Wandering Jew

Tradescantia fluminensis

How does it spread?

No seed is produced. Trad grows vegetatively - by cuttings. Any tiny fragment of stalk or leaf can regrow into a whole spreading plant. As it spreads it sends more roots into the ground, making it harder to remove. In addition the stem easily breaks into pieces as you pull or move it.

Pieces of stem or leaf easily wash down waterways or are carried in mud on tyres.

Unfortunately many people dump their garden refuse in the bush, where it spreads on the spot or is washed into the creeks. There it easily takes up residence in the damp soils.

How does it affect us?

Trad is a highly invasive weed. It spreads rapidly over the ground in gullies and temporary watercourses, forming a thick blanket of leaves. It smothers low plants and seedlings and prevents light and warmth reaching the soil. This prevents native plant germination and regeneration.

Get rid of Trad

Manual Control

If it has already formed a thick carpet, rake back the bulk of the growth and then go on to the next step.

Remove Trad by hand with a knife or narrow trowel. As the stems shatter readily, you must remove all fragments to prevent regrowth. IT WILL GROW AGAIN. Follow up original removal to remove remains that have grown again.

You should put all pieces in a bag for disposal or compost it on site under a pegged-down sheet of black plastic.

Herbicide control

Spray or paint the foliage with a registered herbicide. Chemical treatment works best in winter and early spring.

Trad is a noxious Weed Class 4. This means all land owners must control the growth and spread of this plant on their land, in accordance with the measures specified in a management plan published by the local council authority. The plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.

The information here was taken from an information sheet published by Ku-ring-gai Council.


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