Salvation Jane (Echium plantagineum) is an erect, annual ornamental plant with purple flowers, reaching about 60cm.
- an erect annual plant (sometimes living into a second year), usually reaching about 60cm high
- leaves produced in autumn and winter are large, oblong in shape with a short stalk and distinct lateral veins
- leaves grow flat on the ground from a solid taproot to form a rosette
- leaves on the erect stems are smaller and narrower
- flowers are blue to purple and trumpet shaped, attached along one side of the stem
- seeds are brown-grey, up to 3mm long, 3-sided and wrinkled.
Why is it a problem?
- highly competitive due the large amount of seed produced
- the large, flat rosette smothers other emerging seedlings
- reduces the quality and quantity of useful fodder
- can replace nitrogen fixing plants, therefore reducing soil fertility
- horses and pigs are susceptible to toxic alkaloids produced
- bristles cause irritation to the udders of dairy cows
- source of hayfever and allergies in humans.
- Eyre Peninsula – isolated roadside and paddock infestations
- Northern pastoral – very common in the Flinders Ranges and along roadsides elsewhere
- Northern agricultural districts and Yorke Peninsula – widespread
- Murray Mallee – widespread
- South East – widespread in north, scattered in south
- Central region – widespread.
- plants can grow at any time of the year but most commonly seeds germinate after autumn rains, rosette forms over winter
- stems produced in late winter, flowering starts in spring and continues for several months
- plants normally die in summer
- seeds remain dormant in the soil for many years and cultivation appears to stimulate germination
- mowing or grazing the flowering plants encourages new shoots that will flower out of season.
How it spreads
- seed is spread in contaminated hay, fodder and grain, most noticeably in times of drought
- water runoff, especially in hilly areas
- seeds eaten by animals are spread in the droppings
- the rough seed coat also attaches itself to the bodies and hoofs of animals.