Is African rue the new Silverleaf nightshade?

News article |

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke will host a free workshop in Spalding this Thursday to help farmers and landholders manage African rue and Silverleaf nightshade.

Much like Silverleaf nightshade, African rue (Peganum harmala) is a deep-rooted, summer active perennial weed that is found in the semi-arid pastoral zone of South Australia. Once the weed is established it is difficult to control.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Technical and Compliance Support Officer Grant Roberts said the workshop will focus on the importance of minimising the spread of African rue and Silverleaf nightshade before they become a problem.

“Dr John Heap, Weed Management Officer from PIRSA, will provide practical advice on how to identify African rue and Silverleaf nightshade and up-to-date research in the control methods available,” Mr Roberts said.

“Workshop attendees will compare African rue and Silverleaf nightshade, hear about the threats these weeds pose to the landscape and learn the most effective management strategies.”

As part of a South Australian Grain Industry Trust Fund (SAGIT) research project, Dr Heap looked at improving the understanding of the biology and suitable management practices to control Silverleaf nightshade in South Australia.

As a result of the project, Dr Heap and his team identified the most useful herbicides to use in cropping rotations, along with the most effective application rates.

Mr Roberts said that, like Silverleaf nightshade, African rue poses a significant threat to grazing and agricultural areas.

“African Rue produces vast amounts of seed, is tolerant of low, unreliable rainfall and competes with pastures for soil moisture and nutrients, contributing to lower yields.”

“The weed is highly unpalatable to livestock due to its bitter taste, although if consumed in high enough quantities, stock poisoning may occur.”

Workshop details:

Thursday 22 March 2018, 8.30am – 12pm

Spalding Sports Complex

The BSR Football Club will provide a free BBQ breakfast from 8.30am.

This workshop is being delivered by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke through funding from the Northern and Yorke NRM Board.

For more information and to register for the workshop contact the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on (08) 8841 3444 or email

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