Mother-of-millions are erect, smooth, fleshy succulent plants growing to 1 m tall or more. All species form tall flower spikes in winter with clusters of bell-shaped flowers. Each species has a distinctive leaf-shape but all produce small plantlets along the edges of the leaves.
These plantlets drop readily, develop roots and establish quickly to form a new colony. Of the three species naturalised in Queensland, two produce tall flower spikes in winter and have orange-red bell-shaped flowers that form in clusters at the top of a single stem. The third type, resurrection plant or green mother-of-millions, produces yellowish-green flowers, usually with a pink tinge that grow in clusters along the upper portion of the stem.
Plant material is poisonous to livestock, flowers are especially toxic if ingested by grazing animals. Cases of cattle poisoning have been reported mainly during drought years when grass was very dry and other green feed unavailable. The main symptoms reported in cattle are scouring or straining, sometimes with evidence of abdominal pain and the faeces blood stained or mucus-covered, with many affected animals dying after two to three days.
1. Treating Isolated Patches And Limited Infestations Under Eucalypt Trees
Use Starane™ Advanced Herbicide at a rate of 360 mL/100 L of water + surfactant to control mother-of-millions present under eucalypt trees. Starane Advanced has no soil residue and will not affect the eucalypt trees.
2. Treating Extensive Infestations On Arable Land
Use Grazon™ Extra Herbicide at a rate of 500 mL/100 L of water + surfactant as a foliar spray to control mother-of-millions in open areas. Grazon Extra will suppress new seedlings. Encourage pasture growth to help with competition.
3. Treating Extensive Infestations On Hill Country
Containment of mother-of-millions to a particular site is the first strategy. The next step is to reduce the infestation by using foliar application on smaller patches first, then moving on to larger patches. It may be beneficial to fence off areas so cattle do not graze these areas while flowering (winter months).
Herbicides for Control of Mother-of-millions
#Note: Preferred product option in bold. *Consult label for details of growth stage and use, especially where range of rates is given.