Coleus ?


This is the plant that was commonly referred to as jumpsweed. I thought it could be a coleus ,a pineapple beauty, although that is now not accurate. ( see correction below ).

I remember coleus was a common garden plant amongst shrubbery, planted to provide lots of colour, in many rural gardens in Byron Shire.

One omission in the article in the Echo regarding our hand removal of this plant alongside of the roadway, is that we only referred to it as jump weed.

The photo above was taking a few months after it was sprayed. The regrowth was both from roots that were missed by the herbicide and fertile seed. We removed the roots using small mattocks. Our plan is to continue our herbicide-free follow up. While we do this we can learn as we observe what is growing in its place.

Jumpseed (rather than jump weed) was identified by local botanist Andrew Murray when weed surveys were completed in 2006. It is also called Virginia Knotweed, and there is a variety known horticulturally as Painter’s Palette. The name Jumpseed seems to be metaphorical, as I don’t think they have an explosive dispersal mechanism, but rather just come up unexpectedly all over the garden as though they have been jumping around.

The scientific name was determined as Persicaria virginiana, but one of the commentators suggested P. filiformis. They seem to be synonyms, botanically speaking, but as the Royal Botanic Gardens webpage (Plantnet) uses P. filiformis, we should probably go with that. I expect you are familiar with Smartweeds- there are native and exotic species locally, they are also Persicarias. The Smartweeds have quite small leaves, but many have the same zig zag stripe across the leaf as the Jumpseed does.

Thanks to B Stewart.

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