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Asphodelus fistulosus L.
Onion Weed

Sp.Pl. 1:309-310 (1753)
Conservation Code
Not threatened
Naturalised Status
Alien to Western Australia
Name Status

Annual or biennial, herb, 0.2-0.4 m high. Fl. white, Jun to Oct. Sand, clay, calcareous soils.

Grazyna Paczkowska, Descriptive Catalogue, 22 June 1994


IBRA Regions
Avon Wheatbelt, Carnarvon, Coolgardie, Esperance Plains, Gascoyne, Geraldton Sandplains, Hampton, Mallee, Murchison, Nullarbor, Pilbara, Swan Coastal Plain, Yalgoo.
IBRA Subregions
Ashburton, Augustus, Cape Range, Carlisle, Chichester, Eastern Goldfield, Eastern Mallee, Eastern Murchison, Fitzgerald, Geraldton Hills, Hamersley, Hampton, Katanning, Lesueur Sandplain, Merredin, Nullarbor Plain, Perth, Recherche, Roebourne, Southern Cross, Tallering, Western Mallee, Western Murchison, Wooramel.
IMCRA Regions
Central West Coast, Leeuwin-Naturaliste.
Local Government Areas (LGAs)
Albany, Ashburton, Busselton, Canning, Carnarvon, Claremont, Cockburn, Coolgardie, Dandaragan, Dundas, East Pilbara, Esperance, Exmouth, Fremantle, Gingin, Gosnells, Irwin, Kalamunda, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Karratha, Kent, Koorda, Leonora, Mandurah, Meekatharra, Melville, Mount Magnet, Nedlands, Northampton, Perth, Ravensthorpe, Rockingham, Shark Bay, Stirling, Upper Gascoyne, Wagin, Wanneroo, Waroona, Yalgoo, Yilgarn.

Management Notes (for the Swan NRM Region)

Alternative Names. Asphodelus, Wild Onion, Hollow-stemmed Asphodel.

General Biology. Growth form. Herb. Life form. Perennial. Reproduction. Seed. Dispersal. Wind, machinery, water, clothing. Toxicity. Reported to cause dermatitis. Seedbank persistence. Several years.

Notes. May be annual, biennial or a short-lived perennial. Principally a weed of alkaline sandy or gravelly well-drained soils in winter rainfall areas. Often found on sandy coastal sites and disturbed areas. Frequent in sites with low nutrient levels and may depend on its mycorrhizal associates for nutrients and growth. Frost and drought–hardy once established. Capable of growing and spreading rapidly. Flowers are monoecious (have both male and female parts) and are insect pollinated. Produces prolific seed. Germination usually occurs within 1-3 months of seed maturity at 15°C. Seeds germinate at any time of year however the main flush occurs during late summer and autumn. Seed is dispersed through wind-blown old infloresences still bearing seed in capsules. Plants growing from seed usually develop flowers at 18 months. After spring, the flowering portion dies away. Leaves remain over summer and new leaves are produced from the base of the plant the following autumn. Declared plant in Victoria.

Additional information. Origin. Northern Africa, Southern Africa, temperate Asia, southeastern Europe, Mediterranean, southwestern Europe. History of use/introduction. Ornamental, seed contaminant. Similar exotic species. Trachyandra divaricata.

Suggested method of management and control. Hand pull small infestations. Apply metsulfuron-methyl at 0.1 g /10 L + 100 ml spray oil when flowering. Read the manufacturers' labels and material safety data sheets before using herbicides. For further information consult the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority to determine the status of permits for your situation or state.

Management Calendar

Calendar Type Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Comments
Active Growth         Y Y Y Y Y Y      
Germination O O O O U U U U O O O O  
Flowering             Y Y Y Y      
Fruiting                 Y Y Y    
Manual Removal Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y  
Herbicide Treatment             Y Y Y Y      

Legend: Y = Yes, regularly, O = Occasionally, U = Uncertain, referred by others but not confirmed.



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