Tulip timing critical

News release
29 August 2019

Landholders on the Fleurieu Peninsula are working to control the highly toxic and declared agricultural weed, Cape tulip.

Those with Cape tulip on their property recently went to a field day to learn about the benefits of timely control, and to see broad-acre control methods in action.

The field day was jointly funded by the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board, City of Victor Harbor and Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA).

Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) Team Leader Megan Harper spoke to the group about the weed’s biology and how better understanding of the weed can help control it.

“The best time to tackle Cape tulip is before flowering - this is critical to getting good results and reducing its spread,” Dr Harper said.

One-leaf cape tulip can be controlled through September, however Two-leaf cape tulip is best controlled in July and August.

“The right techniques are important too - we showed the group how to use a weed wiper, tractor boom, and hand held tools in different scenarios. “

The field day is part of a broader campaign running across the southern Fleurieu with Victor Harbor Agribusiness Reference Group, City of Victor Harbor, local landholders and Natural Resources AMLR.

Dr Harper said roadside signs and weed control fact sheets in FPAG Rural Supplies stores are also helping raise awareness of Cape tulip and the significant risk it poses to livestock.

“All this activity is paying off, with landholders spraying the weed early in the season, including on a cluster of properties tackling it at a local scale,” she said.

Originally introduced from South Africa as a garden plant, Cape tulip is declared under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004. The weed is notoriously difficult to control due to its dormant corms below the ground. Corms germinate after the autumn rains and new corms form before the flowers appear in September.

For more information about controlling weeds on your property, contact Megan Harper on 8550 3400.

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Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges