Where is it originally from?
What does it look like?
Erect, fast-growing, evergreen tree (<8 m tall). Long, narrow leaves (<15 cm long by 2.5cm wide) with dark green upper surfaces and silvery and felted undersides are grouped in whorls of 3-5. Margins of the leaves of seedlings and saplings are coarsely toothed, while adult leaves have entire margins. Erect cylindrical pale yellow to yellow spikes (9-12 cm long) appear from March to August, made up of several hundred flowers (10-15mm long) that are densely packed in a spiral around a woody axis, and produce large amounts of nectar. These develop into hard fruiting cones covered with woody valves, each containing a single black seed. In warm dry weather the valves open and release seeds. Fruiting cones may stay on the tree a long time after seeding.
Are there any similar species?
White flowering bottlebrushes can look similar
Why is it weedy?
Tolerant of a wide range of habitats and conditions, including salty soils and estuaries. Drought and frost tolerant, preferring sunny, dry areas with poor soils. Fast-growing, rapidly maturing and producing a lot of seeds that are released as soon as they ripen in late summer.
How does it spread?
Spreads locally by seed fall and wind dispersal up to at least 300m from seeding trees.
What damage does it do?
Forms dense thickets that crowd out native plants.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Preferred habitat is within 50km of the coast, ranging from coastal dunes to sub alpine tussock grasslands. Threatens well-drained sites especially sand dunes.
What can I do to get rid of it?
1. Pull small seedlings (difficult to pull larger ones).
2. Cut and stump paint: picloram gel.
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Check site regularly for seedlings and remove.