• Velvet leaf

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Velvetleaf

MPI is investigating the appearance of the pest weed ‘velvetleaf’ in fodder beet crops on a number of properties nationally. The properties with confirmed cases to date are in Canterbury, Central Otago, Kaikoura and Waikato. If you find velvetleaf in your garden, or anywhere else, please contact MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

Identifying

Velvetleaf is a serious weed pest overseas, damaging crops by competing with them for nutrients and water. It is an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act, and as such, entry to New Zealand is prohibited.

Velvetleaf is a robust annual plant in the mallow family, up to 1.5 m tall, with large leaves and bright yellow-orange flowers. The spreading canopy competes with other plants for sunlight, water and nutrients. Seeds survive for up to 50 years in soil and can germinate in large numbers in cultivated areas such as field crops.

Solving

If you find velvetleaf in your garden, or anywhere else, please contact MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

Did you know

Velvetleaf prefers cultivated soils, such as found in agricultural crops. The seed can be spread on farm machinery, as a contaminant in grain, silage, straw and hay, or in effluent from animals that have been grazing infested land.

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