Click on images to enlarge
infestation along powerline (photo: Andrew Ford)
branch (photo: Andrew Ford)
flower head (photo: Andrew Ford)
upper and lower leaf surfaces (photo: Andrew Ford)
Scientific NameStevia ovata Willd.
Tropical America, from Texas south to Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.
Currently restricted to a small area near Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tableland in north Queensland.
Disturbed areas, open forest, native pastures and roadsides.
A straggling or erect perennial herb, sometimes shrub-like, with a large tap root.
A perennial herb 40-80 cm high
Dense white clusters of flowers
Leaevs in opposite pairs along the stem but sometimes alternate
Leaves variable, mostly lance-shaped, 3-6 cm long and hairy.
Stems and Leaves
Stems are much branched with branches arising from leaf axils and opposite one another, occasionally alternating. Stems and leaves are green, hairy (pubescent) and minutely glandular when young. Leaves are on stalks (petioles) up to 1 cm long and vary in shape from ovate to lance-shaped. Leaves have raised veins beneath and serrated or toothed margins.
Flowers and Fruit
Flowers are small, white or pale pink daisy flowers that arise in clusters at the ends of the branches and often combine at the apex to form dense compoint umbel-like heads. The tubular flowers have five apical lobes and are minutely glandular. They are grouped into small clusters surrounded by glandular green bracts. The hard brown fruit (achenes) are narrow, longitundinally ridged and smooth (with a few minute hairs), with a small pappus (crown) of scales at the apex.
Reproduction and Dispersal
Seeds are dispersed by wind, water, machinery and animals. The longevity of seeds is unknown.
The environmental impact of Candyleaf is unknown, but it has been observed to form dense stands in disturbed, open areas.
Fact sheets are available from Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) service centres and our Customer Service Centre (telephone 13 25 23). Check our website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au to ensure you have the latest version of this fact sheet. The control methods referred to in this fact sheet should be used in accordance with the restrictions (federal and state legislation, and local government laws) directly or indirectly related to each control method. These restrictions may prevent the use of one or more of the methods referred to, depending on individual circumstances. While every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of this information, DEEDI does not invite reliance upon it, nor accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused by actions based on it.
Copyright © 2016. All rights reserved. Identic Pty Ltd. Special edition of Environmental Weeds of Australia for Biosecurity Queensland.
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