Toilet Brush Plant
Family ZINGIBERACEAE Life Form Herb
Origin Himalayas in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Perennial bushy herb to 2m tall rising from thick branching rhizomes. Can also grow as an epiphyte in trees.
Large long glossy alternate leaves that are bright green and 20-60cm long and 8-18cm wide.
Large spikes of showy, fragrant yellow flowers with red stamens in summer to autumn.
Seeds are bright red and conspicuous in autumn to winter and stick to animals and birds.
Similar native species:
Native Gingers Alpinia spp.
Forms dense colonies, displacing other plant species. Rhizomes form thick mats preventing native seed germination.
Widespreed in forest understoreys and edges. Prefers wet shaded habitats and fertile soils.
Seed, bird dispersed
Kahili ginger is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. It must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
Seeds spread by birds, rhizomes by water, and in dumped garden refuse. The plant spreads rapidly by way of rhizomes with new stems produced annually.
Kahili Ginger is also very poisonous to livestock.
Small infestations: Physical removal, such as digging, is an effective control provided the whole plant is removed including the rhizomes. All seeds should be bagged and destroyed. It is best to cut back the leaves and then dig up the rhizome and hang this up to dry. Any fragments of rhizomes left on the ground can regrow.
Larger infestations: The large thick, deeply rooted nature of the rhizome can make manual removal difficult and costly.
Trial foliar spray with glyphosate & water at 1:50 (20ml/L) &/or metsulfuron methyl (e.g. Brushkiller or Associate®) at 1.5g/10L + non ionic surfactant. Repeated treatments may be required. Spraying may weaken the plant to allow easier digging up of rhizomes.
Trial slashing or cutting back dense foliage and scraping surface of rhizome, then spray or paint cut surfaces with metsulfuron methyl & water at 10g /1 L & / or glyphosate & water at 1:20 + sticker.
Trial wiping foliage with these concentrations. Covered by off label permit 9907 Expires 31/03/2020.
Best season: Control before fruiting. Spray techniques may be more effective between flower and fruiting.