Blue stars

Native to central and southern Africa, blue stars is a clumping, grass-like plant with blue flowers. In the wild, it is known to replace native vegetation, but its full impacts are not clear. Blue stars has formed naturalised populations in Victoria and New South Wales, and is listed as a weed in New Zealand. Only a single specimen has been recorded in Queensland so far.

Blue stars is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Aristea ecklonii

Description

  • Spreading, evergreen, rhizomatous perennial 30-70cm tall.
  • Leaves are stiff, upright, grass-like, in tight clump.
  • Flowers are small, blue, saucer-shaped, on stalks standing above leaves.

Habitat

  • Prefers cool, wet, upland habitats of tropical areas, and forest margins, streambanks, grasslands and shrubland of subtropical areas.

Distribution

  • One documented specimen from Springbrook, South East Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Produces dozens of flowers in spring or early summer.
  • Each flower lasts 1 day and opens only in bright light.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Replaces natural vegetation.
  • Potential to become significant pest.

Legal requirements

  • Blue stars is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on certain species. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information