Badhara bush

Native to Asia, badhara bush is a highly variable thorny shrub or small tree. It has been introduced as a cultivated ornamental to the world's warmer regions. Badhara bush forms dense thickets, reducing biodiversity and impeding stock movement.

Badhara bush is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Gmelina elliptica

Other names

Asiatic beechberry, oval-leafed gmelina

Description

  • Highly variable, thorny shrub or small tree, 2-4m tall (occasionally up to 10m).
  • Stems are yellowish or brownish white.
  • Branches are armed with pairs of spines. Leaves are dark green above, paler below, in opposite pairs, usually with 1 of the pair smaller than the other.
  • Leaves are generally ovate, 1-10cm long, 1.5-6cm wide, pointed at the apex.
  • Younger leaves are 3-lobed, older leaves not lobed, with sparse hairs on undersides.
  • Flowers are yellow, tubular, generally around 5cm long.
  • Fruit is yellow when ripe, pear-shaped, about 1.5cm across.
  • Fruits have 4 chambers in which seed can be found, though usually only 2 chambers have fully developed seed.

Habitat

  • Prefers subtropical forests.
  • Occurs in dry, intermittently flowing water courses.

Distribution in Queensland

  • Only known infestations near Rockhampton.

Life cycle

  • Seeds germinate after first summer rains.
  • Flowers appear in second or third year.
  • Flowers mainly October-July, with small number of plants flowering all year.
  • Fruiting period mainly December-August.
  • Time from bud to mature fruit is 110-130 days.

Affected animals

Prevents livestock movement

Impacts

Environmental

  • Decreases biodiversity.

Economic

  • Forms dense thickets, shading out useful pasture species.
  • Prevents stock movement.

How it is spread

  • Spread mainly by bird-dispersed seeds.
  • Woody taproots can produce suckers, particularly after disturbance.

Control

Mechanical control

  • Bulldoze and deep-rip infestations that are clumped or too difficult to treat individually, then stockpile and burn them.
  • Monitor treated area annually for regrowth from root fragments.
  • Foliar spray any emergent stem with glyphosate (360g/L) at 1 part chemical to 50 parts water.

Herbicide control

  • Cut-stump individual stems as close as possible to the ground and treat immediately with either glyphosate (360g/L) at 1 part chemical to 1 part water, metsulfuron (600g/L) at 5g product to 1L of water plus wetter or imazapyr (250g/L) at 1 part chemical to 1 part water.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agent.

Legal requirements

  • Badhara bush 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.
  • The Act requires everyone to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants and animals under their control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).
  • At a local level, each local government must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants and animals in its 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.

More information