Stephanophysum longifolium (ACANTHACEAE) Tropical Wild Petunia

Weeds to Whack

Erect, perennial herb, or subshrub to 1 m high. Branches 4-angled, not hairy. This is a new and emerging weed becoming very widespread throughout Enoggera Creek. Widely cultivated as an ornamental plant throughout the tropics and as an indoor plant in Europe and North America. Native of Brazil. Leaves with petioles around 2 cm long; lamina ovate, to 8 cm long, bright green above, paler below.

Photo: Robert Whyte

Foliage

Inflorescence from the leaf axils. Corolla bright red, throat yellow internally with red venation. Fruit is a capsule 13-14 mm long, with glands and hairs present, 5-13-seeded, each seed around 2.5 mm diameter, with a well-developed hook. Naturalised in Bellingen, north coast New South Wales and in Queensland. Also naturalised throughout many of the Pacific islands.
Photo: Robert Whyte