Japanese Sunflower Control

May 21, 2013 | ,

Introduced as a garden ornamental, the Japanese Sunflower is now widely naturalised in the Mackay Whitsunday Region.


Botanical name:      Tithonia diversifolia

Family:                         Asteraceae

Origin:                         Central America

It is flowering at present and can be quite spectacular with its large bright golden-yellow, sunflower-like heads approximately 100mm in diameter. Japanese Sunflower forms extensive, dense thickets and out-competes native vegetation, invading endangered open forests, roadsides, waterways, embankments, unmanaged lands and fire degraded hillsides. It can be seen growing on hills with remnant open forest and roadside between North Mackay and Farleigh.

To reduce the spread of this invasive species, the Mackay Regional Pest Group will be carrying out control activities in the Farleigh and the Mt Ossa Mirani Road areas during the next 2 weeks when the shrub is flowering and easier to see amongst other species.

Landowners who have Japanese Sunflower on their properties should make an effort to control this invasive weed.

Japanese Sunflower may be removed by hand and the plant material disposed of in a sealed plastic bag into the rubbish collection for landfill. Alternatively ‘metsulfuronmethyl’ (Brush-off) is a herbicide registered for its control. Several applications may be required as it has a tendency to re-shoot from the extensive root system.

Reef Catchments continues to maintain a strong commitment towards Regional Pest Management and works closely with the Mackay Regional Pest Management Group to implement Strategic Pest Management Projects across the region.