Beware fake news – Bindii prickle aka Onehunga, Jo-Jo

Yes folks there’s an imposter out there, masquerading around and frightening lawn owners out there all over the suburbs. What’s it trying to be? Well it’s trying to be its big bad brother Bindii but its only little sister Cotula folks. Hey, it’s even so fake it’s kind of a sunflower! Admittedly they are both members of the Asteraceae family.

Yes, early on in the germination cycle they are very hard to tell apart, prostrate leaf growth habit and shape and an almost identical colour. Its approaching maturity that the differences show themselves. The Cotula throws a 30-40mm long flower bearing stem that holds initially a yellow lobed flower that eventually fills out changing from its infancy yellow to a white. A mature Cotula flower will be 60 -100 mm off the ground, easily mown off.

Big brother Bindii, Bindi-eye (aka as Onehunga, Jo-Jo) will spend this flowering time developing its initial crown in the middle of the plant, within the crown its future prickle initially being green and soft. Left unsprayed the plant will form multiple crowns eventually going from soft green to dry, spiky and upon contact releasing from the mothership and into our feet. Late Winter /Spring shows our fingers, socks, shoes and of course our beloved limping pets holding one or two (sometimes even 3!) paws up at the back door waiting for a de Bindii prickle treatment.

What to do?

Win the race, get the appropriate product down before that green crown turns dry and hard.

When to do it?

From June to late Aug. I have found 2-3 weeks into Sept the green crown dries up and goes hard and sharp sticking into surfaces upon physical contact and you’ve lost the race. Perhaps the worst thing is the spikes fall of the actual plants and roll around your lawn far from its origin plant. Eventually you will mow, vacuum these spikes off.

The last word

That crown is next year’s seeds, don’t let the crown mature and sew its future into your next Winter/Spring. Get your product on, on the right date, at the right rate.