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Rampion mignonette, a mediterranean weed new to Australia

R.S. St.John-Sweeting, R.J. Carter and H.A. Reimers

Department of Agricultural Technology, University of Adelaide, Roseworthy SA 5371
Animal and Plant Control Commission, Adelaide SA 5000

Rampion mignonette, Reseda phyteuma L. ssp. phyteuma , is an annual or short-lived perennial weed new to Australia. In November 1991 a specimen was located in the National Herbarium of Victoria, it was collected by J. Shovelton at Nagambie in 1985 and an attached letter suggested that it was introduced with seed of imported American lucerne varieties in the early 1980s (Cade, pers. comm., 1985). It was first found in South Australia at Clare in 1986 where it was recorded as R. odorata, but is now confirmed as R. phyteuma (J. Heap, pers. comm., 1989).

In its native range in southern Europe, northern Africa and the middle east, R. phyteuma is found in naturally disturbed rocky sites usually on limestone and is common in vineyards (1). Rampion mignonette is a weed in dryland but not irrigated farmland in Spain (3). It is a member of the same genus as cut leaf mignonette, R. lutea, a majorcrop weed in southern Australia (2). However, morphologically R. phyteuma has a more prostrate habit.

Figure 1. Rampion mignonette., Reseda phyteuma L. ssp. phyteuma.

Its white flowers appear from winter until late autumn and 800 mm diameter rosettes may produce over 500 capsules of 24-30 seeds. Seedlings emerge from autumn until mid-spring.

The potential of rampion mignonette as a weed of agriculture is unclear. We are studying its distribution and have begun biological and ecological studies with a view to establishing its potential to become a weed of vines, crops and pastures. It is now estimated to have colonised 38 ha of vineyards at Clare.


Cooke, D.A. 1991. South Australian Naturalist 65, 62-63.

Heap, J.W., Willcocks, M.C. and Kloot, P.M. 1987. Plant Protection Quart. 2, 178-185.

Hidalgo, B., Saavedra, M. and Garcia-Torres, L. 1990. Weed Resh. 30, 309-318.

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