Prairie ground cherry (Physalis hederifolia)

Also known as: sticky cape gooseberry

Prairie ground cherry is a summer-growing perennial. Infestations are in central Vic and parts of Riverina, NSW.

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How does this weed affect you?

Prairie ground cherry forms dense infestations in pastures, crops and roadsides, reducing available fodder and displacing desirable species. When well established, competes with other vegetation, particularly summer crops, for moisture, nutrients and space.

What does it look like?

Prairie ground cherry is a summer-growing perennial 25 to 60 cm high with an extensive root system. The leaves are light green and have wavey margins. The leaves near the base of the plant are up to 5 cm long and 3 cm wide. The leaves higher up are 3 cm long and 1 cm wide. The flowers are pale yellow and bell-shaped. The fruit are orange coloured berries inside a 10 sided bladder-like case.

Where is it found?

Most infestations in NSW are in the Murray region. There are also infestations in the Central West, Riverian and Western Regions.

It is native plant to North America.

Maps and records

  • Recorded presence of Prairie ground cherry during property inspections (Map: Biosecurity Information System - Weeds, 2017-2022)
    These records are made by authorised officers during property inspections under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Officers record the presence of priority weeds in their council area and provide this to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Records reflect the presence of the weed on the date of inspection.

  • Estimated distribution of Prairie ground cherry in NSW (Map: NSW Noxious Weed Local Control Authorities, 2010)
    Map shows weed distribution and density estimated by local council weeds officers in 2010.

How does it spread?

By seeds

The berries are eaten by livestock, birds and other animals. The fruit are also spread by wind and water.

By plant parts

Small pieces of root can reshoot. These may be spread by cultivation equipment and in contaminated hay.

References

Parsons, W. T., Parsons, W. T., & Cuthbertson, E. G. (2001). Noxious weeds of Australia. CSIRO publishing.

PlantNET (The NSW Plant Information Network System). Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney. Retrieved 11 December 2020 from: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au

More information

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Control

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


Amitrole 250 g/L + Ammonium thiocyanate 220 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 1.1 L in 100 L of water
Comments: Spot spray. Active growth before flowering.
Withholding period: Nil
Herbicide group: Q, Bleachers: Inhibitors of carotenoid biosynthesis unknown target
Resistance risk: Moderate


Dicamba 750 g/L (Kamba® 750)
Rate: 2.7 L/ha Use a minimum of 1500 L/ha water carrier. Add a surfactant.
Comments: Boom spray for non-crop situations. Spray prior to flowering.
Withholding period: Do not harvest, graze or cut for stock food for 7 days after application.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Dicamba 750 g/L (Kamba® 750)
Rate: 185 mL per 100 L of water. Add a surfactant.
Comments: Spray prior to flowering. For non crop situations.
Withholding period: Do not harvest, graze or cut for stock food for 7 days after application.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Dicamba 750 g/L (Kamba® 750)
Rate: 40 mL per 15 L of water
Comments: Spot spray prior to flowering. For non-crop situations.
Withholding period: Do not harvest, graze or cut for stock food for 7 days after application.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Murray Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Containment)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
Riverina Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Eradication)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfil the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244 or send an email to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed 2021