The chemical control of the environmental weed basket asparagus(Asparagus aethiopicus L. cv. Sprengeri)in Queensland

R.C. Breaden, T.R. Armstrong and D. Hinchliffe, Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Alan Fletcher Research Station, PO Box 36, Sherwood, Queensland 4075, Australia.


A replicated trial to determine effective chemical control methods for the invasive species, basket asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus L. cv. Sprengeri) was conducted at Currumbin Hill, Queensland, from June 1999 to August 2000. Four herbicides (metsulfuron-methyl, dicamba, glyphosate and diesel) were applied at different times of the year (winter, spring, summer and autumn). Neat diesel applied to adult crowns effectively killed basket asparagus. However, germination of basket asparagus and other weeds was not prevented. An overall spray of 0.06 g metsulfuron-methyl (0.1 g Brush-Off) + 1 mL BS 1000® L-1 water gave slower but more selective long-term control of basket asparagus when compared to diesel, especially when applied in winter and spring. High rates of foliar applied dicamba were most effective in spring and glyphosate splatter gunned on base of stems in autumn. The combination of increased selectivity, ease of application and likelihood of reduced environmental impacts on native plants, other than coast she-oak (Casuarina equisetifolia L. var. incana Benth.), of metsulfuron-methyl makes it more suitable for controlling large infestations of basket asparagus.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2006) 21 (3) 131-133.