Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


D J. Gilbey


Emex australis, Emex spinosus, Western Australia

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Doublegee is native to South Africa and is now naturalised as a serious weed of crops and pastures throughout the temperate areas of Australia.

Doublegee was introduced for cultivation as a vegetable by English migrants to the Swan River Colony in 1830, and a bed of doublegees is known to have been sown at Mr. J. Phillips' property on the Canning River in 1833. However, the plant soon became a troublesome weed and its name was changed from Cape spinach to Tanner's curse and later to doublegee.

More than 180 doublegee seedlings per square metre have been counted in a cereal crop at Goomalling and 90 seedlings per square metre at this site reduced the yield of wheat by 50 per cent.