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


Chondrilla juncea, Weed control, Western Australia

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Skeleton weed is probably the most serious weed ever to threaten the Australian wheat industry. It interferes with wheat cropping at two stages: through competition with the growing crop, particularly for nitrogen and water during the crop's development: and later through the production of a tall, wiry flowering stem which tangles in harvesting machinery and can make harvesting difficult, if not impossible.

The weed is a major problem in eastern Australia although a combination of cultural, chemical and biological control programmes is helping to reduce its impact.

In Western Australia, skeleton weed is being contained mainly by eradication efforts. Weed Agronomy Research Officers, F.D. Panetta and J. Dodd, are studying the ecology of skeleton weed to determine why it hasn't spread further and how current control methods can be more effectively applied.