Onion Weed
1 Seed Left in Pod, 5 empty
Onion Weed
Seed, above
Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)Class: Plants (Plantae) - Land Plants (Charophyta) - Land Plants (Equisetopsida) - Other Small Plants
Order: Asparagus (Asparagales)
Family: Grass Tree (Xanthorrhoeaceae)     iNaturalist Observation
Species: Onion Weed (Asphodelus fistulosus)
This Photo:     Seed, profile
Other names: NOT MORE ONION WEED ! Onion-leafed Asphodel or Pink Asphodel

Thank you Alan Dandie for confirming the id of this species for us

General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
#1 Enemy: Loves 250mm/yr rainfall. We have erradicated it. We still see new seedlings in "good" years, but in new locations, so brought in from neighbouring areas by wildlife.
Will decimate an area, regardless of grazing, killing saltbush, zygophylum, etc, as it goes.
Vigorous; will germinate, flower and seed within 3 weeks in spring. ~90% of seed germinates in first year in our area.
Resilient: never leave removed plants on the ground. They will flower & seed (out of the ground)! Hard to poison. Needs good wetting agent.
We're convinced Onion Weeds are Allelopathic; ie exude Allelochemicals to inhibit further germination of it's own seed. We found when we pulled all our large plants from Ellura in one season, they were then replaced the following season with millions of seedlings. Thanks to David Armstrong for letting us know about this phenomenon. We recognised it existed with onion weed, but didn't realise it was a recognised phenomenon; let alone had a name.

We've written a discussion paper on this to help you control your outbreak.
Click here to download (it's about 2.7mb) Updated 11 AM, 06 April 2014
The photo's here are explained in more detail in the discussion paper. You can see Brush Cutting (not on Ellura) only stopped it seeding, but grew over a hot dry summer. The Before & After photo's of our worst 3 acre patch on Ellura, after 12m of hard work. With the experiment of a seedling patch, you can see poisoning had the best results, after 2 months.

Copyright © 2015-2023 Brett & Marie Smith. All Rights Reserved. Photographed 10-Nov-2015
This species is classed as If (Foreign Introduction)