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Bushy, semi-woody, much branched shrub or small tree to 2-3 m with ribbed and woolly young stems that become smooth as they mature. Smooth, leathery, bright-green leaves (70 x 35 mm) have irregularly toothed edges and are arranged alternately on the stems. Bright yellow daisy-like flowers (25-30 mm diameter) are produced from September to February and are followed by hard oval green fruit (6-9 mm) which ripen to black and each contain a hard seed.
Boneseed grows on sand dunes, scrubland, coastal cliffs, offshore islands and even rocky outcrops. It quickly forms an incredibly dense cover that shades out everything else and can limit access to coastal areas. A single boneseed bush can produce 50 000 seeds every year, and each seed can remain dormant for up to 10 years. Fast growing and maturing, and forms dense stands, excluding most other plants. Tolerates most coastal soil types, salt, fire, wind, poor soils, and drought.
Rapidly replaces virtually all native species under 2 m and prevents the establishment of native plant seedlings. Colonises disturbed sites faster than native species, and creates heavy shade where high light levels should occur.