Dec. 21, 2015
Paterson’s Curse (Species, Echium plantagineum; Family, Boraginaceae)
Paterson’s Curse (Echium plantagineum) is a winter annual plant originating in Europe, northern Africa, and southwestern Asia. In the 1850s it was introduced to Australia, probably both as an accidental contaminate of pasture seed and as an ornamental plant. Paterson's Curse is now a dominant broadleaf pasture weed through much of southern Australia and also infests native grasslands, heathlands and woodlands. It is wind and insect pollinated and produces large amounts of pollen during September to January.
A high proportion of people with respiratory allergies test positive to Paterson’s Curse pollen in Australia making it a significant allergy risk for rural as well as urban populations.
Distribution of Paterson's Curse (Atlas of Living Australia occurrence map)