Old Man Weed growing in Milarri Garden
Image: Rodney Start
Source: Museum Victoria
Gukwonderuk (Wotjobaluk, Lake Hindmarsh)
Botanical name: Centipeda cunninghamii
To prepare a tonic used for colds and chest complaints including tuberculosis and as a general restorative, big bunches of the plant were gathered. It can be rubbed on directly for skin complaints or prepared by boiling or soaking in very hot water in a wooden or bark vessel at the edge of the fire.
Old Man Weed grows in all states including Tasmania. It is rare in some areas and can be found in low soaks adjacent to rivers and in areas prone to flooding.
This plant grows about 10–50 cm tall and 30 cm wide. It tolerates full sun to filtered light in a range of soil conditions and can withstand wet conditions. It is fast-growing and sets seed readily.