Quick Facts

Quick facts

  • Originally from Europe and Asia, Rampion Mignonette (Reseda phyteuma) is an annual or biennial plant growing to 25–30 cm tall, with pale spikes of flowers reproducing by seed.
  • Currently with very limited distribution found in cultivated, disturbed and pasture land in and adjacent to vines in South Australia and Victoria.
  • May now be eradicated in South Australia and Victoria.
  • It has the potential to compete with grapevines and reduce grape yields.
  • Its potential as an environmental weed has not been investigated.
  • Controlled by physical means and herbicide.

What Does It Look Like?

What is it?

Rampion Mignonette (Reseda phyteuma) is an erect herb  to c. 25 cm high, that is annual or biennial, (completes its life cycle over one or two years) It is upright with basal branches growing upwards, with small pimple-like projections. Leaves are spathulate (spoon-shaped) or elongated wedge-shaped, 5–10 cm long, sometimes with 1 (or possibly 2) lobes on each side. Leaf stalks are 0.4–1.5 cm long.

The flowers are arranged on stalks along a flowering stem. The flowers have 6 petals, which are cream to yellow. The larger petals are 3-lobed, while the other petals have more or less smooth margins (i.e. not lobed or toothed). There are 12–18 visible stamens in the centre of the flower.

The cylindrical fruits (capsule) are nodding, 10–18 mm long, and 3-toothed. The seeds are dull and wrinkled (Tutin et al. 1964; Webb et al. 1988; Entwisle 1996; Stace 1997).

For further information and assistance with identification of Rampion Mignonette contact the herbarium in your state or territory.

Flower colour

White, Yellow

Growth form (weed type/habit)


Where it currently grows? Preferred habitat

In its native range it mostly grows on well-drained, dry and often stony or sandy ground, usually at or near sea-level but has been recorded up to 1450 m (Abdallah & de Wit 1978). It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade (Tutin et al. 1964). It requires moist soil (National Herbarium of Victoria 2007).

In the Clare area of South Australia it grows in cultivated, disturbed and pasture land in and adjacent to vines (Cooke undated; National Herbarium of Victoria 2007). In Nagambie, Victoria it was found in irrigated pasture (National Herbarium of Victoria 2007).


Are there similar species?

Sweet Mignonette (Reseda odorata). is sometimes grown as a cottage garden plant for its scented flowers, and may persist in abandoned gardens (Entwisle 1996). It is similar to Rampion Mignonette but has more or less rounded fruits that are 9–11 x 7–11 mm long compared with the larger, cylindrical fruits of Rampion Mignonette. Sweet Mignonette leaves are oblanceolate to obovate (Entwisle 1996).

Why Is It A Weed?

What are its impacts?

Rampion Mignonette has characteristics common to many opportunist weeds of cultivation, a short life cycle, ability to flower at almost any season, and high seed production, some of which germinate immediately while the others remain dormant, and these traits enable it to occupy soil that has been kept bare by cultivation.

Agriculture: In the countries where it is a native, Rampion Mignonette is regarded as a minor weed of cleared ground, having a poor ability to compete with crops (Cooke undated). It does not establish under growing winter annuals and so therefore is unlikely to have potential to become a major weed of broad-acre crops and pastures in the South Australian Dryland Farming System (St John-Sweeting et al. 1998). In 1990s it was estimated that Rampion Mignonette had invaded 38 hectares of vineyards in the Clare area of South Australia. As it is primarily a weed of bare ground it has the potential to compete with grapevines and reduce grape yields due to the common practice of maintaining bare ground under grapevines during the late spring and summer (St John-Sweeting et al. 1998).

Native ecosystems: Not known to have established in native vegetation, and assumed to only grow in disturbed and cultivated areas.

How does it spread?

As with other species of Reseda naturalised in Australia, the seeds are the only means of dispersal, and they do not have any special adaptations to aid dispersal (Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992). It is distributed as impurities in agricultural produce, in mud attached to hooves and fur of animals, to farm machinery, vehicles, bags and crates. Water is another means of spread.

What is its history in Australia?

No details are known about the initial introduction of Rampion Mignonette into Australia. The first Australian collection is from Nagambie, Victoria in 1985. In South Australia it was first collected at Clare in 1986 although the species was known to be present at the site since probably 1985. The Clare populations were initially thought to be Sweet Mignonette (Reseda odorata) (Cooke 1991; National Herbarium of Victoria 2007).

How To Manage It?

Best practice management

Non-chemical control: Isolated plants of Rampion Mignonette should be hand pulled or hoed, and larger areas cultivated, preferably in the seedling stage. Follow-up cultivation will be required to kill any seedlings which may emerge post-cultivation, as the species respond well to disturbance.

Chemical control: The use of herbicides may also be necessary, and spot-spraying and boom-spraying may be used (Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992).

Please see the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for chemical information http://www.apvma.gov.au

Biological control: Rampion Mignonette has also been recognised as a target for biological control through a cross-jurisdictional government process. This allows activities to be undertaken to develop effective biological controls. No biological controls are available for this species in Australia.

Does it have a biological control agent?


When does it grow? (lifecycle/growth calendar)

Rampion Mignonette has a short life cycle that is completed in one or two years. It has the ability to flower at any time of the year (National Herbarium of Victoria 2007). It produces large numbers of seeds, some which germinate immediately while others remain dormant (Cooke undated).

Where Is It Found?

Which states and territories is it found?


What areas within states and territories is it found?

Rampion Mignonette is a localised alien species in South Australia and Victoria. In South Australia it has been recorded from several localities around the town of Clare in the Northern Lofty region. In Victoria it has only been collected once, at Nagambie in the Riverina region (National Herbarium of Victoria 2007; AVH 2021).

Where does it originate?

Rampion Mignonette is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, including Algeria, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, southern France, Italy and the Balkans (Tutin et al. 1964; Webb et al. 1988; Entwisle 1996; Stace 1997).

National And State Weed Listings

Is it a Weed of National Significance (WONS)?


Where is it a declared weed?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the National Alert List for Environmental Weeds?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the Agricultural Sleeper List?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Names And Taxonomy

Main scientific name

Reseda phyteuma

Other scientific names (synonyms)?


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