Patterson's curse

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Patterson's Curse in a paddock in Jarrahdale, Western Australia

Alternative forms[edit]


Said to be named after the Patterson family who had it as an ornamental garden plant which spread and took over adjacent previously productive paddocks (though this was not the first large outbreak).

Proper noun[edit]

Patterson's curse

  1. (Australia) The plant Echium plantagineum, considered a noxious weed in Australia.
    • 1905 J. H. Maiden, Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales, xvi.268, Quoted in 1985, G. A. Wilkes, A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms, second edition, Sydney University Press, →ISBN,
      That ‘Paterson’s Curse’ produces some feed is undoubted, but it is a smothering, rough, coarse plant ... the vernacular name ‘Curse’ shows what many people think of it.
    • 1952, Glynde Nesta Griffiths, Some Southern Homes of New South Wales[1], page 20:
      In spring the fields near the river are covered with beautiful mauve flowers, another pest, known as Patterson’s curse.
    • 1991, Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management, Landscope: The Journal of the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management, Volumes 7-9, page 42,
      A plant with tough seeds such as Patterson’s curse (Echium plantagineum) or caltrop (Tribulus terrestris) can easily be spread in this way, as can plants that reproduce vegetatively.
    • 1995, John Marsden, A Killing Frost, 1998 US edition (originally published 1995, in Australia, as The Third Day, The Frost), unnumbered page,
      They came swarming across the land, like locusts, like mice, like Patterson’s Curse.