Well it’s that time of the year. Bindii plants are strategically emerging all over our back lawn. If not located out and and destroyed, they will soon enough deploy their heinous prickly burs.
For our dog Juno, this makes any excursion into the back garden a total nightmare.
30 seconds of doing frolicking dog stuff followed by 30 minutes of Kelly or me brushing, pulling and yanking the accumulated pile of Bindii’s from his fur.
Now, for some reason I always thought they were called Bindii after the (usually red or brown) pigment dots placed in the centre of peoples foreheads in Hindu 1 ceremonies. Bindi means point or drop, and in in the Hindu context it represents the 6th chakra holding the seat of wisdom. Although they kinda look like little Bindi drops there is nothing wise about these devils.
It turns out the word Bindii (pronounced bindi-eye) probably originates from the word bindayaa used by the indigenous Gamilaraay peoples of New South Wales to describe them2.
Today in Australia, Bindii seems to describe many varieties of bur or thorn producing herbaceous plants common throughout the world including devils eyelashes, devils thorn, tackweed, sandbur, bullhead, and even one (puncture vine) that is used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat low libido and erectile dysfunction.3
They tend to first emerge during the winter months, flowering from spring onwards. They produce fruits that then dry out into a variety of highly advanced weaponised prickles.
Some of them, the goat head Bindii for example, are nasty enough to be able to puncture a bicycle tire. Most of them are going to cause you a lot of grief if you are unfortunate enough to step on them.
I have not been able to identify the specific variety of Bindii that we are plagued with. But I did find a photo online (see above) that is pretty close.
Once dried they form small round discs that radiate into a swirl of finely hooked prickles. Making them fiendishly difficult to remove from Juno’s fur.
In fact the process of extracting a single prickle can be exasperating as it entangles its way deeper into Junos fur. Juno is not the most patient of dogs and him sitting still whilst we work our way annoyingly down his coat is less than unlikely.
And just when you think you have the last one you find those little tiny ones that get in between the pads of his paws. Juno has a thing about me touching his paws. A big angry snarly thing. So this never goes well.
Bindii eradication tips.
Here are a few tips that I have found in my readings that may prevent the occurrence (ideally) or remove existing infestations of bindii
- 2 teaspoons of iron sulphate disolved in 4.5 litres of water. Spray directly on bindii plants.
- Aerate and water your lawn. Bindii also spreads more readily in compacted and under watered soil.
- Use a blanket. It is suggested that if the prickles are already prevalent, one solution is to drag an old blanket over the area to pick up as many as possible. Good luck with this.
- Cut grass with mower on highest setting possible. Some gardeners advise that bindi infestations are a result of grass being cut too low to the ground.
- Commercial Herbicides. There are many herbicides available that can kill bindii. Consult your local garden centre.
- Also found in Buddhism and Jainism religions. ↩
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamilaraay_language ↩
- https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/puncture-vine/ ↩