A to Z South Coast Weeds

Click on the letters to view weeds whose common name starts with that letter.

Click on the name of a weed to view further information about that weed, including pictures and control methods.

A

African Boxthorn
African Boxthorn - Click to enlarge
African Boxthorn
Lycium ferocissimum
African boxthorn is an erect perennial shrub. It can grow up to 5 m high and 3 m across but usually reaches only 2 or 3 m in height. It is characterised by its woody, thorny growth. The stems are rigid and very branched, and the main stems have spines up to 15 cm long. Each smaller spiny branchlet ends in a stout spine. The leaves are smooth, fleshy and up to 3.5 cm long. They can be larger and more succulent on regrowth from damaged roots. The plant is drought resistant and in times of moisture stress can shed its leaves, making it look dead. In some locations plants can be deciduous, losing their leaves in winter. The flowers are white with pale blue markings and fragrant. They have five petals. The berries are green when young and succulent, round, 5 to 10 mm in diameter, contain 35 to 70 seeds and are orange-red when ripe HabitatAfrican boxthorn grows on all soil types but establishes best on lighter soils, particularly along dry creek beds. DispersalAfrican boxthorn plants are at least two years old when they flower and, although this generally occurs in spring and early summer, it may occur at any time of the year provided the conditions are right. Fruit set generally occurs in autumn and seed can germinate any time if year if conditions allow. The plant has an extensive, deep, branched taproot that will sucker and produce new growth if broken. Early root growth is rapid to allow seedlings to compete with other plants. Look-a-likesChinese boxthorn (Lycium barbarum) is a very similar looking shrub, but it has narrower leaves and purple flowers rather than white with purple spots. It is a garden escape, and less common than African boxthorn. Can be removed as for African boxthorn. ControlThe effective, long-term control of African boxthorn generally requires the integration of a number of techniques, including mechanical removal, cultivation, herbicide application, replacement with appropriate plants and regular monitoring. For invasive woody weeds such as African boxthorn, control is more effective and economical if done when the plants are young. The control methods used will depend on the infestation size and location. Cut and paint stumps near to the ground.
African Daisy
African Daisy - Click to enlarge
African Daisy
Senecio pterophorus
Is an erect, bushy shrub about 1-1.5 m high, with greyish-green, ribbed stems. Leaves (5-10 cm long) are lanceshaped and usually coarsley toothed, green above and densely whitish-wooly below. Distinctive toothed wings extend down the stems from the leaf bases. Yellow flowerheads of 8-13 ray florests and numerous darker tubular florets, are surrounded by two layers of modified leaves (bracts), and broadly clustered in large groups at the tops of the stems. Summer flowering, HabitatDisturbance from fire and is commonly found growing along roadsides, forest margins, in grassland, pasture, disturbed sites and wasteland. DispersalSpreads by movement of seed, by wind, water or movement in mud. Look-a-likesOther tall Senecio species. Possibly confused with Fireweed however the height and width of African Daisy should allow for firm differentiation as Fireweed is small and slender. Control Hand pull or spot spray prior to flowering.
African love grass
African love grass - Click to enlarge
African love grass
Eragrostis curvula
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A tall grass (to 1.2m) with a variable appearance. Leaves are in a basal tussock, and may be coloured from blue to dark green, and vary in width from 2-5mm. They may be low and spreading, or held quite erect. More than one form of the grass may be present in the one location, to further confuse matters. The most distinctive feature is the black colour of the young seed heads, which are usually branched and spreading, up to 30cm long. Very young seed heads may have the branches folded close to the main stem, making them look more linear, but they open out as they age. HabitatOriginally planted for soil stabilisation on poor soils, it thrives on sandy low nutrient soils, roadsides and over-grazed pasture Once established it spreads rapidly in pasture. It has low nutritional value, and is not eaten by stock. Consequently it replaces more palatable species in grazed pasture. It is highly flammable and creates a fire hazard. It may also invade forest, along tracks. It is a serious weed of remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas. DispersalSlashing of seeding plants spreads it on roadsides. The seed is not adhesive on animals or clothing, but does pass through livestock in a viable state, so it can be spread by animals moving between paddocks. Hay cut from infested paddocks can spread it to new areas. Also spread in mud adhering to vehicles and machinery. Look-a-likesThe most similar native grass is poa or silver tussock, which is also quite variable in leaf colour and width. Both have leaves which are rough to the touch if rubbed from tip to base. Poa tussock differs in having the young seed heads purple tinged, rather than black. Its seed stalks tend to be held more upright than those of African lovegrass, but the colour is the most reliable feature. There are several native lovegrasses, of which only one occurring on the south coast looks similar to African lovegrass. Eragrostis parviflora has long nodding seed heads which are more linear in outline, rather than spreading, but are also black or leaden grey in colour. It is usually a smaller plant overall. It tends to occur on disturbed sites such as the frequently sprayed edges of roads, where it can form a dense low stand. However, African lovegrass also occurs in this situation. ControlDig plants out and dispose of them carefully to avoid spreading the seed. Spot spraying can also be used to remove scattered plants. Use of a selective herbicide is preferable, particularly when removing African lovegrass from among native vegetation. Once a dense infestation has developed, cultivation and establishment of a vigorous perennial pasture may be needed. Do not graze in the first year, and remove any seedlings which appear. Manage grazing intensity to maintain pasture vigour to out-compete lovegrass seedlings.
African Olive
African Olive - Click to enlarge
African Olive
Olea europaea ssp cuspidata
Tall evergreen shrub or small tree 2-15m high, with smooth grey bark, rougher at the base of large plants. New stems have small lumps called lenticels on the bark. These may be too scattered and small to be readily visible, but they can be felt by running a thumbnail up the stem. Leaves are in opposite pairs, 5-10 cm long, dark green and glossy above and paler yellow-green underneath. The yellow-green colour is produced by a dense covering of scurfy yellow scales, which can be seen with magnification. Plants growing in deep shade may have far fewer of these scales, making the leaf pale green below, not yellow-green. Flowers are tiny and white, in small clusters, followed by round green berries ripening to black. HabitatApparently widely planted by early settlers, though not much used in gardens these days. It naturalises around towns and old farms. Displaces native species in remnant grassy vegetation in farming areas. DispersalFruits are readily consumed and spread by birds. Can also travel in water. Look-a-likesThe edible olive is very similar, but its leaves are white underneath, more leathery in texture and slightly down-curved at the margins. Its fruits may be oval or round, depending on the olive variety. Edible olive is also a serious environmental weed in drier parts of Australia such as around Adelaide, where it has been cultivated for a long time. It is being more widely promoted as a commercial crop now, and can be expected to become a more widespread weed in future. The native shrubs or small trees, mock olive have similar olive-like fruits, either black or white when ripe, but the leaves are very much bigger and broader, with a stiff leathery texture. Notelaea longifolia leaves are velvety hairy. Wallaby bush has similar leaves to the olives but its fruit is a roundish capsule covered in prickly hairs. Beyeria viscosa is even more similar to olives. However, neither of these plants are very likely to be found close to towns and gardens. One other small native shrub could be mistaken for a young olive plant. Coastal sandalwood is a straggly shrub 1-2m high with glossy leaves about 6cm long, with a white waxy underside and down-turned margins. The fruits are black, with a grape-like bloom on the skin, and a small crater at the top end. ControlBoth types of olive are quite hard to kill. They will re-sprout from the base if burnt or cut down. Even with the use of herbicide in cut and paint or stem injection techniques regrowth is likely, and follow-up spraying of the new growth will be needed. Spraying is most effective on fresh new growth. Please think very seriously before you plant edible olives. Remember that the fruits need a lot of processing before they can be used, and that if your crop is not picked, the birds will soon be spreading the seeds far and wide. They have proven extremely invasive in other parts of Australia.
African Scurfpea
African Scurfpea - Click to enlarge
African Scurfpea
Psoralea pinnata
An evergreen spreading shrub 1 to 3m high. Leaves are compound, with 5 to 11 very narrow pointed leaflets, dotted with tiny oil glands, bristly to the touch and sharp-pointed. The typical pea flowers are fragrant, a distinctive pale blue colour, and clustered near the tips of the branches. Small black pods contain a single seed. HabitatAround towns, particularly in near-coastal locations. Invades native vegetation and can become dominant in the understorey. DispersalStill sold by nurseries. Spread from seed in dumped garden waste, and in contaminated soil, sometimes by ants. Seeds remain viable for a long time, and germinate profusely after fire, or disturbance. Look-a-likesFlowers are similar in shape to those of native peas, but the pale blue colour is not shared by any local native peas. Purple flowered native pea shrubs in the region are Indigofera australis and several species of Hovea, none of which are very similar. When not flowering, young plants could be mistaken for a pine tree seedling (also a weed). ControlCut stems may re-sprout, and this species will re-sprout after fire. Cut and paint mature plants. Seedlings may be hand-pulled or dug. Spraying is easier if seedlings are abundant.
Agapanthus
Agapanthus - Click to enlarge
Agapanthus
Agapanthus praecox ssp orientalis
An erect perennial herb with flowering stems to about 1.2m high, which forms large clumps over time. Leaves are long and strap-like, glossy and dark green. Flowers are blue or white, tubular and held in large spherical clusters at the top of robust smooth stems about 1m long. The black, winged seeds are enclosed in a leathery green capsules which dries to pale brown. Dwarf forms are sold, which are identical to the typical form, but smaller. HabitatSunny situations are preferred, but agapanthus will invade forest edges and open forest. It can also invade pasture, spreading from nearby gardens.It forms dense stands which smother all native groundcover vegetation, prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs and eliminate habitat for native fauna. It could have an impact on fire frequency in native vegetation since the lush clumps are likely to be very fire retardant, making infested bush difficult to burn. The leaves and roots are poisonous and can cause ulceration of the mouth. DispersalClumps spread gradually from underground rhizomes. Dumping of garden waste can also spread the plant vegetatively. Seed is spread by wind, water and in contaminated soil or dumped garden waste. As the seed is quite large, most wind spread occurs within a short distance from the parent plant, but occasionally plants will occur several hundred metres from the parent clump. Look-a-likesNo closely similar plants. Nerine lilies, another garden plant, are similar in form, but much less robust. The native tussock plant spiny mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia ) could possibly be mistaken for agapanthus if neither plant was in flower, or carrying the remains of flowers. It has similar bright green strap-like leaves, but they are less fleshy than those of agapanthus, and each leaf typically has a squared tip with 1-3 small teeth. ControlSmall infestations can be dug out, but all of the rhizome must be removed and destroyed off-site, as any rhizome left in the ground will regrow. Plants left lying on the soil surface may take root again, even if turned upside down. However, the root system is relatively shallow, so plants can be peeled over to one side and up-ended with less effort than might be expected. Agapanthus is quite resistant to herbicides. Surfactants may help improve penetration into the waxy-coated leaves. Removal of spent flowers to prevent seed formation is sometimes proposed as a means of confining agapanthus to gardens. However, it is better to remove these plants from gardens, as seed can mature from heads which have been cut slightly too late, or on heads overlooked through being concealed by other plants. As each individual plant grows removal becomes a larger job, so early removal will be much easier.
Alligator weed
Alligator weed - Click to enlarge
Alligator weed
Alternanthera philoxeroides
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A large perennial herb which is rooted at the waters edge and spreads out as a floating mat over the water surface, and over the adjacent moist ground as well. Mats may be up to 1m thick. Stems are spreading, hollow and may be green, yellow or red. Leaves are in opposite pairs, narrow (2-7cm long and 4-40mm wide), slightly fleshy and with a waxy surface. Flowers are tiny, white, papery and in spherical heads about 1cm in diameter, on 2-6cm stalks in the leaf axils. HabitatFresh water bodies, preferably still. Also spreads over adjacent moist ground to some distance from the waters edge. Can tolerate a degree of salinity, and total immersion for periods of a few days. Alligator weed can blanket the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. It also interferes with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduces water quality and blocks pumps. DispersalDoes not produce seed in Australia, but grows readily from broken off sections of stem, which may be moved around on machinery or boats, or by floods, wind or waves. Slashing of infestations which are growing on land will only spread the infestation for this reason. Alligator weed has sometimes been deliberately spread in mistake for a similar but non-invasive introduced water plant Alternanthera sessilis, which is used as a culinary herb in Asia Look-a-likesThere are no similar natives of the size of alligator weed but a very much smaller native, lesser joyweed which has similar leaves and flowers, grows on mud around the edges of dams and creeks. The similar exotic Alternanthera sessilis has solid, not hollow stems, and flower clusters which are right in the leaf axils, not on short stalks. ControlBecause of the ease of breaking plants up and spreading them during mechanical removal. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Anchored water hyacinth
Anchored water hyacinth  - Click to enlarge
Anchored water hyacinth
Eichhornia azurea
A very distinctive free floating perennial that produces runners across the water surface which give rise to new plants, it developes rosettes of buoyant glossy leaves that usually have inflated leaf stalks and oval to rounded leaf blades. The showy purple to mauve flowers 4-6 cm long are borne in spikes at the top of upright flowering stems, these flowers have six broad petals, the uppermost of which has a large yellow spot. Fruiting capsules 10-15 mm long release their seeds below the water surface HabitatA serious pest of tropical, sub-tropical and occasionally also warmer temperate water bodies. Found in dams, ponds, lakes, lagoons, irrigation channels and slow-moving waterways. DispersalStem fragments and seeds are most commonly dispersed by water movement and are often introduced to new areas in dumped garden waste . They also spread by boats and the wind. Look-a-likesAnchored water hyacinth has sometimes been confused with monochoria, a native species and pickerel weed, an introduced species. ControlMainly mechanical excavation. A permit will be required from the Environmental Protection agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Annual rag weed
Annual rag weed - Click to enlarge
Annual rag weed
Ambrosia artemisiifolia
An upright herbaceous plant (growing up to 2 m tall) that forms a basal rosette of leaves during the early stages of growth. Its rounded stems bear deeply divided leaves that are fern-like in appearance. Separate male and female flower-heads are formed on the same plant. The drooping male flower-heads are borne in elongated spike-like clusters (up to 20 cm long) at the tips of the branches. The inconspicuous female flower-heads are borne in the upper leaf forks HabitatThis species is mostly found in warmer temperate and sub-tropical environments. It is a common weed of pastures, open woodlands, roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas, creek banks and riparian vegetation, and is occasionally also found growing in cultivation. DispersalThis plant reproduces mainly by seeds. The seeds are spread by animals, water, the movement of soil, and in contaminated agricultural produce (e.g. fodder and pasture seed). Look-a-likesMay be confused with Chinese Wormwood, Artemisia verlotiorum, but Artemisia species have flowerheads that contain clusters of flowers of both sexes. ControlSlash or mow repeatedly prior to flowering to exhaust food source. Spot spray with a broad leaf herbicide.
Aristea / Blue stars
Aristea / Blue stars - Click to enlarge
Aristea / Blue stars
Aristea ecklonii
A spreading, evergreen, rhizomatous perennial with stiff, upright, grass-like leaves. It grows 30-70 cm tall in a tight clump. In spring or early summer its flowering stalks become covered with dozens of small, blue, saucer-shaped flowers standing above the leaves. Each flower lasts for one day and only opens in bright light. HabitatAll appear mostly around towns and old farms and on nearby roadsides, as they are garden escapees. They can form a dense groundcover, excluding native species. DispersalDumping of garden waste spreads both seeds and bulbs. Wind spread of seeds occurs in some, though not usually over long distances as the seed is relatively heavy. Slashing of roadside infestations while in seed can spread infestations, as can movement of contaminated soil. Look-a-likesThe native purple flag (Patersonia species) which usually grow in poor sandy soils in heath and dry forest. ControlSmall infestations can be dug out, but this should be done when soil is moist (though not too wet), to avoid leaving behind the bulbs, or the small bulbils which develop around the base of the parent bulb late in the season. Persistence will be needed with digging out, as regrowth is likely. Selective or non-selective herbicides can be used. The best time for spraying is when the flower stalks are elongating, as the bulbs will be most weakened at this time, and seeding and production of new bulbils should be prevented.
Artichoke thistle
Artichoke thistle - Click to enlarge
Artichoke thistle
Cynara cardunculus
Artichoke thistle is an erect, very robust single-stemmed or branching biennial herb with a large basal rosette of leaves up to 1 metre across. It has grey-green, deeply lobed leaves with long spines on the leaf margins at the tip pf each lobe. From the centre of this a short flowering stem arises. Flower heads consist of numerous small flowers clustered into hemispherical heads at the branch tips, and surrounded by very broad flat spine-tipped bracts. Flower colour is purple or blue. HabitatThistles are invasive weeds of pasture, reducing carrying capacity. The broad flat rosette habit in the early stages of growth smothers surrounding grass plants, and the density of stands which can occur after disturbance such as over-grazing or cultivation can choke out all other vegetation. Artichoke thistle produces particularly large rosettes. Unpalatable to stock because of the spines, thistles are favoured by heavy grazing. The spiny nature of thistle plants restricts stock and human movement in infested pasture. Thistles are also environmental weeds, invading grasslands and grassy woodlands. Thistles are a more troublesome weed in the drier tablelands and slopes of southern NSW than on the coast, and more species are present in these areas. Artichoke thistle is primarily a problem in Victoria and South Australia, particularly on heavy soils and waste ground such as roadsides. DispersalSeed may be wind-blown, and moved around in soil and on animals, vehicles and machinery. Contaminated hay and agricultural seed are also a source of infestations. The degree of wind movement of thistle seed varies with the species. Although all have a parachute of bristles to help keep the seed aloft, in some species this breaks off readily and does not assist much with dispersal. Artichoke thistle seeds generally travel for only about 20 metres from the parent plant, but they can persist for up to five years in the soil. Look-a-likesAll thistles are broadly similar in appearance and artichoke thistle can be distinguished by its greyish foliage and stems and the broad, flat grey-green bracts surrounding the buds and flower clusters. Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium) has similar grey or silvery colouration, but the bracts surrounding its flower clusters are much narrower and more numerous and the leaves are not as deeply lobed. Illyrian thistle (Onopordum illyricum) looks very like Scotch thistle, but the bracts surrounding its flower heads are more flattened, though not as broad as those of artichoke thistle. ControlSmall infestations of thistles can be chipped out, but may regrow if the cut is not made deeply enough. Hold the top of the plant down to the ground with one foot to get the spiny leaves away from your hands while chipping, or catch them while still in the rosette stage, when they are very much easier to cut. Spot spraying or boom spraying can be used for larger infestations. Slashing can be a temporary measure to delay seeding, but plants will regrow from the base and viable seed may form on the cut thistles if slashing is done after flowers have been fertilised. Goats and donkeys can help reduce seed-set by eating the flowers.
Arum lily / Calla lily / Green Goddess
Arum lily / Calla lily / Green Goddess - Click to enlarge
Arum lily / Calla lily / Green Goddess
Zantedeschia aethiopica
An erect perennial herb to about 1m high, which forms large clumps over time. Leaves are very large (to 60cm long), glossy, dark green and arrowhead-shaped. Flowers consist of a large (to 25cm long) white sheath enclosing a yellow spike. The fruit is a cluster of swollen orange berries enclosed in the remains of the sheath. The cultivar Green Goddess has a flower sheath which is green towards the top. HabitatMoist sunny situations such as creek banks and swamp edges are preferred but arum lily also tolerates full shade. It can invade pasture in moist sites. It forms dense stands which smother all native groundcover vegetation, prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs and eliminate habitat for native fauna. DispersalClumps spread gradually from underground rhizomes. These could be washed out and spread down rivers by floods. Dumping of garden waste could also spread the plant vegetatively. Seed is spread by birds and foxes, water and in contaminated soil or dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesThere are some similar native plants with arrowhead-shaped leaves and the flowers consisting of a spike enclosed in a sheath. Cunjevoi grows from 1-1.8m high and the green flower sheath is more slender, and constricted about a third of the way up from the base, unlike the uniformly flared arum lily. Cunjevoi only grows naturally north from the Illawarra, generally on rainforest margins. A smaller plant is Typhonium eliosurum, a rare species growing on rainforest margins and creek banks north from Nowra. Its leaves are arrowhead-shaped but with the leaf constricted near the base so that it forms three distinct lobes. The sheath around the flowers is green to greenish-purple, not white. Another weed in the Araceae family is taro or elephant ears which forms similar spreading clumps to arum lily, but has the leaf stalk attached to the back of the leaf partway up the leaf surface, rather than at the base. Its flower sheath is green at the base becoming yellow. Another arum lily has leaves marbled with white and the flower sheath green at the base. Both these species naturalise and should be controlled as for Zantedeschia. There are additional cultivars and species of arum or calla lily. The latter have pink or yellow flower sheaths and white spotted leaves. They are less hardy than Z. aethiopica and may be less likely to naturalise in cooler climates. However, any cultivars with Z. aethiopica in their parentage should be avoided. ControlSmall infestations can be dug out, but all of the rhizome must be removed and destroyed off-site, as plants left lying on the soil surface make take root again, and any rhizome left in the ground will regrow. Herbicides will kill arum lily, but repeat applications over 2-3 years may be needed. Surfactants will improve penetration into the waxy-coated leaves. Seed is short-lived in the soil, so once parent plants are eliminated there should be no further seedling production. If treating riverbank infestations, it will be necessary to plant native vegetation after treatment, to prevent erosion. Remember that there are restrictions on the use of herbicides in or adjoining watercourses.
Asparagus
Asparagus - Click to enlarge
Asparagus
Asparagus officinalis
A long-lived herbaceous plant that produces short-lived upright stems 0.5-1.5 m tall each year. Its green stems are densely branched towards their tips and do not have any thorns. Its needle-like leaves (10-32 mm long and 0.5-1 mm wide) are borne in clusters of 3-15. Its greenish-white to yellowish flowers (3-8 mm long) are arranged singly or in pairs along the branches. Separate male and female flowers are often borne on separate plants. Its rounded berries (5-10 mm across) turn red as they mature and contain 2-6 seeds. HabitatThis commonly grown vegetable plant that has escaped cultivation and is an emerging weed of disturbed sites, waste areas, wetlands and watercourses (i.e. riparian areas). It is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria and a minor or potential environmental weed in Western Australia, New South Wales, the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed and also vegetatively via creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes). The berries are readily eaten and dispersed by fruit-eating (i.e. frugivorous) birds and other animals. Seeds and rhizomes may also be spread in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesGarden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is very similar to asparagus fern (Asparagus virgatus) and relatively similar to ground asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus Sprengeri), the climbing asparagus ferns (Asparagus africanus and Asparagus plumosus), bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), sicklethorn (Asparagus falcatus) and ming asparagus fern (Aspargaus retrofractus). ControlMost species of Asparagus are treated the same way, by crowning out the rhizome and disposing of it. If the removed rhizome is left on site the rhizome can reshoot, so disposal needs to be into a red bin or taken to the tip. Large infestations can be sprayed using a selective herbicide.
Asparagus Fern/Basket Asparagus/Sprengers Asparagus
Asparagus Fern/Basket Asparagus/Sprengers Asparagus - Click to enlarge
Asparagus Fern/Basket Asparagus/Sprengers Asparagus
Asparagus aethiopicus
A low-growing herbaceous plant with creeping underground stems and tubers as well as sprawling or arching above ground stems. The above ground stems have some short spines and bear numerous small leaves that give them a ferny appearance. These narrow leaves (15-25 mm long and 2-3 mm wide) are clustered together in groups of one to eight along the stems. Its small white or pinkish flowers are borne in elongated clusters. Its fruit are glossy berries (5-8 mm across) that turn from green to red as they mature. HabitatAsparagus fern tends to occur around towns, particularly near-coastal locations in moist shady gullies. It can cover the ground, smothering other plants and competing for soil moisture with its dense root mat. DispersalSeed is spread by birds, in water and by dumping of fruiting material. Dumping of rhizomes (wiry underground stems) will also spread this plant. The swollen underground tubers are not capable of sprouting. Look-a-likesClimbing asparagus fern has similar leaves and orange berries. As the name suggests, it climbs into trees and shrubs as well as sprawling on the ground. Another climber, Asparagus plumosus, has very fine foliage and blue-black berries. Edible asparagus is sometimes found in bush around towns and farms where birds spread the fruits from gardens. It is a taller plant, to about 1.5 metres high, with a single stem or a cluster of stems arising from a rhizome. The leaves are very fine in clusters of 3-7. Fruit is a red berry 5-10mm in diameter. ControlThese plants have a very large root system which includes the rhizome, a mass of fibrous roots and tuberous storage organs. If digging plants out, remove all of the root system only in the smallest plants, as the amount of soil disturbance involved with larger infestations would be unacceptable. When digging it is essential to remove all of the rhizome as plants can re-grow from small fragments left behind. Can be sprayed using a selective herbicide designed for woody weeds such as Grazon or Brush off.
Athel pine
Athel pine - Click to enlarge
Athel pine
Tamarix aphylla
A spreading small tree to 15 metres high, grey-green with drooping branchlets like those of a native she-oak (Casuarina species). Leaves are reduced to small sheathing scales, wrapping around the stems as a continuous sheath completely enclosing the stem. Flowers are small and pink and carried in 3-4cm long dense spikes on the previous seasons growth. HabitatNaturalised from amenity plantings in the arid inland, including western NSW, where the extensive flooding that occurs when western rivers break their banks has spread the seed over a very wide area. Tamarisk species are very salt-tolerant and can form dense thickets particularly on watercourses. Many are found in their country of origin on coastal flats and estuaries, and they may have been planted for coastal windbreaks in Australia because of this salt tolerance. In view of the invasiveness of athel tree, it would seem unwise to plant any tamarisk species, particularly in coastal areas in proximity to wet saline soils. DispersalTo date most seed spread has been in water. There are numerous tamarisk species some of which are sold as garden plants, so athel tree could escape into new areas of infestation from garden or farm plantings. Look-a-likesThere are many species of tamarisks, all introduced in Australia. Salt cedar (Tamarix ramosissima also known as T. pentandra) is similar however can be differentiated by the overlapping rows of scale like leaves with each individual leaf not completely encircling the branchlet . ControlDo not plant athel tree and if you see if being offered for sale anywhere, inform your local Council weeds staff. If you have trees of this species planted it would be advisable to remove them. Cutting the tree down and painting the stump with glyphosate would probably be the most efficient way to do this, although follow-up cutting and painting may be needed to deal with regrowth suckers arising from the root system.

B

Balloon vine
Balloon vine - Click to enlarge
Balloon vine
Cardiospermum grandiflorum
A climbing plant with stems that are usually covered with stiff hairs when they are young. Its leaves are compound, with leaflets arranged in three groups of three, and often have a tendril in their forks. The leaflets (2-8 cm long and 1-5 cm wide) have coarsely toothed margins. Its small white flowers are borne in clusters at the end of stalks that have two small curved tendrils near their tips. Its very distinctive large, balloon-shaped, papery capsules (45-65 mm long and 30-45 mm wide) have three compartments, each containing a single hard seed. HabitatThis climbing plant is most commonly found growing over the vegetation lining creeks and rivers. It is also a weed of forests and forest margins, urban bushland, open woodlands, roadsides, fence-lines, disturbed sites, waste areas and neglected gardens in tropical, sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions. DispersalThis species reproduces mainly by seed contained within its light papery fruit. The fruit are most commonly dispersed by wind and water. They may also be spread in dumped garden waste Look-a-likesBalloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum) is very similar to another closely related species known as small balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum ). These two species can be distinguished by the following differences: balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum) has relatively large leaves (6-16 cm long) and densely hairy younger stems. Its flowers (6-11 mm long) and papery capsules (5-6.5 cm long) are also relatively large small balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum) has relatively small leaves (4-12 cm long) and finely hairy to almost hairless (i.e. puberulent to sub-glabrous) younger stems. Its flowers (3-4 mm long) and papery capsules (1-3 cm long) are also relatively small. The native plant known as slender grape (Cayratia clematidea) is also relatively similar, but has five leaflets on each leaf and its fruit is a small black berry ControlHand-pull or dig young plants, or spray larger plants. Alternatively cut plants at the base, leave top growth to die off in place and dig out the root. Cut and paint or scrape and paint very large plants. Because of the short viability of seed, balloon vine infestations can be eradicated in a couple of years if regrowth is monitored and there is no seed source for further infestation located upstream.
Bamboo - Golden
Bamboo - Golden - Click to enlarge
Bamboo - Golden
Phyllostachys aurea
A loosely clumping bamboo with yellowish or golden-coloured mature stems. It spreads rapidly via creeping underground stems which produce upright stems from their joints. The stems are grooved above where the side branches emerge. The base of the elongated leaf blade is very narrow and stalk-like in appearance. It rarely if ever produces flowers or seeds. HabitatA common garden escapee in urban bushland particularly, though not necessarily, in damp area. Problematic when planted on property boundary as can quickly spread from origin into neighbouring yard. If required as a screening plant Bamboo should be contained in a pot or in the ground with a deep non permeable border between properties eg. a concrete trench. DispersalThis plant reproduces vegetatively via suckers from its proliferous creeping underground stems rhizomes. It quickly spreads outwards from deliberate garden plantings and pieces of its root system can also be dispersed in soil and dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesGolden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is very similar to madake (Phyllostachys bambusoides) and black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), and relatively similar to giant reed (Arundo donax). ControlCut and paint stems as close to the ground as possible applying herbicide immediately. Suckers, regrowth and seedlings can be spot sprayed. Effective control usually takes multiple attempts. Manual removal often requires heavy machinery depending on the size and location of the infestation.
Banana Passionfruit
Banana Passionfruit - Click to enlarge
Banana Passionfruit
Passiflora tarminiana
A Vine with slender climbing or creeping stems that are mostly hairless, tendrils are produced at the bases of the alternately arranged leaves. Where the leaf stalk joins to the stems there is two-lobed leafy structure 1-4 cm long. Flowers are pink and large, long-tubular, flaring at the tip into numerous long narrow petals. Fruit is an oval-shaped, yellow leathery textured berry, containing numerous seeds in a pleasant tasting pulp. HabitatFound on forest edges and river banks, usually close to towns or gardens. Prefers moist soils and some shade. Capable of smothering trees and shrubs and groundcovers with its rampant growth. DispersalSeed is spread by birds, or in dumped garden refuse. Dumping may also spread the plant vegetatively. Look-a-likesThe black passionfruit has similar 3-lobed leaves with toothed edges and growth habit, but the flowers are white with blue markings, and fruits are the familiar black leathery globes full of seeds in a tasty pulp. Black passionfruit also commonly gets out of gardens into the bush, with the assistance of birds and campers. Two other weedy passionfruit species occur in the Illawarra, blue passionflower and white passionflower. Blue passionflower has large 5-lobed leaves with non-toothed edges, which may be blue-green, white flowers and a yellow to orange fruit. It is commonly used as the rootstock for grafted passionfruit varieties, and may sprout from below the graft. White passionflower has 3-lobed leaves with a whitish bloom on the underside and non-toothed edges, white flowers and green inedible fruits. Both these species have a conspicuous pair of stipules at the point where the leaf stalk arises from the stem. These are leafy looking structures. A tendril also arises from the stem opposite each leaf. There are two native passionfruit vines on the south coast. Passiflora cinnabarina is a small plant, often growing on rocky outcrops, which has red flowers and leaves which are only shallowly 3-lobed and non-toothed. Passiflora herbertiana is a larger plant with similar shallowly lobed, non-toothed leaves which are often velvety-hairy. Flowers are yellow to orange and fruits are about 5cm long and green with paler spots. It only occurs north from Narooma. ControlHand-pull or dig young plants, scrape and paint old stems. Spray with selective or non-selective herbicides.
Bathurst/Noogoora/Hunter/South American/Californian/cockle burr
Bathurst/Noogoora/Hunter/South American/Californian/cockle burr - Click to enlarge
Bathurst/Noogoora/Hunter/South American/Californian/cockle burr
Xanthium spp
Bathurst burr is an erect annual herb usually about 1m high, single stemmed or branched. Narrow leaves have a downy white underside and a three-pronged spine at the base of each leaf. Flowers are inconspicuous, the female in the leaf axils and male flowers at branch tips. Two seeds are contained in each 10mm long spiny burr. Similar weeds, Californian burr (X. orientale) and Noogoora burr (X. occidentale) have slightly larger burrs, and larger lobed and toothed leaves similar to a grape leaf in shape and rough to the touch. Noogoora burr leaves are paler green below with purplish veins and leaf stalk. Californian burr leaves are green on both surfaces. Neither has spines at the leaf base HabitatThese weeds prefer moist soil in full sun on grazing land, roadsides or waste ground. They are very widely distributed in eastern Australia, but less common on the coast than the inland. The burrs are one of the worst causes of vegetable fault in wool and cause discomfort to people handling sheep. Contact with the seed can cause dermatitis in some people. The plants compete for resources with summer crops and it acts as a host for fungal diseases of some horticultural plants. Seedlings are poisonous to livestock, the poisonous chemical being located in the seed and persistent in the seedling leaves. DispersalThis species reproduces entirely by seed, contained in the burrs. These burrs are well adapted for dispersal, due to their hooked spines, and readily become attached to animals, clothing and vehicles. They may also be spread by water and in contaminated agricultural produce. Look-a-likesBathurst burr (Xanthium spinosum) is similar to cockleburr (Xanthium ambrosioides) and the plants of the Noogoora burr complex (Xanthium strumarium sp. agg., which includes Xanthium occidentale, Xanthium orientale, Xanthium italicum and Xanthium cavanillesii). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: Bathurst burr (Xanthium spinosum) has small to moderately sized leaves (2-10 cm long) that are relatively narrow (6-30 mm wide) and usually have three irregular lobes. These leaves have dark green upper surfaces and whitish coloured undersides. Its stems bear three-pronged spines near the leaf bases and its moderately-sized fruit (8-15 mm long) have beaks that are small (1-2 mm long) or absent. Cockleburr (Xanthium ambrosioides) has small leaves (2-4 cm long) that are very narrow (3-10 mm wide) and usually have three elongated lobes. Both leaf surfaces are finely hairy (i.e. pubescent) and greyish-green in colour. Its stems bear three-pronged spines near the leaf bases and its small fruit (4-8 mm long) usually do not have beaks (occasionally one small beak is present). The plants of the Noogoora burr complex (Xanthium strumarium sp. agg.) have relatively large leaves (up to 20 cm long) that are very broad (up to 18 cm across) and often have three or five lobes with irregularly toothed margins. Both leaf surfaces are green in colour and rough to the touch (i.e. scabrous). Their stems do not bear any spines and their relatively large fruit (7-30 mm long) are topped with two distinct beaks (4-8 mm long). ControlChip or spot spray prior to burrs forming. Once burrs have formed seed may mature even after plants have been cut. The cut plants will then need to be burnt. Selective herbicides can be used to remove them from pasture.
Beach Daisy
Beach Daisy - Click to enlarge
Beach Daisy
Arctotheca populifolia
Is a perennial herb that roots at the stem joints (nodes) to form dense clumps. Usually forms a circular clump on sandy soils. Leaves (2-6 cm long) are greyish-green, oval with pointed tips, and densely hairy. Both they ray florets (5-7 mm long) and the disc florets are golden yellow. Fruit is covered in a white wool. HabitatBeaches and dunes, and adjacent sandy areas, including off-shore islands. Most of these plants tolerate burial, and will continue to grow until they reach the surface again, as they need to do to survive in the very changeable beach environment. DispersalWith summer rains it will spread rapidly, covering large areas. Once established on a new beach the seeds spread quickly by the wind. Look-a-likesNo closely similar plants but a mat-forming, fleshy-leaved native which could perhaps be confused with beach daisy is Scaevola calendulacea. It is similar in habit, but not really in appearance, having green leaves, purple flowers and large succulent purple fruits. Control Spot spray being sure to coat the entire plant as segments have often formed roots at the nodes.
Beach Gladiolus
Beach Gladiolus - Click to enlarge
Beach Gladiolus
Gladiolus gueinzii
Gladiolus gueinzii is a small gladiolus with narrow, rather glaucous leaves, which are at best 60 cm long and not uncommonly about half that length. Hence the plants are rather inconspicuous amongst the similarly grey-green Spinifex sericeus vegetation of the foredunes. Has a purple flower followed by ovoid shaped fruits full of papery brown seeds. HabitatGrows on coastal sand dunes at and above the high tide mark. DispersalGladiolus gueinzii has two modes of dispersal: winged seeds, and corms that may float for up to seven months in seawater. Plants grow from corms, which may be located 30 or 40cm, or even deeper, under the surface of the sand. Look-a-likesThe narrow, glaucous leaves can be confused with the leaf of the native sand binding grass, Spinifex. ControlHand remove isolated infestations taking care to remove all of the bulbs/cormils. Can use selective herbicides and is suggested to wipe leaves and stems. Contact Council to ensure a current permit for this control technique is listed for your area.
Bear-skin fescue
Bear-skin fescue - Click to enlarge
Bear-skin fescue
Festuca gautieri
Bear-skin fescue grows in small round pin cushion like tussocks. The leaves are very fine and thread-like, only 0.4-0.7 mm wide with a pointed tip. The leaf blade is smooth and can be straight or curved. Leaves can be bright green to bluish grey. The seed head stems are 20-50 cm long and up to 1.7 mm in diameter. The flowers form on a 4.5-7 cm long seed head (panicle). Each panicle bears a few flowers (spikelets) that are 9-11 mm long. The seeds are broadly oval-to-oblong shaped. HabitatBear-skin fescue prefers well drained soils and cooler climates but is drought and heat tolerant. DispersalCan spread vegetatively or by seed. Old plants tend to spread outwards while dying back in the centre of the tussock. Look-a-likesMay be confused with other tussock forming grasses however the dwarf habit of this plant is a key identifier. ControlBefore removing this species, cut off all seed heads, bag them and place in landfill. Dig up and remove adult plants, any fallen seed and any soil containing seed around the plant. Place this material in landfill. Monitor sites where the species has been planted to ensure seedlings that emerge are controlled before flowering and that spread of the plants has not occurred
Bellyache Bush
Bellyache Bush - Click to enlarge
Bellyache Bush
Jatropha gossypiifolia
Bellyache bush is an erect shrub or small tree up to 4 m high. Leaves are green to purple, 5 to 14 cm long and 7 to 13 cm wide with 3 to 5 lobes. The leaves are sticky and the bush contains watery sap. Flowers are 6 to 9 mm wide with red to purple petals that have yellow bases. Flowering occurs most of the year but predominantly in late summer and autumn. Fruit are oblong and about 1.1 cm long, containing 2 or 3 brown seeds 0.6 to 0.8 cm long. Capsules are initially green and ripen to dark brown. Its seeds are highly toxic to stock and humans, and its sap can cause dermatitis. It has been declared a Weed of National Significance in Australia. HabitatBellyache bush is native from Mexico to Paraguay, and was probably introduced to Australia as an ornamental plant in the late 1800s. Bellyache bush is a tropical species that is frost sensitive. It invades disturbed areas and overgrazed pastures, forming dense thickets that crowd out other vegetation. DispersalPrimarily spreads via seed, though can spread through suckers from the roots. seed dispersal is general short distance, though can be spread in soil or by water. Look-a-likesMay be mistaken for castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) and physic nut (Jatropha curcas). ControlCan be controlled by spraying, hand pulling the entire plant (including roots), and mechanical removal (slashing) can also work as a method of reducing the plants density so other plants may regenerate.
Bitou Bush
Bitou Bush - Click to enlarge
Bitou Bush
Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp rotundata
Declared Biosecurity Matter An evergreen shrub usually about 1-2 m high, but it can scramble several metres up into trees. Leaves are bright green, broadly oval, thick and fleshy, with a few small teeth along the margins near the tip. New growth is whitish with a covering of fine hairs. Yellow daisy flowers with 11-13 petals are followed by black fleshy fruits 6-8 mm in diameter, in small clusters. Each fruit contains one oval, ribbed seed 5-7mm long. Peak flowering is in autumn, but some flowering occurs all year. HabitatBitou bush usually occurs very close to the sea, on dunes, sea-cliffs and in forest on sandy soils. It was promoted for erosion control on coastal dunes in the 1950s and 60s. It will invade grassy or heathy headlands, coastal banksia scrub on dunes, dry eucalypt forest and littoral rainforest. It is not usually a weed of farming areas because it is eaten by livestock. Bitou forms a dense cover which suppresses native shrubs and groundcover species and prevents tree regeneration. Plants which climb into small trees such as banksias can make these trees so top-heavy that they are blown over or snapped off in strong winds. Bitou can produce seed within one year of germination, and seed production is prolific (up to 50,000 seeds per plant per year). Seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 7 years, resulting in the accumulation of a massive soil seed bank. Germination is stimulated by fire or other disturbance, and after passing through a bird gut. The potential for native vegetation to be overwhelmed in areas where bitou occurs is very high. DispersalBirds and other animals. Movement of seed-contaminated soil. The appearance of isolated plants on beaches distant from any known infestation suggests that bitou seed is spread by ocean currents. Look-a-likesSimilar natives found in coastal habitats are boobialla and sea box. Both grow mostly on sea cliffs and have round or fleshy leaves. Boobialla is the most similar, with fleshy bright green leaves, white shortly tubular flowers spotted purple inside and succulent purple fruits. Sea box has round leathery leaves, white flowers and red berries. A weed with similar fleshy leaves is the shrubby climber, climbing groundsel , but its leaves are bluntly angular, not rounded. It also has yellow daisy flowers, but the seeds are more typical daisy seeds with a parachute of hairs, like those of dandelions. Bitou bush can also scramble up through other shrubs in a similar fashion to this species. Boneseed is very similar to bitou bush, but has narrower leaves with more strongly toothed margins. It is a garden escapee found over a wider range of habitats. ControlFor large plants growing amongst native vegetation, use cut and paint to minimise impacts on native vegetation. Scattered seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Spraying with glyphosate (eg Round Up) or metsulfuron (eg Brush Off) is used for dense infestations. Over-spraying with a low concentration of glyphosate in winter can kill bitou without affecting native vegetation. A hot fire can be used to kill mature plants, kill shallowly buried seed and stimulate germination of most deeper seed, after which seedlings can be sprayed. Burning may be appropriate in forests, but should not be used on dunes, where it could promote erosion. Fire should not be used unless the resources are available for follow-up control of new bitou seedlings, and other weeds which may also invade.
Black Eyed Susan
Black Eyed Susan - Click to enlarge
Black Eyed Susan
Thunbergia alata
A long-lived vine growing up to 5 m in height. Its slender stems are green and hairy when young. Its paired leaves (2-8 cm long and 1-4.5 cm wide) are borne on narrowly winged stalks. Its tubular flowers (3-4 cm wide) are borne singly in the upper leaf forks on stalks 30-95 mm long. These flowers are usually orange or yellow with a black throat and have two leafy bracts at their bases. Its fruit has a rounded base (5-10 mm across) containing the seeds and an elongated beak (9-15 mm long). HabitatA weed of waterways, urban bushland, forest margins, plantation crops, roadsides, disturbed sites and waste areas in tropical, sub-tropical and warmer temperate areas. DispersalSeeds and plant fragments can be spread in dumped garden waste. They can also be spread by water and vehicles. Look-a-likesBlack-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) is similar to Blue thunbergia (Thunbergia grandiflora), laurel clock vine (Thunbergia laurifolia) and relatively similar to fragrant thunbergia (Thunbergia fragrans), and the native species Thunbergia arnhemica. ControlHand remove taking care to remove all root segments. Spot spray with a selective herbicide and surfactant - Roundup will not kill this plant.
Black knapweed
Black knapweed - Click to enlarge
Black knapweed
Centaurea nigra
A non-spiny member of the thistle group. Erect, much-branched perennial herb to 1m high with hairy ribbed stems which may sprawl and root at the nodes. Mature stems become purple. Leaves are lance-shaped and stalked, starting as a basal rosette, and becoming smaller up the stems as the plant elongates before flowering. Flowers are deep pink, in thistle-like heads, but the enclosing bracts are not spiny. They are distinctively comb-like, with deeply fringed margins, and black or dark brown. The seeds are topped with a few short bristles. HabitatInvades overgrazed pasture but not very competitive in healthy pasture, although knapweeds have been shown to have allelopathic effects on other plants (that is, produce chemicals which cause nearby plants to grow poorly). Unpalatable and reduces carrying capacity. Prefers cool climates and currently only established in parts of Victoria and Tasmania. DispersalSeed is spread in soil and attached to machinery, vehicles and livestock. Wind dispersal is not very effective. Knapweed have been occasionally found for sale as garden plants in NSW. Look-a-likesSpotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) is similar but bracts are not comb-like. Perennial thistle (Cirsium arvense) has similar flower heads, being pink without spiny bracts, but it has spiny leaves. ControlNotify your local control authority if you think you have seen this weed. Chip or spot spray prior to seeding. Selective herbicides can be used to remove knapweed from pasture.
Black Locust
Black Locust - Click to enlarge
Black Locust
Robinia pseudoacacia
A fast-growing deciduous tree to about 20 m high. Bark is rough and furrowed on trunk and larger branches. There may be small triangular thorns on the smaller branches. Leaves are compound, to about 15cm long, with 10-20 leaflets in opposite pairs and a single terminal leaflet which is larger than the others. The leaves are thin-textured and bright green with a paler, whitish underside. Clusters of pure white pea flowers occur in spring. The seeds are black, hard-coated and are contained in a flattened bean-like pod, 3-8cm long. HabitatUsually found only where it has been planted, close to towns or farm buildings. Forms dense thickets by root suckering, which can exclude all other vegetation. The bark, roots, wood, seeds and pods are poisonous. DispersalSeed could be spread by water, or by large birds such as cockatoos, but the main means of reproduction is by root suckers. One plant can become a large thicket. Root fragments could be spread by machinery. Look-a-likesThere are no similar natives. Although red cedar is deciduous and has compound leaves, its leaves are much larger and softly hairy, and it lacks the conspicuous sprays of white pea flowers. Honey locust is a similar exotic tree, distinguished by its long three-pointed or branched thorns and longer strap-like seed pods. Thornless varieties of this species, sometimes with yellow or purple-tinged foliage are sold in nurseries. Honey locust seems less prone to suckering than black locust, but can be spread by seed. It is occasionally found far from buildings in remnant native vegetation in farming areas. It prefers open, sunny situations. There are various other Robinia species available from nurseries, usually grafted onto black locust rootstock. They have pink, cream or white flowers and similar leaves to black locust. Most of these are also prone to suckering, and should only be planted in situations where the roots will not be disturbed and where suckering can be controlled by mowing. ControlDon\'t plant black locust or grafted Robinia as an ornamental or shade tree. Root suckers can be suppressed by regular mowing or grazing, but will develop into trees if these restraints are removed. Once a thicket exists it will be necessary to stem inject or cut and paint all stems. It is not likely to be possible to treat the suckers and have the parent tree remain, since herbicide applied to the suckers will get into the root system of the parent tree and cause it to look unhealthy, if not actually killing it. Do not cut trees down without applying herbicide to the stump or massive suckering will result. Ploughing, or slashing of small plants, will have the same effect.
Black or Spear Thistle
Black or Spear Thistle - Click to enlarge
Black or Spear Thistle
Cirsium vulgare
An erect, hairy, annual/biennial thistle, which grows to about 150cm high, more commonly 60 to 120cm. Basal rosette can form leaves up to 45cm long and then stem leaves form to approximately 25cm long, leaves with spines on margins. Well formed tap root. Pinkish/purple flowers. HabitatA weed of crops, orchards, vineyards, fallows, pastures, forestry plantations, parks, gardens, roadsides, waste areas, disturbed sites, riparian vegetation, open woodlands and grasslands. DispersalThis species reproduces almost entirely by seeds that are equipped with a large parachute of bristles that enhances dispersal by wind. Seeds are also spread as a contaminant of agricultural produce (e.g. fodder and grain) and to a lesser extent by water, animals, vehicles, machinery and in mud. Look-a-likesMany species of thistles are broadly similar in appearance. The large basal leaves followed by a tall erect stem will help with identification. ControlSmall infestations of thistles can be chipped out, but may regrow if the cut is not made deeply enough. Hold the top of the plant down to the ground with one foot to get the spiny leaves away from your hands while chipping, or catch them while still in the rosette stage, when they are very much easier to cut. Spot spraying or boom spraying can be used for larger infestations. Slashing can be a temporary measure to delay seeding, but plants will regrow from the base and viable seed may form on the cut thistles if slashing is done after flowers have been fertilised. Goats and donkeys can help reduce seed-set by eating the flowers.
Blackberry
Blackberry - Click to enlarge
Blackberry
Rubus fruticosus aggregate
Deciduous spreading shrub 1 to 2m high, with large triangular backward-pointing thorns on stems and leaves. Compound leaves with 3 or 5 wrinkled leaflets, which have a white underside. Flowers approx. 2-3cm and white. Blackberry fruits are large and succulent, ripening from red to purple-black. HabitatBlackberry does best in cool moist sites (creek banks, south-facing slopes, gullies), with plenty of sun penetration, but will grow almost anywhere, except in dense shade. Thickets can choke out all other vegetation and the thorny canes impede access. They provide rabbit harbour. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed, however it may also produce suckers from its woody rootstock and plantlets from the stem tips that come into contact with the soil surface (this process is known as layering). Seeds are spread by animals (particularly birds) that eat the fruit, and both seeds and stem fragments are dispersed in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesThe native small-leaved bramble (Rubus parvifolius) is a small trailing plant with pink flowers and small red fruits which grows in woodland and forest and among rocks in native grassland. It is common both on the coast and the tablelands. Three additional native brambles occur on the coast, native raspberry (Rubus rosifolius), Molucca bramble (Rubus moluccanus var triloba or R. hillii as it was previously known) and the robust climber Rubus nebulosus, which is found north from Batemans Bay, usually in wet forest or on rainforest edges. Native raspberry has erect stems,white flowers and bright red but dry and gritty fruits. It is common in gullies. Molucca bramble has pink flowers and the underside of the leaflets covered in buff hairs. ControlSpraying with a woody weed specific herbicide is the simplest method of blackberry control. Goats provide very good control in suitable situations. However, they need good fencing, can cause further erosion in the steep gully situations where blackberry often occurs, and are also rough on native vegetation. Slashing can keep blackberry from forming tall clumps, in situations where tractor access is not a problem. However, it never really gets rid of the plant. Small blackberry plants can be dug out, but will re-sprout if any roots are left behind. An introduced fungus, blackberry rust, was released in the 1980s, and occurs in the region. It can become common in wet summers, reducing the vigour of plants and possibly preventing fruiting. The rusty coloured spore clusters can be seen on the underside of the leaves when it is active.
Blue hound's tongue
Blue hound's tongue - Click to enlarge
Blue hound's tongue
Cynoglossum creticum
Blue hound’s tongue is a biennial plant which grows up to 600 mm high. Its stems are densely covered with fine hairs. It has dark-green leaves, up to 200 mm long and 25–35 mm wide, covered with long coarse hairs. The base of the leaf is heart-shaped and clasps the stem. The leaves are alternately placed and decrease in size up the stem. Blue hound’s tongue has a long taproot which is used to store energy reserves. In the first year of growth, blue hound’s tongue forms a rosette; this is followed by one or more tall flowering stems during the second growing season. The flower, a 10–11 mm long tube, is pink to blue and has darker hairless veins and stamens growing from the base of the tube. Each flower roduces four ‘nutlets’ covered with short, hooked or barbed prickles when mature. The seeds are oval and 6–8 mm long, and their outer surface is thickly covered with prickles. The leaves of blue hound’s tongue contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that kill cattle and horses. While cattle usually avoid it in the field, the problem occurs when they are fed hay or chopped forage containing the plant. It also hinders the establishment of new pasture. HabitatBlue hounds\'s tongue was first recorded in Sydney, in 1898. In 1933 a naturalised population was noted in Eden, NSW, and its presence was confirmed until 1976. Two new infestations have been recorded in 2004 upstream from Eden, along the Towamba River. Information from overseas indicates that blue hound’s tongue most commonly grows on disturbed sites such as road­ sides, sand dunes or open woodlands, where it establishes and spreads quickly. It can tolerate dry conditions. DispersalBlue hound’s tongue spreads by seeds, mature plants each producing several hundred. The seeds have hooks that attach to clothing and hair very easily, so they can be spread long distances attached to people or animals. Because most seed germinate soon after formation and seed viability is only 2–3 years, there is little development of a soil seedbank. Seedlings are fast growing. In North America, cattle and wildlife are important dispersers of the closely related C. officinale. This is likely also to be the case in Australia, a view supported by the fact that blue hound’s tongue is spreading to upstream areas in NSW. Seeds may be transported by animals or people into disturbed areas where they find suitable conditions for germination. Look-a-likesSimilar to two native hound\'s tongues; Cynoglossum austral, and Cynoglossum suaveolens. Can be differentiated by flowers. Blue hound\'s tongue has larger flowers (7-9mm across) that have blue or pinkish petals with prominent darker veins. both native species have smaller flowers (up to 6mm across), whitish flowers, and no obvious veins on the petals. ControlBecause there are relatively few blue hound’s tongue infestations, and it can potentially be eradicated before it becomes established, any new outbreaks should be reported immediately to your local council weed officer. Do not try to control blue hound’s tongue without their expert assistance. Control effort that is poorly performed or not followed up can actually help spread the weed and worsen the problem.
Blue Passionflower
Blue Passionflower - Click to enlarge
Blue Passionflower
Passiflora caerulea
Blue passion flower plants have large leaves 8–12 cm long, that are deeply divided into usually five lobes. It has a distinct passionfruit flower with blue filaments (hair-like structures in centre) in the flower. Blue passionflower is a hardy climbing plant. It used as rootstock for passionfruit, which can sprout from below the graft. HabitatDisturbed and open forest, light wells and margins of intact bush, streamsides, coastline and cliffs. DispersalBirds and possums carry seeds moderate distances. Often used as rootstock for P. edulis. Hedges, nurseries, exotic plantations, waste land, gardens and roadsides are common seed sources. Look-a-likesP. mollissima, P. mixta, and P. edulis. Alternatives: Try the native passionfruit (Passiflora tetandra) or Three Kings vine (Tecomanthe speciosa), or non-native yellow jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) with its lovely yellow flowers. Your local garden centre will be able to recommend other non-weedy alternatives that will grow well in your area. Control Hand pull small seedlings ensuring to get entire roots. Plant can root at the nodes so attention must be paid to layering sections of the vine that are in contact with the ground. Spot spray larger infestations with a selective herbicide and surfactant added.
Bluebell creeper / Western Australian Bluebell
Bluebell creeper / Western Australian Bluebell - Click to enlarge
Bluebell creeper / Western Australian Bluebell
Billardiera heterophylla
A low tangled shrub or climber, which can smother other shrubs. Young stems are a reddish-brown, leaves are narrow oval and glossy. The small bell-shaped flowers hang in clusters of 2-5 on long stalks. They are usually blue, but may be pale pink or white. Fruits are cylindrical berries, 2-3cm long, ripening from green to blue-black. HabitatFound on forest edges close to towns. This plant is a native of West Australia, but has been widely planted in gardens since native plants became popular. It has become weedy in eastern Australia, particularly in Victoria. It can form a dense smothering mat over native shrubs. DispersalSeed is spread by birds or in dumped garden refuse. Dumping may also spread the plant vegetatively. Look-a-likesThe local native apple berry is a closely related twining plant with yellow-green tubular flowers and a very similar cylindrical berry which ripens from green to yellow or brownish. Apple berry is usually quite a sparse climbing plant, never a shrub. ControlSpraying is likely to be the easiest method of control. The plant branches from close to ground level, and these branches form roots where they touch the soil. The clump can therefore spread vegetatively to become several metres wide. Suckering from the roots will occur if the parent plant is disturbed. However, small plants may be dug out. The plant contains toxins which can cause nausea and skin irritation, so wear gloves if handling it.
Boneseed
Boneseed - Click to enlarge
Boneseed
Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp monilifera
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Boneseed is an evergreen shrub usually about 1-2 m high, but can grow up to 4 metres. Leaves are bright green and broadly oval, thick and fleshy, with toothed margins. New growth is whitish with a covering of fine hairs. Yellow daisy flowers with 11-13 petals are followed by black fleshy fruits 6-8 mm in diameter, in small clusters. Each fruit contains one oval, ribbed seed 5-7mm long. HabitatBoneseed is usually a garden escapee, which invades adjacent bush. On the far south coast it has been found in forest and coastal dunes. It is not usually a weed of farming areas because it is eaten by livestock. Boneseed can form a dense cover which suppresses native shrubs and groundcover species and prevents tree regeneration. Boneseed is a major problem in Victoria, but uncommon on the NSW south coast. DispersalBoneseed reproduces by seed. One plant can produce 50 000 seeds a year, of which approximately 60% are viable. For some seeds, the hard seed coat splits open, allowing them to germinate as soon as there is sufficient moisture. Other seeds remain intact and can stay viable in the soil for more than ten years. Seeds can be spread by birds, rabbits, foxes and cattle, as well as in contaminated landscape supplies and dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesBitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp rotundata) is very similar but has leaves with a more rounded tip and fewer (or sometimes no) marginal teeth. It is usually a weed of near-coastal situations: beach dunes and nearby forest, though birds can spread the seed further inland. A weed with similar fleshy leaves is the shrubby climber, climbing groundsel, but its leaves are bluntly angular, not toothed. It also has yellow daisy flowers, but the seeds are more typical daisy seeds with a barachute of hairs, like those of dandelions. Another common garden escape weed, African daisy has similar toothed leaves but a more sprawling, less upright habit and flowers with white, mauve or purple petals and a dark blue centre. African Daisy is a very common garden plant which escapes into forest and coastal dunes. Its seedlings can be very hard to distinguish from boneseed, but lack the white cottony hairs on new growth and are less upright in their growth habit. ControlFor large plants growing amongst native vegetation, use cut and paint to minimise impacts on native vegetation. Scattered seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Spraying with glyphosate (eg Round Up) or metsulfuron (eg Brush Off) is used for dense infestations. A hot fire can be used to kill mature plants, kill shallowly buried seed and stimulate germination of most deeper seed, after which seedlings can be sprayed. Burning may be appropriate in forests, but should not be used on dunes, where it could promote erosion. Fire should not be used unless the resources are available for follow-up control of new boneseed seedlings, and other weeds which may also invade. Burning after spraying can be useful in removing dead material to provide easier access for follow-up work.
Box Elder
Box Elder - Click to enlarge
Box Elder
Acer negundo
A small deciduous tree to about 8m high. Older bark is rough and grey-brown, but new shoots have a waxy white to blue coating. Leaves are compound, with 3-7 leaflets. Flowers are inconspicuous, and are followed by large clusters of drooping green winged seeds, or keys. HabitatWidely planted as a fast-growing shade tree. Box elder is very invasive, particularly along river banks, although it can also be found growing in very dry sites. Could behave similarly to willows along rivers, trapping sediment, causing erosion and depleting oxygen in the water by dumping large quantities of autumn leaves. Shades out native plants, creating ideal conditions for shade-loving weeds such as Wandering Jew. DispersalThe winged seeds can be blown long distances in the wind, or carried by water. Look-a-likesAshes (Fraxinus species) have similar leaves and keys. The Desert Ash, Fraxinus angustifolia has also become weedy in some areas, though it is not yet known to have naturalised on the south coast. ControlHand pull seedlings. Cut and paint, stem injection, basal bark treatment in younger plants. Cut trees will re-sprout if herbicide is not applied immediately.
Boxing Glove Cactus
Boxing Glove Cactus - Click to enlarge
Boxing Glove Cactus
Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata
It mainly occurs in the drier regions of western New South Wales. It is regarded as an environmental weed, and can injure people and animals with its sharp thorns, reduce livestock access to pastures and displace native and other useful plant species. HabitatAt present it is not common or widespread in NSW, but over the last few years populations have rapidly increased in density and area. It is now locally common in and around the mining settlements of Broken Hill, Cumborah, Grawin and Lightning Ridge. It is also spreading around Tibooburra in far western NSW. DispersalMost commonly reproduces vegetatively but can reproduce by seed. Is occasionally spread by animals and water. sometimes is spread accidentally by people when segments become attached to clothing or vehicles. Look-a-likesMay be mistaken for various other species of cactus, particularly Prickly Pear and other opuntias. ControlA strain of cochineal (Dactylopius tomentosus), a native of Mexico, was recently released near Tibooburra and Stephens Creek north of Broken Hill. While only in the early stages of establishment, the cochineal is expected to control the cactus as other cochineals have controlled other cacti. Landholders with infestations of boxing glove cactus can contact DPI to organise a release of this new agent (biotype testing to establish correct identification of the cactus will be done as part of this process). Application of a suitable herbicide is an effective control method. Can also be controlled via mechanical removal, though may have limited success due to the fact it spreads vegetatively.
Briar Rose / Sweet Briar
Briar Rose / Sweet Briar - Click to enlarge
Briar Rose / Sweet Briar
Rosa rubiginosa
Deciduous slender thorny shrub 1 to 1.5m high. Can form large thickets but generally does not do so on the coast. Compound blue-green or bright green leaves with 5-7 rounded leaflets. Large (to 5cm) pink flowers are followed by smooth orange to red rosehips which are leathery in texture and full of small seeds. HabitatBriar rose occurs in pasture in drier parts of the region. It is more common on the tablelands. It may become more abundant on the coast in drought periods. DispersalSeed spread by birds and foxes, and in water. It may sucker from the roots if the parent plant is cut down. Look-a-likesBriar rose is a little similar to its relative blackberry, but is generally smaller and more upright, and has leaflets arranged in opposite pairs. The large pink flowers and non-succulent fruits also distinguish it. Other forms of wild rose are occasionally found around old farms and in cemeteries, where they have grown from the root-stock of cultivated roses. ControlSpraying with a woody weed specific herbicide is the simplest method of control. Goats provide very good control. However, they need good fencing, and are also rough on native vegetation. Briar rose can be dug out, but will re-sprout if any roots are left behind.
Bridal creeper
Bridal creeper - Click to enlarge
Bridal creeper
Asparagus asparagoides
Relatively small scrambling plant with wiry stems, which tends to behave more as a groundcover, or climb a short distance into shrubs and small trees. Bridal creeper has glossy, thin, bright green leaves, to 7cm long by 3cm wide, with close parallel veins. Small white flowers are followed by berries which ripen from green to dark red. HabitatMost common close to the coast, where it invades banksia woodland and other open coastal vegetation. It tolerates some degree of salinity. Also turns up in farming areas and along roadsides under trees, where birds spread the seeds. It tolerates full sun, but is happier in shade. It dries off and becomes dormant over summer, doing most of its growing and fruiting in autumn through to spring. Can completely dominate the lower layers of vegetation, smothering shrubs and groundcover. The dense root mat competes with other vegetation for soil moisture, and can prevent rainfall from penetrating the soil. DispersalSeed is spread by birds. Dumping of rhizomes (underground stems). The swollen underground tubers are not capable of sprouting, unless there is a small piece of rhizome attached to them. Look-a-likesWiry native vines, wombat berry and scrambling lily are a little similar to bridal creeper, but the leaves are longer, narrower and more spread out on the stems and not glossy. Wombat berry fruits are orange, and scrambling lily fruits are black. Other weedy asparagus ferns occur in the region. The most common is Asparagus densiflorus which has red fruits. Another climbing asparagus fern is Asparagus scandens, which has orange berries and much smaller leaves. ControlDig small plants, being careful to remove all of the root system. Spray larger infestations, as this plant has a huge root system which it is impractical to remove. Plants can grow from tiny fragments of rhizome, so creating a lot of soil disturbance around an infestation is not a good idea. Alternatively, for small infestations, crowning the plants works well. This involves removing the growing point where the stems emerge from the rhizome, leaving tubers and roots behind. A sharp knife or secateurs can be used for this job, or a narrow post-hole digger for really large plants. When spraying, selective herbicides give better results. Spray during winter or spring when the plants are actively growing. Repeat treatments will be needed. Two biological controls have recently been released on the south coast, a rust fungus and a sap-sucking leaf-hopper (a tiny insect). The rust fungus produces yellow spore clusters on the underside of the leaf, while the leaf-hopper turns leaves patchily white. It remains to be seen how well these two biocontrol agents will establish, and whether they will be highly effective against bridal creeper.
Bridal Veil Creeper
Bridal Veil Creeper - Click to enlarge
Bridal Veil Creeper
Asparagus declinatus
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Bridal veil creeper is a scrambler or low climber with short-lived, thornless stems up to 3 m long. The root system is extensive and long-lived, and consists of tubers and long rhizomes. Leaf-like cladodes (modified stems) are densely arranged in groups of 3 along short, finely-branched side shoots off a wiry, main stem. The cladodes are blue-green, soft, needle-shaped, 3–10 mm long and less than 1 mm wide. Flowers are greenish-white and 5-8 mm in diameter. Berries are about 10 mm in diameter; initially light green, but turning pale white as they mature. There are 3-9 seeds in a berry; each about 3 mm wide and black when ripe. HabitatIt currently infests coastal environments and urban bushland, and is a potential weed of roadsides, waterways, waste areas, open woodlands and closed forests. If not controlled, bridal veil has the potential to become a severe threat to biodiversity in coastal areas of southern Australia. Although currently known only from Western Australia and South Australia, its potential distribution is most of southern coastal Australia. It is not currently known to occur in NSW. DispersalBridal veil creeper reproduces from seed, and vegetatively from underground tubers and rhizomes. Shoots begin to appear in autumn and scramble across the ground. With the onset of winter, shoots develop dense foliage. Foliage begins to wither and die as temperatures rise, usually in late spring. Over the hot summer months the underground tuberous roots survive without above ground foliage. Flowering occurs from mid to late winter. Green berries begin to form from late winter to early spring, maturing to pale green in late spring and early summer. Fruit are primarily spread by birds, with possums and other ground-dwelling animals are potential means of spread. Fruit are also spread in water and garden waste. Tubers and rhizomes are primarily spread by people dumping garden waste and on earth moving equipment. Look-a-likesSimilar to many other species of Asparagus weed including; climbing asparagus fern, ground asparagus fern, bridal creeper, garden asparagus, sicklethorn, Ming asparagus fern, and asparagus fern. ControlIf you see this plant report it. Call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244 Help will then be provided to remove and destroy it. This serious weed could spread if control efforts do not follow all protocols. Not reporting it is a breach of your legal biosecurity duty.
Broomrapes
Broomrapes - Click to enlarge
Broomrapes
Orobanche spp
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A characteristic of all broomrapes is they contain no chlorophyll and only the flowering stem can be seen above the ground. Stems are up to 30 cm high and densely branched from ground level. Brown or straw-yellow in colour and covered with soft woolly hairs. Very few scale-like leaves occur at the base of the stem and are up to 8 mm long. Flowers are 1–2.2 cm long, trumpet-shaped and pale-blue to violet in colour. Flowering occurs in summer. The fruit is a single-celled capsule containing hundreds of seeds. The capsule dries and shatters in summer. HabitatBroomrapes attach to the roots of broadleaf plants and extract all of their nutrient and water requirements from their host. In Australia, known host plants include canola, carrot, lettuce, tomato, capeweed, vetch and medics. DispersalBroomrapes are annual plants that grow from seed and require a host plant to survive. After a broomrape seed germinates, the seedling’s roots attach to the roots of a host plant and the whole broomrape plant remains underground until its flowering stems emerge (about 6 weeks after germination). Flowering and seed set occurs within 2–3 weeks. One plant can produce thousands of seeds per year which can lay dormant in the soil for many years. Broomrape seed can be spread by wind, livestock, vehicles, clothing, flood waters and contaminated fodder, seed and soil. Look-a-likesLesser broomrape could be confused with the native potato orchid (Gastrodia procera), but the orchids flowers hang away from the stem on distinct stalks, while broomrape flowers arise directly off the main stem. It is also a leafless, parasitic, brown-stemmed plant. Another more common leafless brown-stemmed orchid (at least on the coast) is the hyacinth orchid (Dipodium species). These are tall (to about 45cm) summer-flowering species with numerous pink or purple, plain or strikingly spotted flowers. The young stems look rather like a brown asparagus stem. ControlBranched broomrape is a notifiable weed. It can flower and seed very rapidly. If you think you have found this plant do not pick it as you may spread the seed. Mark the site and notify your local Council weed staff immediately.
Buffalo grass
Buffalo grass - Click to enlarge
Buffalo grass
Stenotaphrum secundatum
A perennial creeping grass usually growing 10-30 cm tall. It regularly produces roots along its creeping stems and also sends up short upright flowering stems, the long narrow leaves 2-30 cm long and 3-12 mm wide are often folded lengthwise and usually have rounded tips. Seed-heads 3-15 cm long consist of flower spikelets partially sunken into a broad flattened stalk. HabitatA weed of closed forests, forest margins, open woodlands, coastal environments, pastures, gardens, disturbed sites and waste areas in temperate, sub-tropical and tropical regions. DispersalBuffalo grass often spread to new areas through its cultivation as a lawn and turf grass. Seeds and stem segments are dispersed in garden waste, and may also be spread by water, animals and vehicles. Look-a-likesAxonopus affinis, Paspalum distichum, and Pennisetum clandestinum are all similar looking introduced grass species. All are introduced. Control Hand remove small infestations ensuring that the entire root mat is lifted. Spot spray with non-selective herbicides and an added surfactant.
Burr ragweed
Burr ragweed - Click to enlarge
Burr ragweed
Ambrosia confertiflora
Burr ragweed is an erect perennial herb 75-200cm high which grows in dense colonies arising off a system of rhizomes (underground runners). Stems are grey-green, erect, usually simple but branching in the flowering region. Leaves are grey-green, shortly stalked, opposite at the base of the plant, becoming alternate up the stems, deeply twice divided into long narrow segments, with a few stiff hairs on both surfaces. Individual flowers are small (to 4mm wide), yellow-green and grouped into terminal spikes. Seed is brown, 3-4mm across covered with 10-20 short hooked spines. HabitatIntroduced from southern USA and Mexico, burr ragweed is known from a few infestations in south-east Queensland and the western slopes and plains of NSW. Burr ragweed is not palatable to stock and by forming dense stands which exclude all other plants can reduce carrying capacity. DispersalSeed is spread on animals or other items to which the seeds adhere, such as bags. The burrs are buoyant in water and may spread in floods. The plants spread locally by rhizomes. Movement of contaminated soil in roadworks can spread both seed and rhizome fragments. Look-a-likesThe plants are reminiscent of chrysanthemum, in the height and leaf form, but the flowers are inconspicuous. Several other weed species are similar, such as perennial ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya) and Chinese mugwort (Artemisia verlotiorum). ControlCultivation is unlikely to be effective because of the extensive rhizome system. Herbicides would be the only possible means of controlling large infestations. Early detection and removal of seedlings is the best treatment in new areas of infestation.

C

Cabomba
Cabomba - Click to enlarge
Cabomba
Cabomba caroliniana
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Cabomba grows attached to the bottom with the long stems floating in the water column and leaves mostly fully submerged below the water surface, in opposite pairs or whorls. Each submerged leaf is distinctively fan-shaped (finally divided with numerous narrow lobes) when seen floating in the water. Flowers are white, 6-petalled and 1-2cm across. They are held above the water surface, possibly together with a few simple (undivided) small narrow emergent leaves. HabitatFresh water bodies such as farm dams, lagoons on river floodplains, rivers and creeks. Still or slow flowing water is usually preferred. Cabomba grows in water up to 3m deep, and can survive if detached from the bottom. Infestations can become dominant in still waters, crowding out native water plants. Can interfere with human access for swimming and boating, reduce water quality and block pumps. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. However, many aquatic species have sticky seed which can adhere to the feathers or feet of water birds, and hence be spread long distances. Many will spread from broken-off pieces or whole plants being moved on boats or fishing equipment from an infested to a clean water body. Look-a-likesIdentifying aquatic weeds is difficult. There are many native look-alikes. Get suspicious plants identified by a specialist. Many native water plants will increase in a weedy way if the nutrient level in the water body is increased or the temperature raised. This may not be undesirable, since these plants will use up nutrients which might otherwise feed a toxic blue-green algae bloom. Cabomba has numerous native and some weedy look-alikes. The fan-like leaves of cabomba are fairly distinctive, but need to be placed in a vessel of water so that they can float freely to be seen properly. They could be confused with the native hornwort, which has inconspicuous flowers and horned fruits. Native species of water milfoil are very similar in habit, but their leaves are either simple or finely lobed and often arranged in whorls of 3-6 around the stems. Their flowers are tiny, red and clustered in the leaf axils. There is also an introduced water milfoil, parrot feather. ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ponds or aquaria. Some invasive water plants are still sometimes sold by nurseries or pet shops. If you notice this, report the instance to Council, so that the proprietors can be advised that it is illegal to sell these plants. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. Chemical control is difficult for a plant which is growing almost entirely below the water surface. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Camphor Laurel
Camphor Laurel - Click to enlarge
Camphor Laurel
Cinnanimum camphora
A large evergreen tree. Bark is rough, fissured and grey-brown. Leaves alternate or in whorls (clusters, with gaps along the stem between each cluster), and glossy dark green with an abruptly tapered pointed tip and wavy edges. The leaf underside is a more blue-green colour and not glossy. The lowest pair of secondary veins is more prominent than veins closer to the leaf tip, making the leaves look 3-veined from close to the base. Crushed leaves smell strongly of camphor. Flowers are small and occur in large clusters. Fruits are a black, fleshy berry 1cm across, seated in a cup-like receptacle. HabitatCamphor laurel has been widely planted as a street and garden tree in northern NSW, where it has become a serious pest, replacing native rainforest trees. It is frost tender when young, so less likely to naturalise on the south coast. However, saplings have been observed in Bega, where there is an old avenue planting of these trees, so it is capable of naturalising on the far south coast, and more likely to do so further north. The large root system and heavy shade eliminates all other vegetation. The huge seed production and distribution by birds makes it very invasive. Leaves are toxic. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed, which are most commonly spread by birds, but may also be dispersed by water, other animals, and in dumped garden waste. Suckers are also readily produced, particularly when older trees are poisoned, damaged or cut down. Look-a-likesThe smell of camphor from the crushed leaves distinguishes camphor laurel from any of its native or exotic look-alikes which are likely to be found on the south coast. Many native rainforest trees have slightly similar glossy foliage and Cryptocarya glaucescens also has the blue-green underside. Kurrajong or yam tree is a native tree of drier habitats with similar grey bark, and very variably shaped leaves which may be quite similar to those of camphor laurel. It also lacks the camphor smell. ControlHand pull seedlings. Cut and paint, stem injection, basal bark treatment in younger plants, or spray foliage for small plants. Larger plants will sucker if roots are damaged or the tree cut down, and follow-up will be needed.
Canary Creeper / Climbing Groundsel
Canary Creeper / Climbing Groundsel - Click to enlarge
Canary Creeper / Climbing Groundsel
Senecio tamoides
A long-lived scrambling or climbing plant growing up to 5 m tall. Its alternately arranged leaves (3-5 cm long) are hairless and slightly fleshy in nature. These leaves are egg-shaped in outline or somewhat diamond-shaped with shallowly lobed or toothed margins. Its daisy-like flower-heads are arranged in loose clusters at the tips of the branches. Each of these yellow flower-heads has several tiny tubular flowers surrounded by 4-6 petals (6-9 mm long). Its pale brown seeds (2-2.5 mm long) are topped with a ring of long white hairs (6-7 mm long). HabitatA weed of open woodlands, urban bushland, disturbed sites, coastal environs, waste areas, gardens and roadsides.They can sprawl over the ground or climb high into trees. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed and also via stem segments. Its seed are dispersed by wind and animals, while its seeds and stem segments can also be spread in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesClimbing groundsel (Senecio angulatus) is very similar to Cape ivy (Delairea odorata), canary creeper (Senecio tamoides) and Natal ivy (Senecio macroglossus). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: climbing groundsel (Senecio angulatus) has moderately large bright yellow flower-heads with several petals 6-9 mm long. Cape ivy (Delairea odorata) has small bright yellow flower-heads with no obvious petals. Canary creeper (Senecio tamoides) has moderately large bright yellow flower-heads with several petals about 10 mm long. Natal ivy (Senecio macroglossus) has relatively large pale yellow flower-heads with several prominent petals more than 2 cm long. ControlHand remove seedlings ensuring to remove all root, stem and leaf segments. Large infestations can be sprayed with selective woody weed herbicide with a surfactant added to assist with penetrating the fleshy leaves.
Canary Island Date Palm
Canary Island Date Palm - Click to enlarge
Canary Island Date Palm
Phoenix canariensis
The Canary Island Date Palm can grow over 20 m tall with a single erect trunk that is often around 1m in diameter. In older plants the thick trunk is covered in leaf scars that create a diamond shaped pattern. Leaves are in the form of large fronds, up to 6m long and 50cm wide. Produces long, sharp spines on the leaf base. HabitatNative to the Canary Islands, the tree prefers full sun exposure well drained soil, though is not picky about soil type. It is naturalised amongst cultivated plants in parks and roadside plantings, often invading neighbouring disturbed natural vegetation. Also recorded with many exotic species alongside the Murrumbidgee River in Wagga Wagga. DispersalOnly propagates by seed. Can be dispersed by falling fruits or animals that transport the seed. Look-a-likesCan be mistaken for various other types of palm tree, particularly when small. ControlCan be controlled by cutting down the main stem. Ensure that seedlings are controlled under established trees, particularly after fruiting. If removing trees, ensure that fruit is properly disposed of and are not able to germinate in unwanted areas.
Cape Ivy
Cape Ivy - Click to enlarge
Cape Ivy
Delairea odorata
Cape ivy is a non-woody vine with thin but slightly fleshy, glossy leaves with angular lobes. The flowers are yellow and daisy-like, but lacking conspicuous petals, sweet-scented, and are produced in winter or early spring. Seed is small, with a parachute of fine hairs to assist its dispersal. HabitatOn forest edges, around towns or old farms, often along rivers and roadsides. The plant climbs into the lower branches of trees, smothers smaller plants such as shrubs, and can carpet the ground so thoroughly as to exclude all other plants. DispersalIt can reproduce vegetatively, from stem segments dumped or transported by floods. Also from wind-blown seed. Look-a-likesMany native Senecio species have similar yellow flowers, but all are herbs or small shrubs, not climbers. Two species of weedy climbing groundsel occur in the region. Senecio tamoides is very similar to cape ivy, with smaller, slightly thicker angular leaves and much showier sweetly scented yellow flowers with long petals. Senecio angulatus is a more robust plant with stiff scrambling stems and smaller, much thicker, fleshier leaves and yellow petalled flowers. ControlHand-pull young plants, or cut through stems and leave upper parts to die off in place. Spray regrowth, adding a surfactant to improve penetration of the waxy leaves. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem.
Cape Wattle
Cape Wattle - Click to enlarge
Cape Wattle
Paraserianthes lophantha
Straggly evergreen shrub or small tree to 8m high, but usually smaller. The twigs are slightly ribbed, with the narrow raised ribs running down the stem from the base of each leaf. Leaves are compound, of numerous small leaflets similar to those of some wattles (Acacia species), but bigger than those of most south coast wattles. The cream flowers are also wattle-like, but are carried in bottlebrush style clusters. The pods are broad and flat, 8-12 cm long, containing 6-12 black shiny seeds, and are very similar to those of wattles. HabitatCape wattle is a West Australian native which has been widely promoted as a garden plant in the last twenty years or so. It is now extensively naturalised in eastern Australia, where it invades bush around towns and gardens. It can become dominant in bush and coastal woodland. It is a very fast growing plant tolerant of poor soils, and adapted to recolonising from seed after fires DispersalSpread from seed in dumped garden waste, and by birds, ants and in contaminated soil and water. Like the true wattles, cape wattle produces huge seed crops, which are very long-lived in the soil. They are likely to germinate profusely after fire, so that they can go from being a minor weed to becoming dominant in burnt bush, if there is no control effort after a fire. Look-a-likesDistinguished from local native wattles by the bottlebrush-like flower clusters. The most similar south coast wattle is sunshine wattle (Acacia terminalis), which also has the ribbed stems, bipinnate leaves, and flat brown seed pods. The leaves of sunshine wattle consist of 2-6 pairs of pinnae, which are further divided into 8-20 pairs of pinnules. There is a single conspicuous boat-shaped gland on the leaf stalk at the point where the first pair of pinnae meet the stalk. The leaves of cape wattle have many more leaflets and two raised red glands on the leaf stalk, one about half way between the junction of the leaf stalk with the branch and the first pair of pinnae, and one between the final pair of pinnae at the leaf tip. The introduced garden plant, silk tree has similar leaves and pods, but its flowers are pink. It has not been recorded escaping from gardens. ControlFire can be used to stimulate bulk germination of the soil seed bank, as long as the resources are available to do follow-up control on the resulting seedlings. Spray or hand-pull these. Cut and paint or stem inject young vigorous plants. Old plants usually will not re-sprout if just cut down, without the use of herbicides.
Cape/ Montpellier broom
Cape/ Montpellier broom - Click to enlarge
Cape/ Montpellier broom
Genista monspessulana
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
An erect and spreading shrub growing up to 3 m tall, its leaves are shortly stalked and divided into three relatively broad leaflets 5-30 mm long. The bright yellow pea-shaped flowers 8-12 mm long are borne singly or in small clusters, these flower clusters may occur at the tips of the stems as well as on the short side branches. Its hairy pods 15-30 mm long are brown or black in colour and contain several rounded seeds. HabitatA weed of roadsides, railway lines, gardens, drains, fence lines, disturbed sites, waste areas, water ways, grasslands, open woodlands, forest margins and pastures. It is primarily found in temperate regions but may occasionally be present in sub-tropical regions. DispersalThis plant reproduces only by seed. These seeds are dispersed short distances up to 3 m when they are ejected from the mature pods. Longer distance dispersal can occur via vehicles, machinery, water, birds and other animals and also in contaminated agricultural produce, soil and dumped in garden waste. Look-a-likesCape broom (Genista monspessulana) is similar to flax-leaf broom (Genista linifolia), Madeira broom (Genista stenopetala), broom (Cytisus scoparius subsp. scoparius), spiny broom (Calicotome spinosa), Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) and gorse (Ulex europaeus) at a distance. All of these introduced shrubs produce masses of yellow pea-shaped flowers. Control For large broom plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up work. Spray if seedling growth is prolific, or hand-pull. Prolific seed production and long viability means a large soil seed bank, which will continue to germinate for many years after mature plants are removed. Fire may be helpful in germinating most seed so seedlings can be sprayed, but fire without follow-up control of regrowth is only likely to make the situation worse.
Capeweed
Capeweed - Click to enlarge
Capeweed
Arctotheca calendula
A flat or low spreading rosette, with long narrow, deeply lobed, greyish-green leaves spreading from a central point. Flowers are typical daisies, with cream to yellow petals and a black centre. HabitatA weed of bare ground such as road verges, and heavily grazed pastures. It may take over degraded pasture. It can taint milk, and high nitrate levels have caused death in sheep and cattle. DispersalSeed is wind-spread, or spread in contaminated soil. Look-a-likesThe garden plant gazania has a similar low habit and similar flowers. It occasionally naturalises on road verges or from dumping in bush. It forms a spreading clump, rather than consisting of a single rosette. ControlChip out small infestations with a mattock, being careful to sever the root well below ground level, to prevent re-sprouting from the crown. Spot-spray or boom spray for large infestations.
Cassia / Downy Senna
Cassia / Downy Senna - Click to enlarge
Cassia / Downy Senna
Senna multiglandulosa
This is a hairy or woolly shrub which can grow to six meters in height, becoming treelike. The leaves are each made up of several pairs of thick, hairy, oval-shaped leaflets each measuring up to about 4 centimeters long. The leaves are studded with visible resin glands between the leaflets. The inflorescence is a raceme of several flowers, each with five golden yellow petals measuring 1 to 2 centimeters long. The fruit beanlike pod, coated in hairs, reaching up to 12 centimeters long and filled with seeds. HabitatMostly found in bush around towns and old farms. DispersalSeed in dumped garden waste, in water and in contaminated soil, rarely by animals. Look-a-likesSome species of native Senna occur in the region. Senna aciphylla prefers rocky sites, while Senna odorata grows in eucalypt forest and on rainforest margins. These two species have 8-13 pairs of leaflets with glands between all leaflet pairs. Senna clavigera occurs on rainforest margins north from Shoalhaven. It has a single gland where the leaf joins the stem and 4-7 leaflet pairs. Other less similar native shrubs are the purple-flowered pea Indigofera australis and coffee bush (Breynia oblongifolia). Downy Senna closely resembles the very common weed Easter Senna (senna pedula). ControlCut and paint, hand pull or dig. The whole root system needs to be removed to avoid re-sprouting. Plants will re-sprout from the roots after fire. Seeds remain viable for a long time and may germinate profusely after fire or disturbance.
Cassia / Easter Cassia
Cassia / Easter Cassia - Click to enlarge
Cassia / Easter Cassia
Senna pendula var. glabrata
Is an erect or sprawling shrub usually growing 2-4 m tall, the stems are much-branched and its once-compound leaves have 3 to 6 pairs of leaflets. The board leaflets 1-5 cm long and 5-20 mm wide have rounded tips and yellowish margins. Its bright yellow flowers about 3 cm across have five large petals and are borne in leafy clusters at the tips of the branches. Its fruit are cylindrical beanlike pods that hang downwards. HabitatA weed of waterways, gardens, disturbed sites, waste areas, roadsides, closed forests, forest margins and urban bushland in tropical, sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions. Very common in the Eurobodalla. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed. Seeds are often dispersed in dumped garden waste, they also be spread by water or in contaminated soil. Look-a-likesSimilar to Downy Senna, which is also a weed, but the downy form is not very common in the area wheras Easter Cassia is. Emerging seedlings of Easter Cassia can be confused with the native Coffee Bush (Breynia oblongifolia) however Breynia is a less vigerous, slender and smaller shrub with purple flowers and alternate leaves. Control Hand pull seedlings, cut and paint larger plants. Large infestations of seedlings can be stimulated by fire or removal of parent plants and these mass seedlings can be spot sprayed.
Cassia / Smooth Senna
Cassia / Smooth Senna - Click to enlarge
Cassia / Smooth Senna
Senna septemtrionalis
A shrub or small tree growing 1-5 m tall. Its compound leaves 6-10 cm long have 3-5 pairs of leaflets with pointed tips, these leaves have a small cone-shaped structure between the lowest 3 or 4 pairs of leaflets. Its yellow flowers have 5 petals and 6 or 7 fully-formed stamens, two of which are larger than the others. Cylindrical bean like pods 5-10 cm long and 7-12 mm wide. HabitatA weed of moist forests, rainforests and riparian vegetation in tropical/sub-tropical and warmer regions. It is also occasionally found in open woodlands, along roadsides, and in disturbed sites and waste areas. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed. Seeds are often dispersed in dumped garden waste, they also be spread by water or in contaminated soil. Look-a-likesSome species of native Senna occur in the region. Senna aciphylla prefers rocky sites, while Senna odorata grows in eucalypt forest and on rainforest margins. These two species have 8-13 pairs of leaflets with glands between all leaflet pairs. Senna clavigera occurs on rainforest margins north from Shoalhaven. It has a single gland where the leaf joins the stem and 4-7 leaflet pairs. Other less similar native shrubs are the purple-flowered pea Indigofera australis and coffee bush (Breynia oblongifolia). Smooth Senna closely resembles the very common weed Easter Senna (senna pedula). ControlHand pull seedlings, cut and paint larger plants. Large infestations of seedlings can be stimulated by fire or removal of parent plants and these mass seedlings can be spot sprayed.
Castor Oil plant
Castor Oil plant - Click to enlarge
Castor Oil plant
Ricinus communis
An open branching evergreen shrub 2 to 3m high with pithy stems. Leaves are very large (20-60cm in diameter), round in outline, but deeply lobed in a hand-like shape with up to 10 lobes. Crushed leaves have an unpleasant smell. Flowers are in terminal clusters with the red female flowers above yellow male flowers. The fruit is a large (to 3 cm diameter) spiny capsule containing three large seeds. HabitatNot widely naturalised on the south coast, but occasionally seen around towns in the northern part of the area. Generally only invades already disturbed sites such as forest edges, where it can prevent regeneration by native plants. Frost tender, it behaves as an annual in cooler climates. The leaves are poisonous, and the seeds are very poisonous if swallowed (two seeds can kill a person). They are prettily marked in silver and brown, making them attractive to children. Despite their toxicity, they are the source of castor oil ,with which unfortunate children were dosed in earlier times to keep them regular. DispersalSeed is ejected explosively for several metres, and can be spread in water, and in contaminated soil, or by slashing. Look-a-likesThe white waxy bloom on the young stems and very large lobed leaves are quite distinctive, but one native plant, bitter bush (Adriana tomentosa, formerly Adriana glabrata) could possibly be mistaken for castor oil plant. Its leaves are smaller, but may be deeply lobed. It also has the pithy stems, and often grows close to water in disturbed situations. It is uncommon on the south coast ControlCut and paint mature plants, preferably before they begin to develop seed. Spray any regrowth. Seedlings may be hand-pulled or dug. Spraying should also be done prior to seeding, in spring or early summer. Follow-up control of seedlings will be needed for several years. Handle this plant carefully because of the seed toxicity.
Cat\'s claw creeper
Cat\'s claw creeper  - Click to enlarge
Cat\'s claw creeper
Dolichandra unguis-cati
Cat\'s claw creeper is a woody vine that invades forests and riparian zones, killing trees and understorey plants. Has numerous stems, generally up to 15 cm thick, which climb vertically and also creep along the ground and over other vegetation. Underground roots are much branched and produce tubers at intervals along their length. Tubers can be up to 40 cm long and each one can produce multiple stems. Flowers are produced in spring. They are large, yellow and trumpet shaped. seedpods are long and narrow, 15-45 cm long and 8-12 mm wide. Capsules contain numerous two-winged seeds that are 2-4 cm long. It is a Weed of National Significance. HabitatCat\'s claw creeper is native in Central and South America and the West Indies. It is widely naturalised around the world, occurring in southern Africa, south-eastern USA and Hawaii, Asia, the Pacific Islands, Republic of Cape Verde, Mascarene and recently in Europe. Cat\'s claw creeper grows in a range of soil types, but does not tolerate poorly drained soils. Plants are capable of surviving heavy frost but seed germination is reduced at low temperatures. DispersalCat\'s claw creeper produces numerous seeds with papery wings that aid dispersal, particularly by water and wind. Although seed viability is low, seed production is high and some seeds produce multiple seedlings. Established plants can reproduce vegetatively from tubers and creeping stems. Detached tubers and cuttings may resprout in moist conditions. Seed capsules mature in late summer to autumn, approximately 8-10 months after flowering. Seed begins to drop in late May, with peaks in July and August. Seeds germinate best when not buried and will germinate readily in moist leaf litter. Roots start to develop tubers in their second year and plants may be well established before they start to flower. ControlDense infestations of cat\'s claw creeper are very difficult to control due to its numerous lianas, abundant seed and ability to resprout from the tubers, sometimes for years. In selecting the most suitable control techniques it is essential to minimise adverse impacts on native vegetation and to encourage its subsequent recovery. The methods chosen should be adapted to the type of native vegetation invaded, stage in the restoration program, size and growth stage of the weeds and level of infestation. Weeding should proceed gradually as creation of large gaps can lead to further weed invasion. Follow up is essential. Regrowth should be treated before it reaches the foliage of the host tree, or the hanging ends of previously cut stems of cat\'s claw creeper. Regrowth may require treatment for five or more years and ongoing monitoring is needed. Identify locations where cat\'s claw creeper occurs as isolated plants or sparse populations. Remove seedlings and treat isolated plants or clumps first and follow up. Cat\'s claw creeper can spread along rivers, particularly from seeds dispersed by floodwaters. Keep uninfested areas free of cat\'s claw creeper. Can be treated by cut and paint or foliar spraying. It is essential to monitor for regrowth from roots, tubers and stumps after physical or chemical treatment.
Caulerpa
Caulerpa - Click to enlarge
Caulerpa
Caulerpa taxifolia
Caulerpa is a seaweed which grows in saltwater on the floor of coastal lakes, estuaries and harbours. It grows from creeping stolons, which are long branching runners, attached to the floor of the lake by root-like rhizoids. Leaves are fern or feather-like and can be from 5-65cm long. HabitatCaulerpa has a wide range of environmental tolerances. It can grow at various depths. It is likely to overwhelm local native seagrasses, which provide food and shelter for fish and their young, and numerous other aquatic animals. Caulerpa is not palatable to fish, and they tend to avoid areas where it grows. It therefore has the potential to greatly damage fisheries. Its natural distribution is the tropical areas of the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but it has invaded many other sites around the world. It has proven itself capable of growing in non-tropical waters. For example it has been found in some South Australian sites, as well as in several sites in Queensland and New South Wales, one of which is Lake Conjola north of Ulladulla. Dispersal Initial introduction in Australia may have been from discarded material from saltwater aquaria, as the plant has been sold as an aquarium ornamental plant. Dispersal is from broken off pieces of the stolon. It can grow from fragments as small as 2mm long. The plant is likely to be broken up by disturbance from such things as fishing lines, anchors and outboard motors. Fragments can drift around in the water, to settle and form new colonies, or they may attach to anything that has been in infested water such as boats, fishing tackle, ropes and chains, wetsuits or boots. They may even attach to swimming people or animals. Pieces can survive out of the water for up to ten days, so there is great potential for them to be moved from one water body to another on boats or equipment, or even by dogs swimming in the water. Look-a-likesNone of the native seagrasses in the region are similar to caulerpa. Most native seagrasses have long narrow strap-like leaves, varying from a few mm to about 1cm wide. One, Halophila has small paddle-shaped oval leaves. None have feathery leaves. Some freshwater plants have feathery looking foliage, but caulerpa does not grow in freshwater. ControlReport any suspected occurrences of caulerpa anywhere other than Lake Conjola immediately to NSW Fisheries, with an accurate map of the location, the depth of the infestation and the substrate (sand, rocky reef, mud). Take a specimen of the plant and press it between several thicknesses of newspaper under a heavy object such as a large book, so that your identification can be confirmed. Avoid boating, fishing, swimming or swimming your dog in infested areas. Check your boat and equipment after using it in any coastal lakes or estuaries.
Cayenne snakeweed
Cayenne snakeweed - Click to enlarge
Cayenne snakeweed
Stachytarpheta cayennensis
A small perennial shrub with a woody rootstock that grows to 1-2.5 m tall, its stems are four-angled when young and its leaves are oppositely arranged. Its stems and leaves are mostly hairless and its leaves have a wrinkled texture and sharply toothed margins. Its dark blue, purple, or violet flowers are arranged on long, curved, slender spikes at the top of the branches, these flowers are tubular in shape with 5 broad petal lobes. HabitatA weed of forests and forest margins, native bushland, roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas, waterways, gardens, plantation crops and pastures in tropical and sub-tropical regions. DispersalThese seeds are most commonly spread in dumped garden waste, soil, and contaminated agricultural produce. Also may become attached to animals, clothing, vehicles and machinery. Look-a-likesDark blue snakeweed (Stachytarpheta cayennensis) is very similar to light blue snakeweed (Stachytarpheta jamaicensis), white snakeweed (Stachytarpheta australis) and pink snakeweed (Stachytarpheta mutabilis). ControlHand remove small infestations prior to seeding. Spot spray.
Century Plant
Century Plant - Click to enlarge
Century Plant
Agave americana
A long-lived plant forming clumps of leaves 1-2 m high and 2-4 m across. Its very large leaves (1-2 m long and 15-25 cm wide) are somewhat fleshy and are sometimes bent backwards near their tips. Leaves are normally bluish-grey to greyish-green in colour, but forms with variegated leaves are relatively common. The leaf margins are coarsely toothed, with prickly teeth, and the leaves end in a large dark-brown spine (1.5-6 cm long). When fully mature this plant develops a massive much-branched flower cluster on a robust flowering stem 6-12 m tall. Its upright flowers (7-10.5 cm long) are yellow or greenish-yellow in colour and have six very prominent stamens. Its fruit are large capsules (3.5-8 cm long) that eventually split open to release their seeds. HabitatThis species is often naturalised around old habitations and along roadsides in temperate, sub-tropical and semi-arid regions. However it also grows in pastures, grasslands, open woodlands, coastal environs and along watercourses. DispersalThis species produces seed, but it mainly reproduces itself vegetatively via suckers. This plant spreads laterally via suckers and can form very large and dense colonies over time. Young plants produced in this manner can be dispersed downstream during floods. The seeds are also dispersed by both wind and water. Plants are most commonly spread into bushland areas in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesThree forms of this species are known to be naturalised in Australia. They can be distinguished by the following differences: Agave americana var. americana has bluish-grey or greyish green leaves that are often bent backwards at their tips (i.e. they are reflexed). The spines at the tips of its leaves are relatively large (3-5 cm long). Agave americana var. americana Marginata has variegated leaves (i.e. they are green with yellowish margins) that are often bent backwards at their tips (i.e. they are reflexed). The spines at the tips of its leaves are relatively large (3-5 cm long). Agave americana var. expansa has bluish-grey or greyish green leaves that are mostly borne upright (i.e. they are rarely reflexed). The spines at the tips of its leaves are relatively small (2-3 cm long). Century plant (Agave americana) may be easily confused with the sisals (i.e. Agave sisalana and Agave angustifolia ) and the false agaves (i.e. Furcraea foetida and Furcraea selloa ). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: century plant (Agave americana) has very large greyish or variegated leaves that are usually 1-2 m long on adult plants. These leaves have numerous, relatively large prickles (5-10 mm long) along their margins. Its flowers are borne in an upright position and are yellow or yellowish-green in colour. This species produces large capsules and usually doesn‘t develop plantlets (i.e. bulbils) on the branches of its flower clusters. ControlHand remove small plantlets (pups). Larger plants may require machinery to safely manually remove.
Cherry Laurel
Cherry Laurel - Click to enlarge
Cherry Laurel
Prunus laurocerasus
Tall evergreen shrub or small tree 2-14m high, with smooth grey bark. Leaves are alternately arranged on the stems, 7-15 cm long, dark green and glossy above and paler green underneath. They have a stiff, leathery texture and a prominent yellow main vein which runs into a stout yellowish leaf stalk. There may be small teeth on the leaf margins near the tip, or leaf margins may be smooth and slightly rolled down. Crushed leaves give off a hydrocyanic acid (bitter almonds) smell. The fragrant flowers are produced in spring and are small (8-10mm diameter) and white with 5 petals and long stamens, in elongated clusters 5-15 cm long carried in the leaf axils. Fruits are pointed 10-12 mm long berries ripening from green to red and then purple-black. HabitatSometimes found in old gardens, where it was used as a hedge or a feature plant, and still occasionally seen on sale in nurseries. Birds spread the seed and it may naturalise around towns and old farms. Generally seen in moist shady sites such as river banks. The seed can germinate in dense shade. Both the leaves and the fruits are very poisonous. The spreading form and dense foliage casts a deep shade which can suppress native vegetation. DispersalBirds and dumped seed-bearing garden waste. Branches can form roots where they droop down to the ground, so vegetative spread can also occur. Look-a-likesAnother uncommon introduced garden plant, Portugal laurel is very similar, but the leaves are more conspicuously toothed along the full length of the margins. A native rainforest plant, buff hazelwood is quite similar. It too is a shrub or small tree to 15m high, with alternate thick, leathery leaves, which will make a rattling noise if the branch is shaken. The leaves are similar in size and shape to those of cherry laurel but are usually dull rather than glossy above, with a conspicuous yellowish midrib. Buff hazelwood is an uncommon rainforest plant found north from about Orbost in Victoria. It is most likely to occur in relatively undisturbed sites in sheltered gullies, while cherry laurel is more likely to be found in gardens or in moist situations close to old gardens. However, because of its bird-distributed fruits and tolerance for deep shade, cherry laurel can also invade undisturbed sites far from habitation. ControlMature plants will re-sprout from the base if burnt or cut down so ensure that herbicide is applied immediately to cut stems. Hand-pull small plants.
Chilean needle grass
Chilean needle grass - Click to enlarge
Chilean needle grass
Nassella neesiana
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A tall grass about 1m high, with mid to dark green leaves up to 5mm wide, held either erect or spreading. Leaves usually flat, or partly in-rolled, and are slightly rough to the touch along the margins. They are strongly ribbed on the upper surface. There are tufts of erect hairs where the leaf blade joins the stem (pulling the leaf blade back from the stem may make these more obvious). Flowering stems are erect or arching, slightly rough to the touch, with a seed head to 40cm long. The branches of the seed head may be open and drooping, or held close to the stem. The joints (nodes) of the flowering stems are bent, with fine short white hairs on the node, thinning out on the leaf sheath above the node, making the nodes look white compared to the rest of the stem. The seed is sharply pointed and finely hairy at the tip, 6-10mm long, narrowing into a long (40-90mm) awn at the upper end. Each individual seed is enclosed by a pair of reddish-purple glumes, which eventually dry to straw-coloured. The best distinguishing feature is the presence of a collar of short hairs at the point where the long awn attaches to the seed. Most native spear grasses do not have this feature, although they may have a sparse tuft of long hairs in the same position. The awns twist when mature, and may tangle together, causing clumping of the seed heads. When mature and dry, the awns are twice-bent, not uniformly curved. HabitatChilean needle grass has not reached the south coast yet, but it has become common in Canberra and Shires to the east and south in recent years, where it has been spread on roadsides and other grassy areas by mowing. Chilean needle grass is tolerant of a very wide range of soils and conditions, so it has the potential to be very invasive over a large part of the country, in both pasture and native vegetation. DispersalThe seed attaches to animals and clothing, and can be spread in soil, on machinery and vehicles. Look-a-likesThe native spear grasses, of which there are several species on the south coast, can look quite similar. Most native spear grasses found on the coast have narrower leaves, often with the margins rolled inwards. Those with broad flat leaves may have the leaf underside with a whitish bloom, which Chilean needle grass does not have. They all have pointy seeds with a long curved or bent awn, and hairy tip, and may appear red before drying to straw colour. However, most do not have the collar of hairs at the seed / awn junction. The seed will need to be grabbed by the awn and pulled free of the enclosing glumes to see the collar of hairs. ControlEarly detection and removal is vital. Seed is long-lived in the soil and is produced in large quantities, so prevention of seeding is important. Mowing with a catcher mower during flowering will reduce seed set, but the clippings must be burnt. This grass is very unusual in producing some seed hidden within the bases of the flowering stems, so mowing to prevent seeding will be only partially effective. Care would also need to be taken to thoroughly clean the mower before using it anywhere else. If plants are dug out, they cannot be left to dry out in place because of this production of hidden seed. The whole plant needs to be destroyed. Chilean needle grass will grow and set seed at any time of year. Spraying is best done when plants are actively growing but before they have begun to produce seed. However, identification may be difficult prior to flowering. Non-selective or grass-specific herbicides can be used, but repeat treatment may be needed. Be very careful if working around seeding infestations not to transport seed attached to clothing or machinery.
Chinese Boxthorn
Chinese Boxthorn - Click to enlarge
Chinese Boxthorn
Lycium barbarum
Lycium barbarum is a deciduous woody perennial plant, growing 1–3 m high. The tree has weak arching branches, and the side branches are often reduced to short leafless spines. It develops an edible egg shaped red berry, known as the Gogi berry. HabitatIt is often found growing in disturbed sites, native bushland, and riverbanks, often forming dense thickets along the latter. DispersalThe species is dispersed into natural areas by birds and other animals that eat its fruit. Look-a-likesChinese boxthorn (Lycium barbarum) is very similar to African boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) and its distribution and impact in Australia may be under-estimated as a result of it being confused with this species. Like African boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum), it is dispersed into natural areas by birds and other animals that eat its fruit and may cause similar environmental impacts (e.g. form dense thickets along waterways to the detriment of native species). Control Hand pull seedlings, cut and paint larger plants.
Chinese violet
Chinese violet - Click to enlarge
Chinese violet
Asystasia gangetica ssp micrantha
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A. gangetica ssp. micrantha is a perennial creeper that grows rapidly, up to 0.5 m high alone but to 3 m high on supporting vegetation. It forms roots when the nodes (the joins between segments on the stem) make contact with moist soil, ultimately forming sprawling mats. Both the leaves and the stems have scattered hairs. Occurring in opposite pairs, the leaves are oval, sometimes nearly triangular in shape, paler on the underside, and may be up to 25-165 mm long and 5-55 mm wide. White bell-shaped flowers, 20–25 mm long, have purple blotches in two parallel lines inside. HabitatMost infestations are small and occur on vacant residential land, along fencelines and in neglected garden beds. Several larger outbreaks are present along roadsides and this plant has real potential to become more widespread if not kept in check. DispersalSeed and segments of leaf, stem and roots. The main method of dispersal over long distances is by human activities, such as mining, gardening, landscaping and road works. The dumping of garden waste is thought to have caused most of the outbreaks in New South Wales, although it has also spread at a great rate from garden plantings. Look-a-likesSimilar habit and potential weed threat as Wandering Jew (Tradescantia fluminensis) which is a very common weed in the South Coast, particularly on creek and river banks. ControlHand pulling seedlings and small plants is suited to small infestations with easy access. contact Council for assistance with larger infestations.
Chinese wormwood / Mugwort
Chinese wormwood / Mugwort - Click to enlarge
Chinese wormwood / Mugwort
Artemisia verlotiorum
A tall erect unbranched perennial herb, with deeply lobed, greyish-green leaves spread up the stems. The underside of the leaf is white. Flowers are very small, in elongated branched terminal spikes and are reddish brown. Flowering is in late summer. The plant dies back to the rootstock over winter. HabitatSandy river banks, such as the Bega River, close to Bega. The plant has a spreading system of underground runners (rhizomes), which can fill the top layers of soil, out-competing other plants for soil moisture. The density of stands smothers other groundcover plants, and prevents regeneration of native trees and shrubs. The sand stabilising effects can cause the formation of islands and influence river behaviour. DispersalSeed is wind-spread, or spread in contaminated soil. Removal of sand from the river for building projects or surfacing dirt roads has the potential to spread this weed more widely. Local spread of clumps is by rhizomes Look-a-likesWhen not flowering the plant has a chrysanthemum-like appearance. It can be mistaken for perennial ragweed but this species lacks the white leaf underside, and is not yet known on the south coast. ControlHand-pull small plants. Well established infestations will need to be sprayed.
Climbing Asparagus Fern
Climbing Asparagus Fern - Click to enlarge
Climbing Asparagus Fern
Asparagus scandens
Declared Biosecurity Matter A long-lived climber or scrambling sub-shrub with woody and prickly stems. Its stems bear short side-branches and with numerous tiny leaves that give them a ferny appearance. These needle-like leaves (6-15 mm long and only about 0.5 mm wide) are borne in small clusters. Its tiny white flowers, each with six petals are produced in small clusters along the branchlets. Its rounded berries (5-6 mm across) turn from green to orange, and become somewhat shrivelled, as they mature. HabitatInvades forests, rainforest margins, open woodlands (particularly those near habitation), urban bushland, and in the vegetation along waterways (i.e. in riparian areas). It is also common in disturbed sites and waste areas, along roadsides, and in parks and gardens. DispersalThis plant reproduces mainly by seed. Its berries are readily eaten and spread by birds and other animals. The seeds may also be spread in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesClimbing asparagus fern (Asparagus africanus) is very similar to another species known as climbing asparagus fern (Asparagus plumosus) and similar to ground asparagus fern (Asparagus aethiopicus Sprengeri), bridal veil (Asparagus declinatus), bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), garden asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), sicklethorn (Asparagus falcatus), Ming asparagus fern (Aspargaus retrofractus) and other asparagus ferns (Asparagus scandens and Asparagus virgatus). ControlMost species of Asparagus are treated the same way, by crowning out the rhizome and disposing of it. If the removed rhizome is left on site the rhizome can reshoot, so disposal needs to be into a red bin or taken to the tip. Can be effectively spot sprayed with a selective woody weed herbicide and surfactant in periods of active growth.
Climbing Groundsel / Creeping Groundsel
Climbing Groundsel / Creeping Groundsel - Click to enlarge
Climbing Groundsel / Creeping Groundsel
Senecio angulatus
May be a shrub with long canes which will climb, or if a suitable support is available, it becomes a conventional climber, twining around its supports. Its leaves are glossy, thick and fleshy, and bluntly lobed. Flowers are daisy-like with yellow petals. Seed is dandelion-like. HabitatFound around towns or old farms. Tolerates drought, and salinity. It can be very invasive in the understorey of open forest, as a shrub, or climb into trees and shrubs. Likely to smother shrubs or smaller trees. DispersalIt can reproduce vegetatively, from stem segments dumped or transported by floods, as well as rooting from the branch tips around the edges of the infestation. Also from wind-blown seed Look-a-likesMany native Senecio species have similar yellow flowers, but all are herbs or small shrubs, not climbers. Cape ivy is similar, but is a weak-stemmed climber, not shrub like, and has thinner textured leaves, which are sharply, not bluntly, angular. ControlSelective herbicides are most effective. Young plants can be hand-pulled or dug. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem.
Clockweed/Beeblossom
Clockweed/Beeblossom - Click to enlarge
Clockweed/Beeblossom
Gaura spp
Popular cottage garden plant. Upright annual herb, usually with unbranched stems which can become woody near the base. Leaves form a rosette and decrease in size up the stems, are broadly oblong & often sparsely toothed. Flowers are symmetric with smaller petals, white becoming reddish with age, in spike-like clusters. Capsule is woody, oblong & ridged. HabitatPastures, roadsides, reserves, remnant bushland and waterways. DispersalProlific seeder particularly in open/disturbed environments. Look-a-likesEmerging seedlings may be confused with African Daisy seedlings. Control Can be mattocked out however take care not to leave rhizomes in the ground. Spot spray emerging seedlings.
Cobblers Pegs
Cobblers Pegs - Click to enlarge
Cobblers Pegs
Bidens pilosa
A common and short-lived herbaceous plant with upright stems growing up to 1.8 m tall. Its stems are square in cross section and green to purplish in colour. Its paired leaves (2.5-13.5 cm long) have toothed margins and vary in nature depending on their position on the plant. They may be either oval in shape, deeply-lobed or once-compound with 3-7 leaflets. Its small flower-heads (5-15 mm across) have numerous tiny yellow tubular flowers in the centre and sometimes also have some white ‘petals’ 2-8 mm long. Its dark brown or black seeds (4-16 mm long) adhere to clothing and animals hence the name Cobblers ‘peg‘. HabitatGenerally found growing in full sun or partial shade on grazing land, roadsides or waste ground, but it also invades remnant grassy vegetation in farming areas. It will tolerate dry infertile soils and often is most prolific on warm north-facing rocky slopes. Burrs are a nuisance on sheep and other fleece-producing livestock, and to people. DispersalBurrs attach to livestock, clothing, and are spread in mud and soil. They also float on water. Look-a-likesNo other plant looks very similar, except for the native Indian weed (Sigesbeckia orientalis ) another member of the daisy family which has yellow flowers. Its leaves are arrowhead shaped, not three lobed, and although its seeds do stick to clothing, and skin, they do so because they are sticky, not with hooked hairs. Another weed in the daisy family, fleabane (Conyza albida) is also often referred to as cobblers pegs, because of the shape of the flower buds. ControlChip or hand pull prior to the burrs forming, or spot spray. Take care to avoid walking through seeding plants and spreading the seed. If removing seeding plants, bag them for burning or deep burial, to avoid spreading the seed.
Common Thornapple
Common Thornapple - Click to enlarge
Common Thornapple
Datura stramonium
An erect annual herb, usually about 1m high, which may be single stemmed if small but is usually branched. Stems are smooth and stout. Leaves have pointed lobes on the margins and a strong unpleasant smell when handled. The flower is a large white trumpet to about 8cm long. Spiny seed capsules form at forks between branches. They are green at first, ripening to brown and split at the top to release numerous black seeds. HabitatGenerally found growing in full sun on grazing land, roadsides or waste ground. Prefers disturbed sites with fertile soils such as stock camps or riverbanks where it can become abundant. All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans with some early records of child deaths after eating the seeds. Some people may develop headache, nausea or dermatitis from close contact with the plant. Toxicity to stock is variable. Horses and pigs have been poisoned but cattle appear to eat it without ill effect. The disagreeable smell and taste would discourage consumption, but dried material included in hay could cause problems. Seed included in harvesting of grain crops can also be toxic to humans eating products made from the grain or to stock fed the grain. DispersalSeed and seed capsules float on water, and are spread in mud on machinery and vehicles. Feeding of contaminated hay or grain or sowing of contaminated agricultural seed. Look-a-likesOther species of Datura are grown as garden plants for their showy flowers and are not known to be invasive. There are other weedy species of Datura which occur in western parts of NSW and could occasionally turn up on the coast from contaminated hay or seed. All look quite similar. ControlSmall infestations can be chipped out prior to the seed capsules forming or spot sprayed. If seed has already formed, collect and dispose of it carefully (burning or deep burial). Herbicides will be more effective on young than mature plants.
Common Tree Pear / Drooping tree pear
Common Tree Pear / Drooping tree pear - Click to enlarge
Common Tree Pear / Drooping tree pear
Opuntia monacantha
An upright, fleshy, tree-like plant usually growing 2-3 m tall, its stems consist of a series of very flattened fleshy segments. These spiny stem segments are hairless and some of them usually droop towards the ground. Its showy flowers 3-6 cm across are yellow with reddish-coloured markings on their outer petals, the fleshy fruit turn purplish-red as they mature. HabitatMostly found in sub-tropical, semi-arid and warmer temperate environments. It is a weed of pastures, open woodlands, grasslands, roadsides, railways, creekbanks, disturbed sites, waste areas and sometimes also coastal environments. DispersalReproduces by seed and from stem fragments. Stem fragments may become attached to animals, footwear and vehicles. They are also dispersed by flood waters and in dumped garden waste. Stem segments readily produce roots. The fruit are eaten by various animals and the seeds then spread by their droppings. Look-a-likesDrooping tree pear (Opuntia monacantha) is very similar to spiny pest pear (Opuntia dillenii), common prickly pear (Opuntia stricta), Indian fig (Opuntia ficus-indica), white-spined prickly pear (Opuntia streptacantha) and velvety tree pear (Opuntia tomentosa). ControlPlants can be dug out, but need to be disposed of very carefully because of their ability to take root again if left on the ground. Segments will remain viable even if hung up in vegetation or placed on rocks away from soil, and they may be relocated onto soil by wind, water or animals. Be very careful when handling any prickly pears, as the spines easily get into the flesh and break off, causing irritation. Wear leather gloves and thick clothing and shoes. Kitchen tongs are useful for handling the smaller tiger pear segments. Spraying with woody weed specific herbicide can be effective, but a high concentration is needed. Biological controls (the Cactoblastis moth, or cochineal insects) are effective in warmer climates, but in southern areas they need to be reintroduced after winter. They may weaken plants and prevent seeding, but will not eradicate infestations.
Coolatai Grass
Coolatai Grass - Click to enlarge
Coolatai Grass
Hyparrhenia hirta
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Coolatai grass is a long lived summer active perennial that produces short rhizomes that forms a dense grass tussocks and grows to 1.5 m. It has greyish-green leaves that turn orangey-red in winter, particularly after frost. The leaves are harsh to touch. Leaf sheaths are usually hairless and keeled. The leaf blade is flat and 2-3 mm wide with the ligule 2-3 mm long and minutely toothed. HabitatA weed of roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas, higher quality pastures, grasslands, rangelands and open woodlands in temperate, sup-tropical and semi-arid regions. DispersalCoolatai grass reproduces mainly by seed, these seeds can be spread short distances by wind and can float on water. Roadside slashing, machinery and animals may also disperse seeds shorter distances, while longer distance dispersal can occur on vehicles, in mud and in contaminated agricultural produce. Look-a-likesCoolatai grass can be easily confused with the native Tambookie grass and the introduced Thatch grass. Control Coolatai grass will usually start from one or two plants near the front gate, driveway, track or farm buildings. These plants must be identified and removed before viable seed has been set. Remove plants, bag and burn, try to stop seed being dropped in the process. It may be useful to sow some replacement competitive pasture species in disturbed areas to compete with new germination of Coolatai grass. Spot spraying with knockdown herbicides will require 2-3 applications for complete control
Cootamundra Wattle
Cootamundra Wattle - Click to enlarge
Cootamundra Wattle
Acacia baileyana
A small evergreen tree to 3-4m high. Leaves are compound, with many tiny silvery-grey leaflets. One form has purple new growth. Flowers are clusters of fluffy yellow balls produced in winter, and the black shiny seeds are carried in flat brown papery pea-like pods. HabitatCootamundra wattle is a native of a small area between Cootamundra and Temora in NSW, but it has been very widely planted because of its attractive foliage. It is now naturalised in many parts of Australia. It has also hybridised with other wattles. It is usually seen on road verges and in drier bush close to towns and gardens, where it can replace local native shrubs and shade out native grasses and wildflowers. All wattles produce large crops of hard-coated seed which can persist in a viable condition in the soil for many decades. DispersalGenerally grows close to the parent tree, although birds may occasionally spread the seed further. Pods open explosively in hot weather, throwing the seed some distance. Ants also move wattle seed around. Seed may germinate profusely after a disturbance such as cultivation or fire. Non-local wattles may not appear to be behaving invasively until such an event, when their population will suddenly explode. Look-a-likesThere are several other silver-leaved wattles which have also been widely cultivated. The other species which has naturalised extensively is Queensland silver wattle (Acacia podalyriifolia) another small tree with simple oval to round silver leaves. Other cultivated wattles are also likely to invade bushland outside their natural range, once they become as widely planted as these two species. Bendethera wattle (Acacia covenyi) is restricted to Deua and Wadbilliga National Parks, but is now also widely planted. Its leaves are similar to, but usually longer than those of Cootamundra Wattle. Silver wattle (Acacia dealbata) is a shrub to tall tree of the tablelands, but it does occur naturally on the far south coast in forests south-west from Eden. It looks similar to Cootamundra wattle, though generally has a more upright habit and smaller leaflets. It is also sometimes used in farm plantings. ControlHand pull seedlings. Larger plants do not usually re-sprout if cut down.
Coral Tree
Coral Tree - Click to enlarge
Coral Tree
Erythrina X sykesii
A medium sized deciduous tree with knobbly grey-green bark, and numerous small triangular rose-like thorns. The bright green leaves are compound, with three large roughly triangular leaflets, the central one on a much longer stalk than the two side leaflets. Flowers are red, about 5cm long, enclosed in a single large folded petal, in large clusters. Seed is not produced in Australia. HabitatIt has been widely planted as a street and garden tree in coastal NSW, and being a sterile hybrid, it is not capable of getting out into the bush by itself. It should therefore be a harmless garden or farm plant, but unfortunately any piece of the plant left in contact with the ground can take root. The plant is spread from fallen branches, and prunings dumped in the bush. DispersalDumping, particularly in moist sites. Any segment of the stem or trunk is capable of resprouting left in contact with the ground including wood chips. Look-a-likesCan be confused with the smaller Cockspur coral tree. Also often confused with the Illawarra flame tree, which is a native of the NSW coast north from Nowra, not because of a similarity in appearance, but because Coral tree is often grown in the Illawarra, and both have bright red flowers. Illawarra flame tree has large three-lobed leaves similar to passionfruit leaves in shape, and red bell-shaped flowers. Because it is widely grown as a garden plant Illawara flame tree is also spreading outside its natural distribution. ControlDo not dump any part of this plant. If existing plants are being cut down, they need to be burnt or taken to land-fill where they will not re-grow. For existing plants, cut and paint or stem inject.
Coreopsis / Tickseed
Coreopsis / Tickseed - Click to enlarge
Coreopsis / Tickseed
Coreopsis lanceolata
An clumping perennial herb, up to 1m high but usually less. Leaves are simple and more or less spoon-shaped with a long narrow base, but sometimes have two lobes at the base, or may be divided. Conspicuous large yellow daisy flowers have toothed ends to the petals. Seeds are black, 2-3mm long and winged. HabitatGrows mostly on road verges, often on sandy soil. Capable of spreading into adjacent native vegetation following disturbance. Can grow thickly, displacing native species. Originally a garden escapee, but now widely naturalised in the northern parts of the south coast and gradually extending its range south, where there are localised infestations in Bega Valley Shire. DispersalSpread along roads in mud on vehicles and machinery, by grading, slashing and roadworks. May be spread by dumping of garden refuse. Look-a-likesNo closely similar plants. Cultivars are still sold in nurseries, and would be better avoided. ControlChip or hand pull prior to seeding. Spot spray.
Corn sowthistle
Corn sowthistle - Click to enlarge
Corn sowthistle
Sonchus arvensis
Perennial Sow-thistle is a perennial herb with long creeping roots. The entire plant is filled with a milky white sap. The stems are upright, simple or branched, finely grooved or ribbed, hollow and 50-150 cm high, with two to many stems per plant. The leaves are alternate, variable in size, and variably divided, with coarsely toothed edges and pointed lobes which are bent downward. The bright yellow inflorescence is branched, and consists of numerous flower-heads. The flower stalks are 1-5 cm long. HabitatPerennial Corn Sow-thistle grows best in poorly drained, moist sites that are rich in organic matter, usually on fine-textured soils, especially loams. It prefers slightly alkaline to neutral soils and does not do as well in acidic or highly alkaline soils. DispersalPerennial Sow-thistle reproduces by seeds, and vegetatively by its long creeping roots. At sites where the species is already established, the creeping roots allow the plants to produce new shoots very rapidly and colonise new sites. The species may also be dispersed from site to site by the transport of root fragments in soil. Look-a-likesSimilar in appearance to other rosette forming flat weeds including Dandelion. ControlHan dig/chip ensuring that the entire tap root is removed. Spot spray using a selective broadleaf herbicide.
Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster - Click to enlarge
Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster spp
Several species of evergreen or semi-deciduous shrubs about 2m high, sometimes to 4m, and sometimes ground-hugging (C. horizontalis). Leaves are oval, with a dull green upper surface and usually a white underside with a covering of fine hairs. Clusters of small white or pink flowers are followed by small red or orange-red fruits. Both photographs show two species of cotoneaster growing side by side. Cotoneaster glaucophyllus has the largest leaves, with red berries. The smaller leaved species with pink flowers and ornage-red berries is Cotoneaster franchetii . HabitatGarden escapees, usually found close to towns or old farmhouses, often on roadsides under trees and fences. Birds may spread the seed some distance from habitation. Dense infestations will smother native vegetation. DispersalDumped garden waste with fruits on it and fruits eaten and spread by birds. Berries are slightly poisonous especially for young children. Look-a-likesSeveral native shrubs in the genus Pomaderris have leaves similar to cotoneaster, but their clustered white or yellow flowers have less conspicuous petals, and they do not produce berries. Weeds, hawthorn and pyracantha have similar fruits. Both these plants are spiny. ControlFor large plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Root suckers are likely to arise after cutting the parent plant, and these will need follow-up cutting and painting or spraying.
Crassula
Crassula - Click to enlarge
Crassula
Crassula sarmentosa
A small, succulent, usually annual herb with red cored stems and compact clusters of white to red flowers. Fleshy/succulent leaves and stem. HabitatCan grow in almost any habitat - rampant in creek lines and moist/shady areas. DispersalSpreads from both seed and vegetative material - even a small segment of stem is able to propagate a new plant. Common garden dumping. Look-a-likesMany succulents known as Stonecrop have a similar appearance. ControlCan be hand removed with care taken to ensure all roots, leaves and stem segments are removed. If spraying ensure a surfactant is used to ensure herbicide adheres to leaves.
Creeping Buttercup
Creeping Buttercup - Click to enlarge
Creeping Buttercup
Ranunculus repens
A spreading groundcover, which can form extensive mats in wet areas. Leaves are divided into three toothed or lobed segments, often with pale markings towards the base of the segments, usually on a long leaf stalk (up to 35cm). Flowering stems are often branched and leafy. The flowers are bright yellow and about 1.5 to 3 cm across, with 5 glossy, almost plastic-like petals. HabitatMoist situations are preferred, in anything from full sun to dense shade . Tolerates occasional flooding and waterlogging. Often found in ditches and small creeks with little flow. Creeping buttercup will form dense mats which smother all native groundcover vegetation and could prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs. Many members of the Ranunculus family are poisonous and all Ranunculus should be regarded as suspect in this regard. DispersalBroken off sections of plant could take root. Seed or plant fragments spread down waterways by floods, and into other moist areas by dumping of garden waste. Look-a-likesThere are many native buttercups, but none are as robust as creeping buttercup, though many have flowers which are virtually identical. Those associated closely with water are usually quite small with leaves deeply dissected and only 2-3cm across and the flowers with widely separated petals. Ranunculus amphitrichus and Ranunculus inundatus are the most common of these. Other species are found in grass in woodland or forest, and these are more similar to creeping buttercup in leaf and flower shape, but are generally not closely associated with water, and are single erect plants, not clump forming. ControlDo not plant this species, or if it is already present on your property, do not dump unwanted material where it could re-grow. Small infestations can be dug out, but fragments of stem can potentially re-grow so removal needs to be very thorough. Spot spray prior to flowering and only when conditions allow (i.e. in a dry period and not over water).
Crofton weed
Crofton weed - Click to enlarge
Crofton weed
Ageratina adenophora
Branching perennial herb about 1m high. Crofton weed has leaves triangular to trowel-shaped, tapering abruptly to the leaf stalk, 5-8 cm long, on long stalks. Leaves are in opposite pairs and leaf margins are finely toothed. Flowers are small, fluffy and white, in branched terminal clusters HabitatWeed of moist, warm situations such as creek banks, road verges on moist slopes, stormwater drains. Mostly confined to the northern part of the region, north from about Nowra. Much more common in northern NSW, where it also invades pasture. Sometimes used as a garden plant, and therefore naturalised around some towns in southern Australia. Crofton weed can form dense stands in moist sites, choking out native vegetation. Crofton weed is toxic to horses and is fatal if consumed over a long period. Cattle avoid it, and other stock eat it without ill effect. Mistflower has also been shown to be toxic to some stock in laboratory trials. DispersalTiny black or dark brown seed has a parachute of fine hairs, and is spread by wind and water, in contaminated soil on vehicles and machinery, or on clothing. Broken off pieces may take root, and local spread occurs when branches trailing over the ground take root. Look-a-likesThe weed mistflower (Ageratina riparia) has leaves which are similar, but taper more gradually into the leaf stalk, in more of a diamond shape. Its white flowers are very similar to those of Crofton weed. The native herb Indian weed (Sigesbeckia orientalis) has a similar habit and leaf shape, but leaves are more arrowhead shaped with backward-pointing lobes at the base, flowers are tiny and yellow, and enclosed by very sticky bracts. Native cockspur flowers (Plectranthus parviflorus & P. graveolens) have similar shaped leaves to Crofton weed but the flowers are blue and in long spikes above the leaves. P. graveolens has thick, velvety-hairy leaves and tends to grow around rock outcrops. ControlHand-pull or dig, or spray with non-selective or selective woody weed herbicide, when the plant is actively growing, but before flowering occurs. Monitor and control any regrowth.

D

Dandelion
Dandelion - Click to enlarge
Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale
A dandelion is a perennial weed with a stout taproot. The leaves are 5 to 25 cm long forming a rosette above the central taproot. Leaves can be entire or lobed. Dandelions have bright yellow flower head on a hollow stem. This single flower measures approximately 2 to 5cm and rises 4 to 30 cm above the leaves. The flower excretes a milky sap when broken. A rosette may produce several flowering stems at a time. After flowering has a very distinct powder puff seed head. HabitatDandelion is commonly found in pastures, lawns, orchards, fields, waste ground and roadsides DispersalFluffy and far floating seed. Seeds are wind borne and can travel for several kilometres. Look-a-likesHawke weeds (Hieracium spp) and Cats Ear (Hypochoeri spp.) have similar flowers. Dandelion is easy to distinguish from these plants though as it has a hollow flower stem with sap and only bears one flower per stem. ControlCan be dug out, taking care to ensure that the entire tap root is removed. Alternatively spray using a broad leaf herbicide particularly if located within a lawn. The broad leaf herbicide will ensure that the lawn will not be impacted.
Dodder
Dodder - Click to enlarge
Dodder
Dodder spp
A leafless, twining, parasitic plant. The slender, stringlike stems of dodder may be yellow, green or brown in colour. The dodder’s flowers are made up of tiny yellow or white bell-like whirls of flowers. Its leaves are reduced to minute scales. Is native to the south coast of NSW. HabitatCan grow in variety of habitats but requires a host plant at all times. DispersalDispersed mainly by seed but can also be spread by stem fragments. A dodder seedling can live 5-10 days without a host, but will soon die. As the dodder weed grows, it continually reattaches itself to its host and sends out shoots to attach to nearby hosts as well creating a dense mass of intertwined stems. Look-a-likesExtremely unique appearance, unlikely to be confused. ControlRemove small infestations of dodder by hand and manage large ones with mowing, pruning, burning or herbicide.
Dolichos Pea
Dolichos Pea - Click to enlarge
Dolichos Pea
Dipogon lignosus
A vigorous climbing woody, herbaceous perennial. Leaves are dark to medium green above, paler below and are composed of three diamond shaped leaflets which have a wide set base before tapering to a fine point. Each leaflet has its own stalk. Clusters of pink, purple or sometimes white pea flowers are followed by flat pea-like pods. HabitatForest edges, usually close to towns or old farms. Climbs over shrubs and trees, smothering and breaking them down. Also spreads over the ground, smothering native groundcover plants. As a nitrogen fixer, Dolichos pea can increase soil fertility, paving the way for other weeds to invade. DispersalSeed is explosively ejected from pods over several metres, or spread further in dumped garden refuse or contaminated soil. Seed is viable for many years, and germination can be stimulated by disturbance or fire. Look-a-likesThe native vine running postman has similar three-foliolate leaves, but the leaflets are blunt-tipped, the plant is generally smaller, and flowers are red, not pink or mauve. ControlHand-pull or dig young plants, scrape and paint old stems. If the situation is appropriate for the use of fire, a hot fire could be used to kill mature plants and stimulate the germination of seedlings, which can then be sprayed or pulled. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem, but if fruits are present, they should be collected as carefully as possible and destroyed by burning or deep burial. Dolichos pea fruits are too small and numerous for this approach to be used with large plants, but the dried plant remains could perhaps be burnt off later. This might destroy some seed, and stimulate buried seed to germinate, so that it can be pulled or sprayed.

E

East Indian hygrophila
East Indian hygrophila - Click to enlarge
East Indian hygrophila
Hygrophila polysperma
A submerged or emergent herbaceous aquatic plant. Its paired leaves are pale green or reddish in colour when submerged and bright green on emergent stems. Its stalkless tubular flowers borne in the leaf forks on the emergent stems. These tiny white, bluish or purplish flowers (5-9 mm long) are surrounded by two small hairy bracts. Its small narrow capsules (6-9 mm long) split lengthwise to release their minute seeds. HabitatIt is found in warmer climates and prefers flowing water but may also be found in slow moving waters and lakes. DispersalEast Indian hygrophila can grow in water up to 3 metres deep. It is adapted to low light conditions and expands rapidly where it can spread up to 4 hectares a year. It tends to grow more vigorously in flowing water. The main method of reproduction is vegetative. The stems fragment easily and develop into new plants. Fragments can be transported by boats, fishing gear or just drift in the water to new locations. The importance of seeds in reproduction is not certain. Look-a-likesEast Indian hygrophila (Hygrophila polysperma) may be confused with hygrophila (Hygrophila costata) and a similar native species (Hygrophila angustifolia). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: East Indian hygrophila (Hygrophila polysperma) is a relatively small plant (usually growing less than 30 cm tall) and has stems that are not hollow. Its leaves relatively small (1.5-8 cm long) and have entire margins. Its small flowers are tubular in shape (5-9 mm long), stalkless (i.e. sessile), and borne in small clusters in the leaf forks (i.e. axils). These flowers are either white, bluish or purple in colour and the mature fruiting capsules are relatively small (6-9 mm long). Hygrophila (Hygrophila costata) is a relatively large plant (sometimes growing 1-2 m tall) and has stems that are not hollow. Its leaves are relatively large (up to 18 cm long and 5 cm wide) and have entire margins. Its flowers are tubular in shape (5.5-10 mm long), stalkless (i.e. sessile), and borne in small clusters in the leaf forks (i.e. axils). These flowers are usually whitish in colour and the mature fruiting capsules are relatively small (7-13 mm long). Hygrophila angustifolia is a relatively small plant (usually growing 15-45 cm tall) and has stems that are not hollow. Its leaves are very narrow (usually 2.5-16 cm long and only 2-8 mm wide) and have entire margins. Its flowers are tubular in shape (9-20 mm long), stalkless (i.e. sessile), and borne in small clusters in the leaf forks (i.e. axils). These flowers are either white with darker markings, violet, blue or mauve in colour and the mature fruiting capsules are relatively large (10-18 mm long). It may also be confused with Australian water horehound (Lycopus australis). However, this native species has leaves with coarsely toothed (i.e. serrate) margins. ControlEast Indian hygrophila is difficult to control due to its stem fragmentation. Small infestations may be removed by hand. But it can quickly reinfest an area if fragments are left behind. Contact your local council weed officer for advice.
English / Scotch broom
English / Scotch broom - Click to enlarge
English / Scotch broom
Cytisus scoparius
All three broom species are shrubs from 1-2 metres high, with pure bright yellow pea flowers in spring, followed by hairy seed pods. Flax-leaf and cape broom are very similar, having leaves composed of three leaflets, like clover. The leaflets are narrower in flax-leaf broom. English broom is generally leafless, with the flowers borne on green ribbed stems. Younger plants may have a few leaves composed of either one or three leaflets. HabitatGarden escapees, usually found close to towns or old farmhouses. However, dumping of garden refuse may spread the seed some distance from habitation, particularly along roadsides. Brooms, and the closely related gorse, are very bad weeds of cooler areas, where they can come to dominate the understorey of otherwise undisturbed open forest and woodland. They do not like deep shade. Allegedly sterile hybrid forms of both Cytisus and Genista brooms are still sold in nurseries. These have been observed to produce seed and revert to the wild type, and should not be planted. Being legumes, the brooms fix nitrogen, and can increase soil fertility, encouraging other weeds to invade. Dense infestations provide rabbit harbour. DispersalDumped seed-bearing garden waste or movement of seed-contaminated soil. Explosive release of seeds around parent plants. Look-a-likesGorse is another weed in the pea family with pure yellow flowers and hairy pods. It is a very spiny large shrub, with similar 3-foliolate leaves on young plants, becoming leafless with age. It is a weed of the tablelands, and is uncommon on the south coast. It is a Weed of National Significance, and declared noxious in Shoalhaven and Illawarra LGA‘s. Tree lucerne or tagasaste is an environmental weed with larger 3-foliolate leaves, white pea flowers and flat furry seed pods. It grows into a small spreading tree. Spanish broom is a similar leafless shrub to English broom, but has smooth, not ribbed, stems. It is not very commonly planted, but it is potentially invasive. There are a number of native shrubs in the pea family which have some of the features of the brooms. Most native pea shrubs have yellow flowers with blotches of brown, red or orange, not pure yellow. ControlFor large broom or gorse plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up work. Spray if seedling growth is prolific, or hand-pull. Prolific seed production and long viability means a large soil seed bank, which will continue to germinate for many years after mature plants are removed. Fire may be helpful in germinating most seed so seedlings can be sprayed.
English Ivy
English Ivy - Click to enlarge
English Ivy
Hedera helix
English ivy climbs up tree trunks, clinging by small clusters of aerial roots to the bark, unlike most climbers which have twining stems or tendrils. It has 3 lobed leaves, which are thin-textured and only slightly glossy, often with a slight whitish marbling. Leaves on flowering stems are larger, and are not lobed. It has inconspicuous greenish flowers in clusters, followed by black berries. There are variegated forms with a lot of white marbling on the leaves, which are also potentially invasive. HabitatFound mostly around towns or old farms, but birds can spread the seeds into the bush some distance from habitation. Very shade tolerant, although only branches exposed to sunlight will produce fruit. Smothers trees by climbing high into the canopy. Can smother tree ferns and shrubs similarly. Also trails over the ground, forming a dense mat which suppresses all native ground vegetation and prevents tree regeneration. Both berries and leaves are poisonous. DispersalIt can reproduce vegetatively, from stem segments dumped or transported by floods. Stems trailing over the ground will root at the nodes. Seed is spread by birds. Look-a-likesThe native common silkpod climbs tree trunks with aerial roots like English ivy when young, but its leaves are not lobed. Mature plants lose this feature and climb by twining. The weed cape ivy has slightly similar lobed leaves but they are brighter green and the plant climbs by twining. ControlHand-pull small plants and remove. Plants left lying on the ground will re-grow. For badly infested trees, cut away at least the bottom metre of ivy stems around the trunk and apply scrape and paint treatment to both ends of the cut stems. Stems growing across the ground can be sprayed with herbicide, adding a penetrant to improve take-up of the chemical through the waxy coating on the leaf. Follow-up will be needed. Do not try to pull ivy down. Treat it and leave it to die in place. If the infestation is extensive, concentrate on controlling the climbing stems before the ground-covering ones, since it is the climbing stems which will produce fruit.
Eurasian water milfoil
Eurasian water milfoil - Click to enlarge
Eurasian water milfoil
Myriophyllum spicatum
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
M. spicatum is a perennial aquatic herb, rhizomatous, with leafy shoots 50-250 cm, naked below through decay of older leaves. Fine, soft, herring-bone-like leaves usually 1.5-3 cm, usually 4 per whorl, about equalling the internodes, each with 13-35 segments. Spikes 5-15 cm. Wind-pollinated flowers usually in whorls of 4 in the axils of the bracts, all but the lowest of which are entire and shorter than the flowers; emerging above water surface. HabitatAn aquatic weed which can tolerate and thrive in a range of temperatures and water conditions, including low levels of salinity. DispersalEurasian water milfoil spreads mostly via plant fragments. During the growing season plants automatically fragment, often developing roots before they separate from the parent plant. Water movement and human activities may also cause fragmentation. Fragments are spread over long distances by water currents and are mainly dispersed between water bodies by boating and fishing activities. Eurasian water milfoil plants can die back to their base during winter, reshooting in spring. Look-a-likesMay be confused with bladderworts, hornworts, mermaid weeds, water crowfoots, and other leafy water-milfoils. Control Contact Council if you see this weed.
European Privet
European Privet - Click to enlarge
European Privet
Ligustrum vulgare
A small tree with leathery, hairless, oppositely arranged leaves. Its relatively large dark green leaves (4-24 cm long and 2.5-8 cm wide) are glossy in appearance. Its small white flowers (about 6 mm across) are borne in large branched clusters (8-25 cm long) at the tips of the stems. Its bluish-black berries (5-10 mm long) are borne in large attractive clusters. HabitatMainly a weed of wetter sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions, but occasionally also recorded in tropical and cooler temperate areas. It is often cultivated as a hedge or windbreak, and has often become naturalised in and around rainforest areas. Also a weed of open woodlands, grasslands, pastures, waste areas, disturbed sites, roadsides and waterways. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed, which are readily dispersed by fruit-eating (i.e. frugivorous) birds and other animals. They may also be spread about by water and in dumped garden waste. The bunches of mature fruit are also used in flower arrangements. Look-a-likesBroad-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) is very similar to Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and common privet (Ligustrum vulgare). It is also relatively similar to Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: broad-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) has hairless (i.e. glabrous) younger stems and grows up to 12 m or more tall. Its relatively large leaves (4-24 cm long) have entire margins and are present year-round (i.e. it is evergreen). Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) has somewhat hairy (i.e. pubescent) younger stems and usually only grows to about 3 m tall. Its relatively small leaves (2-7 cm long) have entire margins and are usually present year-round (i.e. it is evergreen).common privet (Ligustrum vulgare) has hairless (i.e. glabrous) or finely hairy (i.e. puberulent) younger stems and grows up to 5 m tall. Its relatively small leaves (2-6 cm long) have entire margins and are often lost during winter (i.e. it is deciduous).Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica) has hairless (i.e. glabrous) or slightly hairy (i.e. puberulent) younger stems and usually grows up to 2 m tall. Its moderately-sized leaves (3-7 cm long) have coarsely toothed (i.e. serrate) margins and are usually present year-round (i.e. it is evergreen). Broad-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) may also be confused with native privet (Ligustrum australianum), which is present in northern and central Queensland. However, native privet (Ligustrum australianum) has smaller leaves (4-7.5 cm long) and flowers (i.e. petals about 2 mm long). It is sometimes also confused with various native rainforest species when not in flower or fruit, including cheese tree (Glochidion ferdinandii) and many of the lilly-pilly‘s (Syzygium spp.). ControlHand pull seedlings, cut and paint large trunks. Spray regrowth/seedlings.
Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose - Click to enlarge
Evening Primrose
Oenothera spp
An erect perennial herb, up to 1m high, which may be single stemmed or branched. Habit of the plant and leaf shape varies from species to species but all are characterised by showy 4-petalled, usually yellow flowers which change colour to orange as they die, and are generally only fully open in low light conditions (early morning, evening and on cloudy days). Oenothera stricta is illustrated. HabitatUsually found in disturbed sites such as road verges, but potentially quite invasive in grassy remnant vegetation of agricultural areas. DispersalThe numerous fine seeds are spread by wind and in contaminated soil. Look-a-likesMay be confused with Twiggy Mullein (Verbascum virgatum) due to the erect flower stems and bright yellow flowers. ControlChip prior to seeding.

F

Feathertop grass / White Foxtail grass
Feathertop grass / White Foxtail grass - Click to enlarge
Feathertop grass / White Foxtail grass
Pennisetum villosum
An upright and long-lived grass usually growing only 15-70 cm tall. Its narrow leaf blades are flat or folded with rough margins. Its seed-heads are conspicuously feathery and spike-like in appearance (2-12 cm long and 1-2 cm wide). These seed-heads turn from pale green or whitish-green to straw-coloured or whitish as they mature. Their numerous flower spikelets are surrounded by a ring of long whitish coloured bristles (3-7 cm long). Its mature seeds are shed enclosed within the ring of bristles. HabitatGrows in pasture and on road verges, tolerating a range of conditions including dry infertile soils. Mature plants are unpalatable to stock, so the plant can become more common in over-grazed pasture. A weed of remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas, where it can suppress native groundcover species. DispersalThe seed is spread along roads in mud on machinery and vehicles, and can adhere to animals and clothing. Wind and water may also spread seed. Individual clumps gradually expand by underground rhizomes. Look-a-likesThe very fluffy seed heads with numerous long bristles protruding all round are distinctive. Some native wallaby grasses (Austrodanthonia and Notodanthonia species) can have fluffy looking seed heads when seed is mature, but they are much less fluffy than those of Feathertop grass. ControlIsolated plants should be removed before they seed, or if they have already begun to produce seed, then bagged for careful disposal. Spot spraying with grass selective herbicides could also be used.
Fennel
Fennel - Click to enlarge
Fennel
Foeniculum vulgare
Robust biennial herb 1 to 2m high with slightly zigzagging stems, which have a bluish bloom. The leaves are finely divided into fine thread-like segments. Flowers are small, yellow and carried in branching umbrella-shaped heads. Fennel smells very strongly of aniseed. The plants die back to the crown over winter, and produce new leaf growth in spring, sending up new flowering stems in summer. HabitatUsually found on waste ground, such as along roadsides, riverbanks or around the edges of pasture. Grazing may prevent it from becoming established in pasture. Fennel forms very dense infestations, crowding out all other vegetation. While this may not be a problem when it is growing in association with other weeds, it can also affect remnant native vegetation in farming areas. Fennel is sometimes cultivated for its edible leaf bases, culinary uses as a condiment, and medicinal properties. If cultivating fennel, be careful not to allow the plant to go to seed. DispersalSeed is spread by water, machinery or vehicles, or in contaminated soil, and by wind over short distances. Look-a-likesAnother weed in the same family, wild carrot (Daucus carota ) is common on roadsides. It has similar umbrella shaped heads of white or pinkish flowers, and the crushed leaves smell carroty. Hemlock (Conium maculatum ) is another weed in the same family. A bronze foliaged fennel cultivar is sometimes used for its contrasting foliage colour in cottage gardens. It spreads readily from seed and is difficult to eradicate. ControlHand chip small infestations (large fennel plants have a very substantial root, so this will be hard work). Slashing just before flowering may kill the plants, or repeat slashing of regrowth may be needed. At worst, slashing stems at flowering time will prevent seed set and buy a little time before the whole plant needs to be treated, if necessary. Spot spray actively growing young plants before they elongate into the flowering stage, preferably with a selective woody weed herbicide. If the plants are growing near sensitive vegetation, they can be treated by the cut and paint method, in winter-spring before new growth emerges. Make the cut close to the base or plants will re-sprout. Dense infestations can be slashed or burnt in winter to provide access for spraying in spring.
Fine-bristled burr grass
Fine-bristled burr grass - Click to enlarge
Fine-bristled burr grass
Cenchrus brownii
Stems initially grow horizontal, then upright growing 25–110 cm tall and sometimes takes root at the nodes. Hairless leaves 8–40 cm long and 4–13 mm wide. A fringe of hairs, 0.6–1.3 mm long, occurs at the leaf base. Cylindrical green seed head, 3–12 cm long and 1.5 cm wide containing many burrs crowded together. Seeds encased and shed within the egg shaped burr. HabitatPrefers humid tropical and sub-tropical climates. It can grow in a variety of soils and in disturbed areas. It is often found growing close to the ocean and on limestone soils. DispersalPlants reproduce only by seed. The burrs easily attach to clothing or animals, spreading to new locations. Most dispersal is through human movement of contaminated soil and hay. It is thought that it was introduced into the Torres Strait by contaminated vehicles and earth-moving machinery. Look-a-likesSimilar in appearance to, and easily confused with, Mossman River grass (Cenchrus echinatus). ControlThere are no specific control measures documented for fine-bristled burr grass. Control and management practices used for Mossman River grass, may be used for the control of other noxious Cenchrus species. Being an annual, the key to control and management is to prevent seeding and reduce the seed bank. Use a combination of control methods and always conduct monitoring and follow-up treatments.
Fireweed
Fireweed - Click to enlarge
Fireweed
Senecio madagascariensis
A low bushy or sprawling annual herb to about 30cm high, with bright green alternate slightly fleshy hairless leaves. Leaf margins are usually entire (smooth) but may have some teeth or lobes especially near the base. Yellow daisy flowers have thirteen petals. Small dandelion style seed heads break up in the wind, though not as readily as many other weedy daisies. Roots are shallow and branching, and generally easy to pull out by hand. HabitatRoadsides, pasture, and adjacent open forest, preferring areas of bare soil to become established. It needs moist conditions for seedling establishment, but will grow and flower at any time of year other than mid-winter, given the rainfall. From germination to flowering can take as little as 6 weeks. Plants behave as annuals in southern areas, because they are frost tender, but may over-winter and behave as short-lived perennials further north. The plant is toxic to stock, causing progressive liver damage. It is not readily grazed except by sheep and goats, which tolerate the toxins better than other stock. Plants can become extremely numerous in heavily grazed paddocks because stock avoid them. Potentially a serious weed of remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas, although it seems to invade healthy vigorous native pasture less readily than grazed and fertilised pasture. DispersalSeed is wind-blown, and possibly moved around in soil and on vehicles, since it often becomes established on roadsides. Look-a-likesThere are many other weedy yellow daisies. Most of these consist of a single basal rosette and flower stalks arising from the centre, rather than having a bushy, branched habit. Their flowers tend to be a deeper yellow than those of fireweed.There are also numerous native herbs in the genus Senecio. Among these, fireweed can be distinguished by its 13 petals, and fibrous root system. Two very similar natives are Senecio lautus ssp maritimus, which occurs on sea cliffs and dunes and has fleshier leaves and a taproot, and S. lautus ssp lanceolatus which occurs in wet grassy forest along the top of the coastal escarpment. The latter has a more spreading, lax habit than the weed and slightly larger flowers. Senecio madagascariensis may also occur behind beaches or on top of the escarpment, so check the appearance of the plant as well as the location before making an identification. The large clumping native perennial, Senecio linearifolius, can behave in a weedy way around the edges of the farming areas, where it colonises after fire or other disturbance. If in doubt, get a specimen professionally identified. ControlFireweed is easy to hand-pull, unless soil is quite dry, in which case it may break off. Remove as soon as the plants become visible by beginning to flower. Bag the whole plant for safe disposal, or bag flowers and seed heads and turn the rest of the plant upside-down to dry it out. Do not leave the flowers or seed heads in the paddock. Search also for seedlings which are not yet flowering in the vicinity of the more visible plants. Spot spraying or boom spraying can be used for larger infestations. Sheep can help reduce seed-set by grazing the plant. Maintaining a vigorously growing pasture is helpful in preventing infestation. Occasional burning of native pasture may make it more resistant to infestation, by stimulating active grass growth.
Fishbone Fern
Fishbone Fern - Click to enlarge
Fishbone Fern
Nephrolepis cordifolia
A fern with upright or drooping fronds usually up to 50 cm long. This species often produces distinctive round tubers on its creeping underground stems. Its ‘leaves‘ are divided into numerous alternatively arranged narrow ‘leaflets‘ (10-35 mm long and 4-11 mm wide). The lower parts of the ‘leaflets‘ are usually somewhat overlapped and slightly lobed on one side, while their tips are relatively broad and somewhat rounded. Its brown spores are produced is small clusters midway between the centre and the margin of the undersides of the ‘leaflets‘. HabitatA native of Queensland and northern NSW, this fern is widely planted in gardens outside these areas. It can become naturalised in nearby moist situations, and potentially could choke out other ground vegetation. In its natural environment, fishbone fern (Nephrolepis cordifolia) is usually found growing in rocky areas, on rainforest margins, or as an epiphyte on palm trees in the wetter parts of tropical and sub-tropical Australia. DispersalPermanently moist conditions are needed for young plants to be produced from spores, so spread by dumping of rhizomes (underground stems) is much more likely. Look-a-likesThe native sickle fern is widespread in the region. It occurs from shady gullies to quite dry slopes in forest. On dry sites it wilts and dies off in dry conditions, and recovers from the rhizome after rain. It is also a fish-bone type of fern, but can be distinguished by having the spores carried in a continuous band around the margins of the leaf segments, rather than a row of separate dots. When not carrying spores, the smooth margins and slightly glossy leaflet surface distinguish it from the dull green, toothed edged fronds of fishbone fern. Another group of native fish-bone types of fern are the water ferns which have a more clumped habit, with several fronds arising from a single growing point, sometimes with a short trunk erect trunk. Prickly rasp fern has the spreading habit from an underground rhizome similar to sickle fern and fishbone fern, but its fronds are quite short and are quite sandpapery to the touch. It can cover large areas on shady slopes. ControlDig out or spray. Dispose of the remains carefully, since material left in contact with the ground may take root again.
Flatweed, Cats Ear
Flatweed, Cats Ear - Click to enlarge
Flatweed, Cats Ear
Hypochaeris radicata, Hypochaeris glabra
Hypochaeris is a genus of plants in the dandelion family. Many species are known as cats ear. These are annual and perennial herbs generally bearing flower heads with yellow ray florets on an elongated flower stem arising from the centre of a rosette. HabitatCommon in disturbed areas such as roadsides and also a common weed in lawns. DispersalWind dispersed seed. Look-a-likesCan be confused with other flat weed species also found in common habitat. ControlHand dig isolated infestations ensuring to remove the tap root. Spot spray using a selective broad leaf herbicide.
Flax Leaf Broom
Flax Leaf Broom - Click to enlarge
Flax Leaf Broom
Genesta linifolia
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
All three broom species are shrubs from 1-2 metres high, with pure bright yellow pea flowers in spring, followed by hairy seed pods. Flax-leaf and cape broom are very similar, having leaves composed of three leaflets, like clover. The leaflets are narrower in flax-leaf broom. English broom is generally leafless, with the flowers borne on green ribbed stems. Younger plants may have a few leaves composed of either one or three leaflets. HabitatGarden escapees, usually found close to towns or old farmhouses. However, dumping of garden refuse may spread the seed some distance from habitation, particularly along roadsides. Brooms, and the closely related gorse, are very bad weeds of cooler areas, where they can come to dominate the understorey of otherwise undisturbed open forest and woodland. They do not like deep shade. Allegedly sterile hybrid forms of both Cytisus and Genista brooms are still sold in nurseries. These have been observed to produce seed and revert to the wild type, and should not be planted. Being legumes, the brooms fix nitrogen, and can increase soil fertility, encouraging other weeds to invade. Dense infestations provide rabbit harbour. DispersalDumped seed-bearing garden waste or movement of seed-contaminated soil. Explosive release of seeds around parent plants. Look-a-likesGorse is another weed in the pea family with pure yellow flowers and hairy pods. It is a very spiny large shrub, with similar 3-foliolate leaves on young plants, becoming leafless with age. It is a weed of the tablelands, and is uncommon on the south coast. It is a Weed of National Significance, and declared noxious in Shoalhaven and Illawarra LGA‘s. Tree lucerne or tagasaste is an environmental weed with larger 3-foliolate leaves, white pea flowers and flat furry seed pods. It grows into a small spreading tree. Spanish broom is a similar leafless shrub to English broom, but has smooth, not ribbed, stems. It is not very commonly planted, but it is potentially invasive. There are a number of native shrubs in the pea family which have some of the features of the brooms. Most native pea shrubs have yellow flowers with blotches of brown, red or orange, not pure yellow. Gompholobium species have leaves with 3 leaflets and pure yellow flowers, and Goodia lotifolia has 3 leaflets and yellow flowers with a touch of red, but neither have hairy pods. Jacksonia scoparia is a leafless shrub, but its stems are silvery-grey, not green, and often weeping in habit, except in young plants. Its flowers are a deep yellow, and pods are tiny and not hairy. It grows to about 3m, and has thick furrowed black bark. The leafless native pea Viminaria juncea has a more upright habit, green stems and flowers with a touch of red. It grows in swampy situations. ControlFor large broom or gorse plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up work. Spray if seedling growth is prolific, or hand-pull. Prolific seed production and long viability means a large soil seed bank, which will continue to germinate for many years after mature plants are removed. Fire may be helpful in germinating most seed so seedlings can be sprayed.
Fleabane
Fleabane - Click to enlarge
Fleabane
Conyza species
An erect annual herb, usually about 1m high and single stemmed but large plants may reach 2m and be branched. Stems and leaves are finely hairy. Leaves are grey green and narrow. Flowers carried in branched heads with each cluster of tiny flowers being enclosed in a series of narrow green bracts. Typical daisy spherical clusters of small seed with a parachute of fine hairs. Dense stands can smother native vegetation, particularly in grassy remnant vegetation of farming areas. This weed is relatively palatable to livestock and native browsers such as wallabies, which do reduce its seeding to some extent. HabitatA common weed of agricultural areas, it is particularly prevalent throughout roadsides, waterways, paths, wetlands, pastures, disturbed sites and lawns. Fleabane is most common in disturbed sites such as road verges, where it can be quite prolific. DispersalPrimarily spread through seed that is wind dispersed. Also has the potentially to spread by water, animals, vehicles, machinery and vegetative matter. Seed may also be present in contaminated feed or other produce. Look-a-likesThere are many types of Fleabane present in the Australia, these include; tall fleabane (Conyza sumatrensis), Canadian fleabane (Conyza canadensis var. pusilla), Chilean fleabane (Conyza primulifolia) and flaxleaf fleabane (Conyza bonariensis). ControlHas been confirmed as glyphosate resistant. An integrated weed management approach is required. The weed profile for Fleabane on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website has an extensive list of potential herbicide options to assist in controlling the weed.
Flowering Ivy / Natal Ivy / Wax ivy
Flowering Ivy / Natal Ivy / Wax ivy - Click to enlarge
Flowering Ivy / Natal Ivy / Wax ivy
Senecio macroglossus
Is a slender evergreen herb with thin, flexible twining stems that can root at the joints if in contact with the ground. Leaves are bright glossy green, succulent and ivy shaped, lemon-scented when damaged. Flowers are pale yellow and solitary. Fruit has a tuft of slender white hairs. HabitatMainly found along coastal districts in northern NSW. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed and also vegetatively by a variety of methods. Stems that come into contact with the soil develop roots and can form into new plants (a process called layering). Stem segments that have been separated from the rest of the plant can also take root. Creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes) may also be produced.The seeds are dispersed by birds and other animals that eat the fruit. Seeds and pieces of stem can also be spread in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesNatal ivy (Senecio macroglossus) can be confused with some other weedy vines when not in flower, including Cape Ivy (Delairea odorata), climbing groundsel (Senecio angulatus), canary creeper (Senecio tamoides) and Ivy (Hedera helix). All are weeds. Control Hand remove small infestations taking care to remove root, stem and leaf segments. Spot spray with a selective herbicide with an added surfactant.
Formosan Lily / Taiwan Lily
Formosan Lily / Taiwan Lily - Click to enlarge
Formosan Lily / Taiwan Lily
Lilium formosanum
A deciduous perennial herb with annual flowering stalks 1-2 m long. The plant has an underground bulb with numerous fleshy scales (similar to garlic). Alternately arranged leaves are stalkless, mid to dark green and widely spaced along the stems. Leaves are hairless with entire margins and pointed tips. Large trumpet-shaped highly fragrant flowers are pure white on the inside, pink or purple/brown stripes on the outside. It flowers in summer. Many papery winged seeds borne in a large capsule. HabitatSunny forest edges often on road verges. Tolerates infertile dry or sandy soils. Usually a minor weed of roadside bush, but can become quite abundant. DispersalSeed is spread by wind, water and in contaminated soil or dumped garden waste. Underground corms or bulbs will persist and can grow several bulbils which store a huge amount of energy allowing the plant to regrow each year. Look-a-likesOther species of Lilium used as garden plants. No similar natives. ControlInfestations can be dug out, but the bulb and any small bulbils forming around the old bulb must also be removed and disposed of safely (by burning or deep burial). Removing the flowers as soon as they have finished, before seed production can occur, can buy a bit more time for full removal of the plant, but should not be seen as a long term solution, as one missed flower can result it a lot of seed being released. Can spot spray emerging seedlings.
Fountain grass
Fountain grass - Click to enlarge
Fountain grass
Pennisetum setaceum
Fountain grass is an erect, robust tussock grass to 90cm high. Leaves are up to 3.5mm wide, with a roughened upper surface and edges. Flowers are borne on a dense purple spike 10-25cm long. Each individual floret within the spike is nested within a tuft of up to 25 fine bristles, giving the whole head a fluffy appearance. HabitatA weed of roadsides, railways, waste areas, disturbed sites, open woodlands, grasslands, waterways, coastal environs, pastures, and rocky habitats in tropical, sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions. Was once a popular planting in median strips and roundabouts. DispersalSeed is probably mostly spread by wind, from plants in gardens. Dumping of garden waste could also spread this plant into native vegetation, and long distance dispersal could happen via seed in soil adhering to vehicles, machinery, livestock or clothing. Look-a-likesVery similar plant is swamp foxtail (Pennisetum alopecuroides). This plant is also promoted as a garden plant, and as an Austalian native. It also occurs in Asia and there is some confusion as to whether it is naturally occurring in Australia as well as Asia, or is an early introduction. Whether native or exotic, it has proven to naturalise freely from plantings, and is probably best avoided in the garden. However it is not illegal to grow this species currently. The main point of difference between the two species is the shape and colour of the seed head. In fountain grass it is mauve to purple and narrow in shape, with more or less parallel sides. In swamp foxtail the colour is more of a red-purple and the outline of the seed head is plumper, with curving sides. The most obtainable replacement for fountain grass is Pennisetum advena ‘Rubrum‘ which can legally be sold. It is billed as a sterile hybrid, which will not escape from gardens, although one source states that it rarely seeds. It has reddish foliage and long curving seed heads. ControlIt is no longer legal to propagate or sell fountain grass. Advise your local Council weed staff if you see it being offered for sale. Plants can be dug up or spot-sprayed, and the seed heads should be removed for safe disposal.
Freesia (Hybrid)
Freesia (Hybrid) - Click to enlarge
Freesia (Hybrid)
Freesia alba X leichtlinii
A small plant (10-40 cm tall) growing each year from underground ‘bulbs‘. Its strap-like elongated leaves (8-30 cm long and 5-10 mm wide) are mostly clustered together at the base of the plant. Its slender flowering stems are upright, but bent horizontally just below the flowers. Sweetly-scented tubular flowers (3-5.5 cm long) are white or cream in colour with purplish and yellow markings. Small capsules/fruit (1-1.5 cm long) are green with a rough or wrinkled surface texture. HabitatA weed of grasslands, pastures, open woodlands, urban bushland, roadsides, waste areas, disturbed sites, footpaths, gardens and lawns in temperate and occasionally also sub-tropical regions. DispersalFreesia produces viable seed. It also reproduces vegetatively by ‘bulbs‘ (i.e. corms) and bulbils. The underground ‘bulbs‘ (i.e. corms) are about 15 mm across and are relatively short-lived. They are egg-shaped and covered with a tunic of netted fibres. The inconspicuous bulbils are produced in the lower leaf forks . The corms, bulbils and seeds are spread by road maintenance vehicles, in contaminated soil, and in dumped garden waste. Seeds and bulbils may also be spread by water and in mud. Look-a-likesFreesia (Freesia alba x Freesia leichtlinii) is very similar to some other invasive bulbous species with whitish flowers, including sparaxis (Sparaxis bulbifera), lined tritonia (Tritonia gladiolaris) and hesperantha (Hesperantha falcata). ControlHand remove small infestations taking care to remove bulbs and bulbils. Spot spray in periods of active growth prior to flowering (i.e.. as the leaves emerge in spring).
Frogbit
Frogbit - Click to enlarge
Frogbit
Limnobium laevigatum
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Frogbit is a floating freshwater plant from Central and South America. It has been kept and traded for use in fish ponds, aquariums and water features. It can rapidly invade and smother waterways and is a serious biosecurity threat to NSW. Plants can form into large mats of runners and adult plants can develop very quickly. Juvenile plants have a great capacity for distribution in that they are small and can be easily and quickly carried along by water currents. Plants float on the water surface, and have smooth, rounded, fleshy green leaves up to 4 cm across, with sponge-like sections on their undersides. HabitatOccurs in rivers, creeks, lakes and a variety of other freshwater habitats. DispersalFrogbit spreads when plants move in water, but a common cause of spread is the dumping of illegal aquarium or pond plants in waterways. ControlYou must report this plant if you see it anywhere in NSW. Call the helpline listed above. Help will then be provided to remove and destroy it. This serious weed could spread if control efforts do not follow all protocols. Not reporting it is a breach of your legal biosecurity duty.

G

Gallon's curse
Gallon's curse - Click to enlarge
Gallon's curse
Cenchrus biflorus
An annual grass growing to 90 cm tall. Leaves are alternate along the stem. The leaf sheath (area where the leaf wraps around the stem) is open along most of its length up to 2-25 cm long and 2-7 mm wide with a fringe of hairs at the leaf base. Tips of the longer spines have small downward pointing barbs. Spines 5-8 mm long. The seeds are encased and shed within the burr and either oblong or roundish from 1.1-1.3 mm long. HabitatGallon‘s curse prefers dry sandy soils with an annual rainfall of 250-650 mm. It tolerates a range of climates, ranging from humid tropical and sub-tropical climates to arid and semi-arid environments. It will grow in woodlands, shrub lands and native grasslands. An advantageous plant that can quickly establish on disturbed soils, including crops, pastures and roadsides. DispersalPlants reproduce by seed only. The burrs easily attach to clothing or animals, spreading to new locations. Look-a-likesSimilar to other Cenchus species which also have the distinctive oblong burr. ControlThere is no specific control measures documented for Gallon‘s curse. Control and management practices used for Mossman River grass (Cenchrus echinatus) may be used for the control of other noxious Cenchrus species. Being annual, the key to control and management is to prevent seeding and reduce the seed bank. Use a combination of control methods-pasture management, physical and herbicide control and always conduct monitoring and follow-up treatments. To reduce the risk of seed spread, property hygiene procedures should be in place. This will give the best chances of success.
Gamba Grass
Gamba Grass - Click to enlarge
Gamba Grass
Andropogon gayanus
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Gamba grass is a tall tropical grass. It forms dense patches up to 4 m high that can out compete native species. Gamba grass is a serious threat to World Heritage Areas in northern Australia and is a Weed of National Significance. HabitatTypically grows in areas where annual rainfall exceeds 600mm. Prefers tropical or sub-tropical climates and grows well in disturbed sites, overgrazed pastures, open woodlands, and native grasslands. DispersalReproduces by seed, can be transported in fodder or soil. Also commonly dispersed by machinery, vehicles and animals. As a result of the seeds being light and fluffy, they can be transported short distances by water and wind. ControlYou must report this plant if you see it anywhere in NSW. Help will then be provided to remove and destroy it. This serious weed could spread if control efforts do not follow all protocols. Not reporting it is a breach of your legal biosecurity duty
Gazania / Treasure flowers
Gazania / Treasure flowers - Click to enlarge
Gazania / Treasure flowers
Gazania spp (rigens)
Gazania is a clumping annual growing to about 30cm and producing masses of yellow, orange or red daisy flowers. It roots at nodes and produces upright linear leaves that are dark green on the upper surface and white and woolly underneath. The flowers may be up to 10 cm across. HabitatGazania is a weed of coastal sand dunes and headlands, urban bushland, gardens, lawns, roadsides, disturbed sites and waste areas in temperate and sub-tropical regions. DispersalThis species reproduces mainly be seed. However, it can also spread vegetatively by pieces of its creeping stems, which can take root and form new plants. Gazania is predominantly dispersed to new areas as a result of deliberate plantings in gardens. The hairy seeds may be spread from these plantings by wind, animals, vehicles and in clothing. Seeds and stem pieces are also dispersed in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesCoastal gazania (Gazania rigens) is very similar to gazania (Gazania linearis). Hybrids between the two species (and possibly also hybrids involving other species) are also thought to be present in naturalised populations. ControlHand pull before flowering to prevent seeds developing ensuring to remove root mat. Can also be spot sprayed.
Giant devil's fig
Giant devil's fig  - Click to enlarge
Giant devil's fig
Solanum chrysotrichum
Giant devil’s fig is a shrub or small tree to 4 m. It has prickly stems and leaves, a tomato-like flower and orange-yellow berries that are 1-15mm wide. It has deeply lobed leaves that can grow to 35cm long and 30cm across. HabitatGiant devil\\\'s fig is an environmental weed of riparian areas, forests and roadsides in NSW and Queensland. DispersalMainly reproduces by seed that is spread by birds and other animals that eat mature fruits. Seed can also be spread by water and contaminated soils. Look-a-likesIs very similar to Devils\\\'s Fig (Solanum torvum), thishc has smaller leaves. Both are exotic and considered invasive. ControlFor larger trees, cut and immediately paint the stump with a suitable herbicide. A foliar application of smaller plants and any regrowth should help control infestations.
Giant Parramatta grass
Giant Parramatta grass - Click to enlarge
Giant Parramatta grass
Sporobolus fertilis
Declared Biosecurity Matter An upright and long-lived grass usually growing 70-160 cm tall and forming large tussocks. Its very long and narrow leaf blades (14-110 cm long and 1.5-5 mm wide) may be flat or somewhat rolled. Its seed-heads are very thin and elongated in appearance (15-50 cm long and 1-2 cm wide)they are spike-like with many short branches held closely to the stem, however the lowest branches may droop slightly open. Each of these seed-head branches bears numerous tiny flower spikelets (1.5-2 mm long). HabitatIt is a common pasture weed on the NSW north coast, where it is particularly invasive in wet areas, but it is not yet well established on the south coast. DispersalThis species produces large quantities of tiny seeds. These seeds become somewhat sticky when wet and are often spread by animals and vehicles. They may also be dispersed by water, in mud, and in contaminated agricultural produce (e.g. in fodder and pasture seed lots). Look-a-likesTwo native rat‘s tail grasses are also common on the south coast. They have more interrupted seed heads than Parramatta grass and giant Parramatta grass, with the stem visible between the branches, at least in the lower part of the head. The length of the lower branches in these two species is only 5cm or less. Distinguishing between native and introduced Sporobolus can be difficult and expert assistance may be needed. ControlAny suspected infestations should be reported, and controlled immediately. Individual plants can be dug out, and the seed burnt or deeply buried. Grass-specific herbicides are preferable if spraying.
Ginger Lily
Ginger Lily - Click to enlarge
Ginger Lily
Hedychium garderianum
An erect perennial herb to about 2m high, which forms large clumps over time. Leaves are long and broadly strap-like to 40 cm long by 15cm wide, glossy and pale to dark green, arranged alternately on a pithy stem. Flowers are pleasantly fragrant, cream to yellow, with long red stamens. The fruit is a thin-walled capsule, with an orange inner surface. The seeds are bright red and shiny. HabitatSunny or shady forest edges, generally growing where it has been dumped. Tolerates dry or wet soils, and frost once it is established. It forms dense stands which smother all native groundcover vegetation, prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs and eliminate habitat for native fauna. DispersalClumps spread rapidly from underground rhizomes. Dumping of garden waste will spread the plant vegetatively. Seed is spread by birds, water and in contaminated soil or dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesOther species of Hedychium used as garden plants. Canna lily or Indian shot is a similar garden plant which is also weedy north of about Batemans Bay. It has broader leaves which are green to purple, and flowers which may be yellow, orange or red, followed by a prickly seed capsule. Ginger lily is not a substitute for the edible ginger (Zingiber officinale). ControlInfestations can be dug out, but all of the rhizome must be removed and destroyed off-site, as any rhizome left in the ground will regrow. Plants left lying on the soil surface may take root again. The root system is relatively shallow, so plants can be peeled off the soil surface with less effort than might be expected. Scrape soil away on both sides of the thick rhizome and cut side roots with a knife, mattock or secateurs. The rhizome can then be lifted.
Glaucous star thistle
Glaucous star thistle - Click to enlarge
Glaucous star thistle
Carthamus glaucus
Glaucous star thistle is an annual herb growing 50–100 cm high. Upright, white/greyish ribbed stem. Greenish white leaves, divided into deep lobes that end in a yellow-brown spine. Stem leaves stiff and shiny. Pale violet to pinkish-purple flower, 10–13 mm across. Seed grey-brown in colour, four-angled topped with stiff, scale-like protrusions 5–7 mm long. HabitatGlaucous star thistle prefers a warm temperate climate with a predominantly winter rainfall. It can grow on a range of soil types with an annual rainfall of 400–600 mm. Commonly found growing along roadsides, in cultivated paddocks, degraded pastures and wastelands. DispersalGlaucous star thistle reproduces by seed. Most mature seed will fall close to the parent plant. Seed may be spread further distances by becoming entangled in the wool and fur of animals. It may also be spread by contaminated hay and mud attached to vehicles and machinery. Look-a-likesMay be confused with other thistle species. ControlIn cropping situations, cultivation stimulates the germination of glaucous starthistle seeds. Using cultivation combined with herbicides can give positive results as long as plants are treated at the seedling or rosette stage of growth. This is usually during winter and early spring. Using crop and pasture rotations can help to manage glaucous star thistle. In the pasture phase, it is important to maintain a competitive pasture. Treat any new emergence of thistles with either physical measures or herbicide.
Golden thistle
Golden thistle - Click to enlarge
Golden thistle
Scolymus hispanicus
Golden thistle is an erect, branching perennial herb up to 1m high. It has spiny winged stems and rigid, spiny and deeply toothed leaves with a variegated appearance due to the presence of paler veins. The plant begins life as a rosette, from which an elongated flowering stem arises. Flower heads consist of numerous small flowers clustered into narrow heads at the branch tips. Flower colour is yellow. HabitatGolden thistle occurs as a weed of pastures and is rarely eaten by livestock due to its spiny nature and because dense infestations are almost impenetrable. DispersalSeeds can be spread by wind, or on broken plants stuck to fibres or moving in water. New plants can also grow from root fragments which can be spread in fodder and on machinery. Look-a-likesThis species is different to spotted thistle (also known as spotted golden thistle, Scolymus maculatus) which is a common weed of pastures and cleared areas. Control Small infestations of thistles can be chipped out, but may regrow if the cut is not made deeply enough. Hold the top of the plant down to the ground with one foot to get the spiny leaves away from your hands while chipping, or catch them while still in the rosette stage, when they are very much easier to cut. Spot spraying or boom spraying can be used for larger infestations. Slashing can be a temporary measure to delay seeding, but plants will regrow from the base and viable seed may form on the cut plants if slashing is done after heads have been fertilised. Seed is long-lived in the soil (up to 10 years), so prevention of seeding is important.
Gorse
Gorse - Click to enlarge
Gorse
Ulex europaeus
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A woody shrub usually growing 0.5-2.5 m tall with spiny stems. The‘ leaves‘ are usually reduced to narrow, rigid, dark-green spines (5-35 mm long and about 1.5 mm wide) that are borne in clusters along the branches. It produces masses of bright yellow pea-shaped flowers (15-25 mm long). These flowers are borne in the leaf forks or in small clusters at the tips of the branches. Its small egg-shaped or oblong pods (10-25 mm long and 6-8 mm wide) turn dark brown or black in colour as they mature and are densely covered in long spreading hairs. HabitatThis species is mainly a weed of hillsides, waterways, roadsides, railways, pastures, grasslands, open woodlands, forests, disturbed sites, coastal environs, waste areas and forest margins in temperate regions. It is also occasionally found in the cooler, upland areas of sub-tropical regions. DispersalThis plant generally reproduces via its relatively large seeds, which are spread by several means. Cultivation and movement of the root system occasionally also leads to regeneration from root fragments. They can be explosively released small distances (i.e. up to 5 m) from their pods when they reach maturity. Animals such as birds and ants may collect the seeds and contribute to their spread. Seeds may also be dispersed in contaminated soil (e.g. during road-making, grading and other soil-moving activities), in mud, by water, and in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesGorse bitter pea (Daviesia ulicifolia) is a common native shrub of coastal and tableland forests. It has tough, sharply pointed leaves which look similar to gorse spines, and yellow and brown flowers. The leaves are shorter than gorse spines. The whole plant is more open branching and smaller than gorse, but it could be mistaken for young gorse plants. Other spiny native shrubs are tree violet or gruggly bush (Melicytus dentatus, formerly Hymenanthera dentata), blackthorn (Bursaria spinosa) and anchor plant (Discaria pubescens). ControlCut and paint or spray gorse. Smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up. Fire could be used to stimulate germination of all soil-stored seed but must be followed by a comprehensive control program or it will just create a greater problem.
Great Mullein / Giant mullein / Lambs Tongue
Great Mullein / Giant mullein / Lambs Tongue - Click to enlarge
Great Mullein / Giant mullein / Lambs Tongue
Verbascum thapsus
A large annual herbaceous plant growing up to 3 m long, a basal rosette of very large leaves is initially produced, followed by a single upright main stem. Its stems and leaves are densley hairy and either greyish-green or silvery in apperance, the alternately arranged stem leaves reduce in size and become narrower towards the top of the plant. These leaves are stalkless and their bases form wings along the stem, its yellow flowers 12-30 mm across are densly arranged in a large elongated cluster 20-100 cm long at the tops of the stems. Its small fruit capsules 7-10 mm are covered in tiny hairs. The fruit is a rounded capsule 7-10 mm long and 3-6 mm wide that is covered in tiny hairs. Fruit turns from green to brown as they mature and contain numerous tiny seeds. The seeds are reddish brown, brown or dark grey in colour, rod shaped and roughly textured. HabitatA weed of pastures, roadsides, railways, disturbed sites, waste areas, stony river-beds and cultivation in temperate, sub-tropical and sometimes also semi-arid regions. DispersalReproduction is entirely by seeds and these are easily spread due to their very small size. Potenial dispersal agents include wind, water, animals and vehicles. Seeds may also be spread in mud and as contaminant of agricultural produce. Look-a-likesGreat mullein is similar to twiggy mullein, moth mullein and cretan Mullien. All are weeds. ControlDig/chip prior to flowering and setting seed. Spot spray rosettes.
Green cestrum
Green cestrum - Click to enlarge
Green cestrum
Cestrum parqui
A straggly evergreen shrub 2-4m high with arching stems. Leaves are alternately arranged on the stems, dark green and slightly shiny above and paler below, with slightly wavy margins and a pointed tip, 7-14cm long. The prominent central vein on each leaf is yellow and strongly raised on the underside, particularly near the leaf base. The leaves have a very unpleasant smell when crushed, although it is possible to find the odd specimen without this characteristic. Flowers are tubular, about 2cm long, with the petals flared at the tip. They are yellow-green in colour and occur in dense elongated clusters at the branch tips. Fruits are succulent, about 1cm across, and round or oval. They ripen from green to black. HabitatMore common in the north of the region, but occasionally found as far south as the Bega Valley. Found in dry and wet eucalypt forest and rainforest, where it can dominate the understorey and prevent regeneration by native plants. The plant is poisonous to both livestock and humans. Handling cestrum may cause contact dermatitis in some people. DispersalBirds, dumping of plants carrying seed. Look-a-likesThe foliage of cestrum is not particularly distinctive and could probably be confused with some native shrubs of wet eucalypt forests and rainforest, but if the flowers are present the plant should be recognisable. The strong unpleasant smell of the crushed leaves is unmistakeable, but the occasional plant can be found which does not have this smell. The flowers of green cestrum are sweetly scented at night. A related and very similar species, lady-of-the-night is promoted as a garden plant for its strongly perfumed flowers, and the two plants could easily be confused. Lady-of-the-night has larger leaves and white rather than purple berries. It has not been found to naturalise as readily as green cestrum, but being a bird-spread species should be avoided in the garden. Two other Cestrum species are also occasionally naturalised in the northern part of the region, from garden plantings. They are red cestrum which has red flowers and berries, and orange cestrum which has orange-yellow flowers and white berries. They should not be planted in the garden. ControlSeedlings may be hand pulled or dug out. Cut and paint or stem inject mature plants, preferably before they begin to develop seed. To improve the effectiveness when using the cut and paint method, peel the bark back all around the stump and apply herbicide quickly to both the cut face and the exposed outer wood. Spray with selective herbicides. Follow-up treatment will be needed on seedlings
Groundsel bush
Groundsel bush - Click to enlarge
Groundsel bush
Baccharis halimifolia
Declared Biosecurity Matter Groundsel bush is a densely-branched shrub, usually 1.5-3 m high, although it sometimes grows into a small tree up to 7 m high. Leaves are dull or pale green, waxy to touch, alternate, 2.5-5 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, wedge-shaped and prominently-toothed, particularly near the tip. Stems are green at first but turn brown with age and have a characteristic striped bark. Numerous male and female flowers grow on separate plants. Male flowers are cream and occur in globular heads. Female flowers are white and grow in head clusters at the ends of branches. Seeds are very small and light, about 3 mm long and weighing only about 0.1 mg. On the top of each seed grows tufts of white hairs (the pappus) which give the female plant its characteristic fluffy appearance when in full flower. Mature groundsel bush have a deep branching taproot, with numerous fibrous lateral roots. HabitatA weed of open woodlands, forests, waste areas, disturbed sites, coastal canals, swampy areas, estuaries, mangrove wetlands, pastures, forestry plantations, orchards, plantation crops, irrigation channels, creek banks (i.e. riparian areas), parks, gardens, roadsides and urban bushland. It is mainly present in warmer temperate and sub-tropical climates. DispersalEach female plant can produce more than 1.5 million seeds annually. The seeds are adapted for dispersal by wind and water because of the pappus, which remains attached to the seed for several days after release from the head. Under windy conditions during flowering, groundsel bush seed can be transported over long distances. Half of the seed usually falls within 100 m of the parent bush, forming dense, impenetrable stands of the weed. However, some seeds spread further. ControlHand-pull small plants. As groundsel bush is a perennial woody plant with underground growing buds, slashing or burning will rarely kill plants and will generally result in regrowth. Regrowth can be sprayed.

H

Hares Tail Grass
Hares Tail Grass - Click to enlarge
Hares Tail Grass
Lagurus ovatus
A relatively small, short-lived, grass usually growing 5-50 cm tall. Its softly hairy leaves are tufted at the base of the plant and alternately arranged along the stems. Its slender upright flowering stems are topped with an egg-shaped or slightly elongated seed-head (1-6 cm long and 1-2 cm wide), these whitish seed -heads are feathery in appearance and usually persist for several months after flowering. HabitatA weed of dry coastal vegetation, grasslands, grassy woodlands, roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas and wetlands in the temperate region of Australia. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed, which may be dispersed by wind, water, animals and in contaminated agricultural produce. Look-a-likesThis species is relatively similar to some of the native hedgehog grasses (Echinopogon spp.), which also have egg-shaped (i.e. ovoid) or slightly elongated seed-heads with awns. However, the hedgehog grasses (Echinopogon spp.) usually have greenish coloured seed-heads and do not have a dense cover of feathery bristles on its flower spikelets. Control Dig/chip small infestations. Spot spray emerging plants when in period of active growth and prior to seeding.
Harrisia cactus
Harrisia cactus - Click to enlarge
Harrisia cactus
Harrisia spp
A perennial fleshy succulent plant that clambers over the ground or scrambles over other plants. Its stems are divided into enlongated, almost cylindrical segments, harrisia cactus does not have any obvious leaves but has spines arranged in small groups on ridges along the stems. The large white or pinkish flowers 15-20 cm long have numerous petals and open at night, its fleshy fruit 2-6 cm across are bright red in colour and are often covered in groups of spines. HabitatA weed of open woodlands and pastures that is most commonly found in semi-arid regions and drier sub-tropical and tropical habitats. DispersalThe seeds are spread by birds and other animals that eat the fruit. Stem segments may be dispersed by animals, vechicles and in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesSeveral of the cacti species are relatively similar. ControlConstant cultivation can remove infestations. Biological control by a mealybug may reduce infestations but does not entirely prevent seed production in Queensland. Control agents do not persist when the infestation becomes sparse, and results from biocontrol agents have been disappointing in the cooler climate of NSW. Cactoblastis and cochineal insect, which provide control of prickly pear (Opuntia species) are not effective on Harrisia cactus. There are herbicides registered for use on this plant.
Hawkweed
Hawkweed - Click to enlarge
Hawkweed
Hieracium spp
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Perennial herbs with a basal rosette of hairy leaves and branched flowering stem which may carry one or two small leaves. Orange hawkweed has orange daisy flowers which are surrounded by hairy blackish bracts. They are carried in a dense cluster at the tip of the flowering stem. HabitatA weed of cooler temperate and alpine environments. This species grows in pastures, grasslands, open woodlands, roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas, roadsides, gardens, lawns and apline meadows. DispersalFine wind-spread seed and by runners, forming dense mats. Although a prohibited import in Australia they occasionally appear in nurseries. Pilosella aurantiaca is another name under which orange hawkweed has been sold. The yellow-flowered mouse-ear hawkweed (Hieracium pilosella) has been found naturalised in Tasmania, and other species may appear in nurseries. Look-a-likesThe blackish hairy bracts on the buds and orange “petals” are distinctive to orange hawkweed. In growth form it is similar to a number of other weeds in the daisy family such as smooth hawksbeard (Crepis capillaris) and the native daisy Picris angustifolia but these are yellow flowered. However, the growth habit of numerous small rosettes connected by runners is not found in other weedy daisies with similar flowers. They consist of a single rosette, which may occur in groups but the individual plants would not be connected in any way. The small weed Tolpis umbellata or T. barbata is sometimes referred to as yellow hawkweed, but it is not one of the Hieracium genus and is not listed as a declared weed in NSW. It is generally only a minor weed of waste ground and roadsides. There are some mat-forming native daisies, particularly on the tablelands and in the Alps. Burr-daisies (Calotis species) can form dense, low mats, but these have purple, mauve or white flowers with petals in a single whorl, not multiple layers as in Hieracium. ControlNotify your local Council weeds staff if you see plants described as hawkweeds or Hieracium for sale or in a garden or if you suspect an infestation. Get plants identified and, if necessary, removed promptly. Prevent seeding or collect and destroy seed.
Hawthorn
Hawthorn - Click to enlarge
Hawthorn
Crataegus monogyna
A deciduous large shrub or small tree to 10 m. Bark is smooth and grey. Branches terminate in long thorns. Leaves are variable in shape, 3 to 7 lobed. Large white or pinkish flowers, similar to apple blossom, occur in clusters. Fruits are red, fleshy, about 1 cm diameter, and also rather apple-like. HabitatUsually a weed of agricultural landscapes, where it was once used as a hedging plant. Often in open paddocks, or under trees in rural remnant bush. Plants can become so thick that it reduces carrying capacity of pasture and makes stock mustering difficult. Displaces native species in remnant grassy vegetation in farming areas. Harbours pear and cherry slug, a pest of orchards. Encourages the build up of pest species of native fruit-eating birds such as currawongs, which prey on the nestlings of more desirable bird species. The dense spiny growth habit of hawthorn does provide safe nesting places for small native birds, but there are native shrubs such as blackthorn which do this job just as well, in addition to providing better food resources for other native fauna. DispersalBirds and other animals. Seed dumped in garden waste. Root suckers can come up after the parent plant is removed. Look-a-likesNo similar natives. Cotoneaster and pyracantha are weedy shrubs with similar flowers and red or orange fleshy fruits, but their leaves are not lobed. ControlCut and paint or stem injection, or spray small plants. Seedlings can be hand-pulled.
Hemlock
Hemlock - Click to enlarge
Hemlock
Conium maculatum
Robust annual or biennial herb 1 to 2m high with zigzagging stems, which have a whitish bloom, are finely blotched brown or purple, and are hollow. The leaves are finely divided and ferny in appearance. Flowers are small, white, and carried in branching umbrella-shaped heads. Hemlock is said to have a mousy smell when crushed. HabitatUsually found on waste ground in moist conditions, such as river banks and around the edges of pasture. Hemlock seldom forms large stands on the south coast, but it is a significant weed because all parts of the hemlock plant are poisonous to humans and livestock if eaten. It causes death by respiratory paralysis. Handling the plant may cause dermatitis in some people. It also taints milk and can affect yield, and if consumed in sub-lethal doses, may cause birth deformities. It is rarely eaten green by stock, but may be consumed when incorporated into hay or sileage. DispersalSeed is spread by water, machinery or vehicles, or in contaminated soil or by wind over short distances. Look-a-likesAnother weed in the same family, wild carrot is common on roadsides. It has similar heads of white or pinkish flowers, and the crushed leaves smell carroty. Fennel has a similar habit but narrower leaf segments and yellow flowers. Control both these weeds as for hemlock. A tall annual or biennial native herb Trachymene anisocarpa has similar branched umbrella-like heads of white flowers to those of wild carrot and hemlock. Its leaves are less divided, being composed of three lobed leaflets. It grows in wet sandy soils close to swamps. ControlHand chip small infestations or spot spray actively growing young plants before they elongate into the flowering stage, preferably with a selective woody weed herbicide. Slashing just before flowering may kill the plants, or some new growth may occur and need follow-up treatment.
Holly leaved senecio
Holly leaved senecio - Click to enlarge
Holly leaved senecio
Senecio glastifolius
Holly leaved senecio is a member of the daisy family. It is a stout medium-lived perennial (sometimes annual) with stems 1.0–1.5 m, occasionally to 2 m, tall. The stems, which may branch in older plants, can be 80 mm in diameter at the base of large plants. All stems produce flowers on widely spaced branches. The leaf’s length is approximately 1.5 times its width and it is widest just above the leaf centre. Leaves are serrated and often coarsely toothed near the leaf stalk, which can make them rather prickly to touch. The leaves are 100–150 mm long at the base of the plants, decreasing to 30–50 mm near the top of the stems, where they are less serrate. The leaves are a distinctive feature of the holly leaved senecio and make it relatively easy to identify, even when young. The inflorescences have supplementary bracts (a modified tiny leaf around the flower like a bud) 3.0–5.5 mm long, are yellow in the centre, and are surrounded by mauve petals, making the holly leaved senecio an eye-catching plant. The developing seed heads (derived from the inflorescences) turn into white fluffy balls by the time the seed has formed and ripened. In warm and wet conditions holly leaved senecio will germinate within two weeks. HabitatIt occurs naturally in shrubland and near waterways and more often in open, wet areas in its native habitat. It grows frequently on hillsides, coastal dunes and disturbed areas such as roadsides. DispersalReproduces from cuttings, fallen branches and wind-dispersed seed. While the primary mechanism of spread is seed dispersal, it is able to take root from fallen branches. Wind dispersal of the seed allows it to spread some distance from the original infestation, and seeds may remain viable in the soil for extended periods of time. Germination of holly leaved senecio seed is encouraged by fire. The occurrence of fire followed by good rains has proved to substantially promote its spread throughout its current range in Western Australia. It is believed that slashing fire breaks or disturbing the soil in the vicinity of the plant or its seedbank also assists the spread of seeds. Look-a-likesHolly leaved senecio can be confused with wild cineraria (Senecio elegans) at a distance, but up close the two plants are quite different. Both species are not native. ControlHolly leaved senecio may potentially be eradicated before it becomes a problem. Any new outbreaks should be reported immediately to your local council weed officer. Do not try to control holly leaved senecio without their expert assistance. Control effort that is poorly performed or not followed up can actually help spread the weed and worsen the problem.
Honey locust
Honey locust - Click to enlarge
Honey locust
Gleditsia triacanthos
A large tree with its trunk and branches covered in large, simple or branched, spines up to 18 cm long its once or twice compound leaves are alternately arranged along the branches. These leaves bear numerous leaflets (10-35 mm long and 4-12 mm wide) with finely toothed margins. Its inconspicuous flowers (3-5 mm long) are greenish or creamy-yellow and usually borne in elongated drooping clusters. Separate male and female flowers can be found on separate trees, but bisexual flowers are also produced. Its very large flattened pods (15-45 cm long and 2.5-4 cm wide) turn dark brown when mature and are somewhat curved. HabitatThis species is currently found mostly in sub-tropical environments, but has a much wider potential range, and is becoming more common in warmer temperate regions. It is mainly a weed of pastures, roadsides, disturbed sites, open woodlands, grasslands, watercourses and riparian areas. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed and also via root suckers, which gives it the capacity to form dense thickets. Plants also re-shoot vigorously when cut or damaged. The fruit are mostly dispersed by wind and water, and the seeds are also commonly spread by animals that eat the pods. Ornamental forms may also be dispersed in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesHoney locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is somewhat similar to Mysore thorn (Caesalpinia decapetala) and parkinsonia (Parkinsonia aculeata). Control Cut and paint cut stumps with woody weed killer, spot spray regrowth/reshooting.
Horehound
Horehound - Click to enlarge
Horehound
Marrubium vulgare
A bushy perennial plant, 30 to 80 cm high, sharply aromatic when crushed, covered with dense whitish hairs. Four-sided stems, up to 60 cm high, stout, branched, upright to trailing, densely hairy, whitish, and woody at the base. Opposite leaves, broadly oval to round, 1 to 3 cm diameter, wrinkled, the margins irregularly lobed, the upper surface bluish-green, the lower surface white-woolly, the stalks at least half as long as the blades. Veins are sunken on upper surface and prominent underneath. Flowers White, 6 to 10 mm long, arranged densely around the stems in the leaf axils. Flowering occurs mainly in spring, sometimes through to autumn. Branched woody taproot or rootstock with numerous fibrous lateral roots. HabitatA weed of temperate, semi-arid and occasionally also sub-tropical regions. It is found along roadsides, railways, fence lines, waterways, and in waste areas, disturbed sites, gardens, pastures, grasslands, open woodlands and sometimes also in crops. DispersalSeeds are primarily dispersed by stock, as the fruit or burr readily attaches to wool, fur, clothing and similar materials. Water is also an effective dispersal agent, and horses are known to pass the seeds, after ingestion, in a viable condition. Look-a-likesHas leaves similar in appearance to emerging Pelargonium (Geranium) species however is easily identified from flower stalk and seed. Control Hand pull/chip isolated infestations. Spot spray forming rosettes.
Horsetail
Horsetail - Click to enlarge
Horsetail
Equisetum spp
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Horsetail plants consist of a mass of erect stems, connected by underground runners (rhizomes). In general appearance they are reminiscent of sheoak (Casuarina species) seedlings. Stems are annual and sprawling to erect, to about 50cm high and 5mm in diameter, green, hollow and grooved, jointed with toothed brownish sheaths at the joints. Fertile stems are whitish and succulent, appearing in early spring. Leaves are reduced to teeth arranged in whorls at each stem joint, but there is also a whorl of small branchlets at each joint. Horsetails are related to ferns and do not produce flowers. They reproduce by spores, which are produced in swellings at the tip of the fertile stems. HabitatHorsetails are not genuinely aquatic, but they prefer moist soils where the water table is high, or drainage is impeded, where they can form very dense stands. In Australia they have been found in a limited area in damp bushland, roadsides, stream banks and pasture, and have the potential to become serious pastoral weeds. They are poisonous to livestock DispersalAlthough numerous spores are produced the new plants are very prone to drying out and most reproduction is vegetative, although in suitable wet sites new plants may appear from spores. Horsetail spreads gradually via the rhizomes, which can penetrate the soil very deeply. It grows readily from broken off sections of stem or underground tubers, which may be moved around during earth-works or if contaminated soil is transported to other areas. Look-a-likesA slightly similar native is the sedge Baloskion tetraphyllum which has similar jointed stems, with whorls of feathery leaves. It grows next to streams or in wet soils and has become popular in nurseries for growing around water features. The native branching clubmoss Lycopodium deuterodensum has a similar habit of sending up single stems from an underground rhizome, but its stems are branching. It tends to grow in sandy soils in areas of poor drainage on the coast. ControlControl is difficult because of the deep and extensive system of rhizomes and tubers. Cultivation will generally not be effective as plants readily resprout, and herbicides have been found to be variable in their effectiveness overseas. If you suspect you have an outbreak of horsetail, notify Council.
Hudson pear
Hudson pear - Click to enlarge
Hudson pear
Cylindropuntia pallida
Hudson pear is a branched cactus which grows to 1.5 m high and to 3 m wide, with a cylindrical trunk and rope-like segments. The segments are cylindrical with those above the trunk reaching 90 cm long and 4 cm wide. Depressions on segments (areoles) contain small bristles (glochids) and clusters of 4–8 spines. The spines may reach up to 3.5 cm in length on the outer segments. The outer layer of the spines separates into a paper-like, detachable sheath during the first year of development, a characteristic that Hudson pear shares with other Cylindropuntia species. Plants have pink flowers, about 5 cm wide, containing stamens with golden anthers and filaments that are pink towards the anthers and cream towards the base. The stigma is pale yellow. Fruit is wider towards the apex, never in chains and 2–4.5 cm long. Older fruit have few spines and are much less spiny than younger fruit. HabitatThe current Australian distribution of Hudson pear is north-western NSW (primarily around the opal mining areas of Lightning Ridge, Grawin and Glengarry and at Cumborah, although infestations have also been reported from Brewarrina, near Coonamble and Goodooga), South Australia and Western Australia. There are unconfirmed reports of its presence around opal mining areas in Queensland. Estimates of the area of NSW infested range from 60,000 to 100,000 hectares. This species has also naturalised in South Africa. Hudson pear occurs in a variety of habitats including eucalypt woodlands, alluvial floodplains, shrublands and rocky outcrops. It is currently mainly found on lighter soil types but will grow on most soil types. DispersalPlants flower in late spring and summer. Hudson pear reproduces vegetatively and is believed to not produce viable seed. Like many other cactus species, Hudson pear spreads by movement of segments and fruit that root where they come in contact with the ground. The term ‘segments’ has been used here to cover both parts of the plant and fruit as they behave similarly. Much of the spread of Hudson pear in the Lightning Ridge, Grawin and Glengarry areas appears to be associated with livestock, native and feral animals, vehicles, and water movement. New plants are capable of growing from segments of all sizes. Look-a-likesCylindropuntia pallida is possibly a hybrid between Cylindropuntia tunicata, which it resembles, and another as yet undetermined species. These two species occur in the same area but are easily separated when in flower. Cylindropuntia pallida has pink flowers and white spines while C. tunicata has yellowish-pink flowers and straw-coloured spines. ControlPhysical removal, while successful on isolated plants, is not recommended because of the danger of serious injury occurring during the process of removal. Once uprooted, plants need to be disposed of correctly to avoid new infestations arising from this material. Correct disposal methods include burying and burning. Adequate depth for burying has not been determined although some opal miners dispose of plant material down disused mine shafts. Burnt material requires checking for any regeneration. On larger infestations, physical removal is not viable because any missed plants or plant parts have the capacity to form new infestations if they come into contact with the ground and form roots. It is extremely important that the spread of Hudson pear be limited. Vigilance is the key to preventing spread. Hudson pear segments of all sizes should be removed as these are capable of forming new plants/infestations if they come into contact with the ground and form roots. When travelling in Hudson pear infested areas, take care not to leave designated roads. If you do need to travel off road, check vehicle tyres and undercarriage for any sign of Hudson pear and remove before leaving the area. If you have been outside the vehicle, remember to check clothing, footwear, any other equipment which may have come into contact with the ground and even the inside of the vehicle for Hudson pear segments. Any animals or stock should also be checked.
Hydrocotyle / Water pennywort
Hydrocotyle / Water pennywort - Click to enlarge
Hydrocotyle / Water pennywort
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides
Water pennywort, a native of tropical Africa and the Americas, trails across the water surface or wet mud, forming dense mats. Its long runners form roots at the nodes. The emergent hairless leaves are circular to kidney-shaped. Small flowers are in 5-10 flowered umbels (an umbrella shaped cluster) with green bracts below them. HabitatFresh water bodies such as farm dams, lagoons on river floodplains, rivers and creeks. Still or slow flowing water is usually preferred, and nutrient enrichment will greatly aid spread. The plant blankets the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. It also interferes with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduces water quality and blocks pumps. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. Many will spread from broken-off pieces or whole plants being moved on boats or fishing equipment from an infested to a clean water body, or can be washed out of lagoons into river systems during floods. Look-a-likesThere are numerous native and introduced members of the genus Hydrocotyle. The most similar is the introduced Hydrocotyle bonariensis, a common weed of beaches, which may also be found growing around the edges of lagoons behind beaches, or in temporary pools after rain. It is not really aquatic though. The main difference from the water pennywort is that the leaf stalk is inserted near the centre of the underside of the leaf, not near the leaf margin. There is a similar native pennywort, which is aquatic, Hydrocotyle verticillata, but it also has the leaf stalk inserted on the back of the leaf. Other semi-aquatic native pennyworts have very small leaves (2cm or less across), which may be deeply divided into 3 angular lobes (Hydrocotyle tripartita). ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ornamental ponds or aquaria. Some invasive water plants are still sometimes sold by nurseries or pet shops. If you notice this, report the instance to Council, so that the proprietors can be advised that it is illegal to sell these plants. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. For large infestations, herbicide may be required, but a permit will be required from the Environmental Protection Agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. Notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Hymenachne
Hymenachne - Click to enlarge
Hymenachne
Hymenachne amplexicaulis
Hymenachne is a semi-aquatic perennial grass that forms dense infestations in freshwater systems. It has become a major weed of northern Australia where it was originally introduced (to Queensland and the Northern Territory) as fodder for cattle in ponded pasture systems. It has since escaped cultivation and become an unwanted pest of wetlands, flood plains, irrigation systems, water storage facilities and sugar cane crops. Hymenachne infestations displace native plants, reduce biodiversity and threate native fish populations and wetland habitats. HabitatMany infestations occur throughout northern and central Queensland and the Northern Territory, including conservation areas of Kakadu National Park. In New South Wales (NSW) small, isolated infestations have been found in various locations in the Richmond, Tweed and Clarence River catchments on the North Coast. All known infestations are subject to control programs, with the aim of eradication. If left undetected, hymenachne has the potential to spread further in northern NSW and become a major weed of wetlands and waterways. DispersalHymenachne reproduces by seed and broken stem fragments. Each flower head can produce over 4000 viable seeds, generally in the autumn months as day length decreases. On land, seeds require contact with waterlogged or moist soil for at least 48 hours before germinating. Germination can occur at any time of the year but more commonly from November to March. Seeds can survive in water and are spread during annual flooding events and in mud attached to the fur or hooves of animals. Waterbirds may also be responsible for spreading seed. Broken stem fragments can be carried to new locations by floodwaters, and then take root in moist soil. Look-a-likesNative hymenachne (H. acutigluma) is a tropical species that grows in northern Australia and is not considered a problem. ControlHymenachne is difficult to control and is capable of spreading from plant fragments, requiring strict hygiene procedures during its removal. If you suspect you have found hymenachne, immediately contact a local council weeds officer who will assist with identification, removal and eradication.

I

Illawarra Flame Tree
Illawarra Flame Tree - Click to enlarge
Illawarra Flame Tree
Brachychiton acerifolius
Deciduous tree. Size: up to 35 m high, but much smaller when grown in gardens and in cooler areas where it reaches a height of only about 10 m. Leaves: smooth, oval-shaped and can have three or five lobes (and sometimes more). Each leaf is 10 – 30 cm long. The tree loses some or all of its leaves at the end of winter, before flowering, and the leaves turn yellow just before falling. Flowers: bright coral-red and bell-shaped, they occur in clusters at the end of branches. They are 1 – 2 cm long and have a waxy surface. They appear after the tree has lost all or some of its leaves. Fruit/seed: a dark-brown seed pod which is tough, leathery and about 10 cm long. It contains rows of corn-like seeds that are surrounded by hairs. NOTE: the hairs within the seed pod can irritate the skin and are easily inhaled, so it is not advisable to handle any open seed pods. HabitatWithin Australia it naturally occurs along the east coast from far north Queensland to the south coast of New South Wales. Considered outside of its range on South Coast NSW as it appears in new areas, as warmer temperatures enable them to live in environments that were previously too cold for them. In subtropical rainforest along the coast to the inland mountain ranges, including urban areas. Look in parks, gardens and along streets. DispersalSeed dispersal, carried by birds or in water. Look-a-likesPoinciana (Delonix regia): has feathery and fern-like leaves, doesn’t have the bell-shaped flowers, and has larger seed pods (20 – 70 cm long). ControlHand pull seedlings, cut and paint larger specimens.
Illyrian thistle
Illyrian thistle - Click to enlarge
Illyrian thistle
Onopordum illyricum
O. illyricum is a tall, erect annual or biennial herb, to 2 m high, with grey, white or occasionally greenish, tomentose, stems. Distinctive purple thistle flower. HabitatIllyrian thistle is particularly prominent in pastures in the temperate tableland regions in south-eastern Australia. It is a strong competitor and is able to establish in grassland communities, particularly those that are disturbed by heavy grazing. In native pastures, the broad flat rosettes of this species smother surrounding plants, and in over-grazed areas its can form dense stands which replace all other vegetation. DispersalSeed dispersal via wind, water and attachment to animals, machinery and humans. Look-a-likesCan be easily confused with the other major thistle weeds of the winter rainfall zone of south-east Australia. They are Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium) and Stemless thistle (Onopordum acaulon) Control Chip/dig emerging rosettes. Can also be spot sprayed prior to setting seed.
Inkweed
Inkweed - Click to enlarge
Inkweed
Phytolacca octandra
An erect branching perennial herb, usually about 1m high with a similar spread, which may be sprawling and open in shade or more compact, dense and erect in full sun. Stems are smooth and green or reddish. Leaves are large (5-16cm) and oval with a pointed tip, and smell unpleasant when crushed. Flowers are small and white in tight narrow clusters. The purple-black fleshy fruits are about 5mm in diameter and also in narrow clusters. There is a large woody white taproot. HabitatGenerally appears after disturbance, such as clearing or fire. Clumps often come up around windrows of felled timber. The plant is poisonous. The rampant growth will suppress any other plants growing beneath it. DispersalSeed is spread by birds and foxes Look-a-likesAn uncommon native plant Deeringia amaranthoides has similar leaves and fruits. It is a sprawling shrub which may also climb into other plants to some extent. Leaves have a more drawn-out pointed tip than those of inkweed. The small red flowers are in longer, more open spikes, and are followed by red berries, also in a more open spike. Deeringia often grows around the edges of fig-dominated dry rainforest. ControlSmall infestations can be chipped out but you need to dig quite deeply to remove the growing crown at the top of the root. Hand pulling is ineffective even on very small seedlings, as the plant invariably snaps off and leaves the root behind to re-grow. Herbicide should be effective.
Italian bugloss
Italian bugloss - Click to enlarge
Italian bugloss
Echium italicum
Italian bugloss is a biennial hairy plant. Upright with pinkish/white flowers. It is an uncommon weed that is related to Paterson curse. HabitatItalian bugloss is an uncommon weed of pasture, crops, roadsides and wasteland and can be poisonous to livestock. It is found in a few small patches in south-west NSW. DispersalThe seeds are dispersed by water, animals, wind and in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesItailian bugloss is similar to Patersons curse (Echium plantagineum) and vipers bugloss (Echium vulgare). It flowers are pinkish or white, with five protruding stamens. It is more hairy than Paterson’s curse or viper’s bugloss. Control Dig/chip small infestations taking care to remove tap root. Spot spray regrowth, seedlings.

J

Japanese Honeysuckle
Japanese Honeysuckle - Click to enlarge
Japanese Honeysuckle
Lonicera japonica
A large climber with twining stems and oval, thin-textured leaves in opposite pairs. Young leaves are lobed. Flowers are long-tubular, very sweet-scented, and white aging to yellow. Fruit is a black berry. Can develop a very thick woody stem. HabitatFound along forest edges and river banks, usually close to towns or old farms. It tolerates both sun and shade, but prefers moist soils. A very robust climber, honeysuckle is capable of smothering trees and shrubs, as well as groundcover vegetation over a large area. The berries are poisonous. DispersalSeed is spread by birds, or in dumped garden refuse or contaminated soil. Branches will take root where they come in contact with the soil. Dumping can spread the plant vegetatively. Look-a-likesOther Lonicera species (vines and shrubs) and hybrids of Japanese honeysuckle are sold by nurseries. All have bird-distributed fruits and should be avoided. No similar natives. ControlHand-pull or dig young plants, scrape and paint old stems. Spray with selective or non-selective herbicides. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem.
Jasmine
Jasmine  - Click to enlarge
Jasmine
Jasminum polyanthum
Jasmine is a vigorous fast-growing evergreen climber. It climbs rapidly into the canopy and smothers vegetation, blocking light and hindering the growth and regeneration of native species. Jasmine has bright white and sometimes pink flowers that have a strong scent. Produces small glossy black berries 5-8mm in diameter (rarely formed in Australia). HabitatHas the potential to be a serious weed in rainforests and riparian areas. Can become a problem in disturbed areas of bushland. Grows well in moist, fertile soils. DispersalPrimarily spreads via stems and suckering. A common garden escapee that is often spread through dumped garden waste. Once in a new area it spreads by sprawling over vegetation and sets roots where stems touch the ground. Look-a-likesLooks similar to other species including Native Jasmine (Jasminum didymium) and Wonga Wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana). Can easily be differentiated from Wonga Wonga vine when flowering, Jasmine has star shaped flowers and Wonga vine has tubular flowers. Native Jasmine can be differentiated by its different leaf shape. ControlSeedlings can be manually removed. Mature vines are best cut near the base and painted with a suitable herbicide. It is often required to do multiple treatments to prevent re infestation.

K

Karoo Thorn
Karoo Thorn - Click to enlarge
Karoo Thorn
Acacia Karroo
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Karoo thorn is a fast-growing shrub or tree to 25m high. It has conspicuous long spines several cm long, which are in V-shaped pairs. Leaves are bipinnate (feathery), green and hairless. Flowers are yellow and similar to native wattles (Acacia species). Seed pods are flat and hairless. HabitatIts adaptation to the dry African savannah climate and its rapid growth make this species potentially very invasive in Australia and the long spines make it unpleasant to deal with. It could greatly reduce carrying capacity in pastoral land, make mustering difficult, provide harbour for feral animals and seriously affect biodiversity. DispersalLong-lived seed could be dispersed in contaminated soil. Look-a-likesMesquite (Prosopis species) are similar. They also have bipinnate leaves, wattle-like yellow flower clusters (long rod-shaped ones, not ball-shaped) and paired or single thorns 4-60mm long at the base of each leaf. They are also declared noxious in class 2 in Southern Slopes and Upper Lachlan LCAs, and because they are in a notifiable class (1, 2 or 5), cannot be propagated or sold anywhere in NSW. See the entry for this weed for more information on it. The environmental weeds black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) and honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) are similar in having pinnate (once-divided) or bipinnate foliage, thorns or long spines at the base of each leaf (and sometimes scattered on the trunk) and flat pea or bean-like pods. The flowers of black locust are pea-like, not wattle-like, and held in long drooping clusters of many cream to yellow flowers. The thorns are small, curved and paired. Honey locust flowers are inconspicuous, while its thorns are long and branched on the trunk, with two smaller thorns at each leaf base. There are thornless varieties. There are some wattles (Acacia species) native to the South Coast and Southern Tablelands which either have sharply pointed leaves or prickles on the stems. Two are illustrated, hedge wattle (Acacia paradoxa), which grows on the tablelands and slopes with an isolated population around Batemans Bay, and dagger wattle (Acacia siculiformis). Both have flowers and seed pods similar to karoo thorn, but lack the very long paired, white spines. ControlNotify your local Council Noxious Weeds staff if you think you have seen this plant.
Kidney-leaf mud plantain
Kidney-leaf mud plantain - Click to enlarge
Kidney-leaf mud plantain
Heteranthera reniformis
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Kidney-leaf mud plantain is 20–50 cm tall and grows in fresh water less than 15 cm deep and on damp soil at the water’s edge. The stems can grow along the mud under the water, with leaves and stems emerging, or the whole plant can float. Roots occur at nodes along the stem. HabitatIt is able to form dense mats and colonise open shallow water, such as disturbed wetlands and flooded rice production. Such characteristics make this weed a potential threat to native vegetation and freshwater aquatic habitats. Kidney-leaf mud plantain was introduced to Australia as an ornamental pond plant and has been actively promoted on a number of Australian websites. DispersalKidney-leaf mud plantain‘s main method of dispersal is through vegetative reproduction. Any stem fragment containing one or more nodes is capable of producing a new plant. Plant fragments can be washed downstream or moved to a new location in mud stuck to animals or vehicles. Seeds are winged and small, allowing them to be dispersed by wind and water. Seeds are capable of existing in the soil for many years. Look-a-likesMay be confused with other aquatic plants with kidney shaped leaves. If in doubt contact your local Council weeds officers. ControlA local council weeds officer will assist with identification, control information, removal and eradication. Kidney-leaf mud plantain is capable of spreading from plant fragments and strict hygiene procedures are required for the control of this plant.
Kikuyu
Kikuyu - Click to enlarge
Kikuyu
Pennisetum clandestinum
A mat-forming grass, spreading by underground runners (rhizomes). Rhizomes are thick and usually white, at least on new growth. Leaves are bright green, folded in bud and flat and about 1cm wide when mature. Kikuyu seldom flowers or seeds, but flowers are concealed except for very frail thread-like white structures (the pollen bearing parts). HabitatGrows in pasture where it is a valuable fodder source for cattle particularly. Some farmers love it and some hate it. Being of tropical origin it browns off in winter, leaving a big gap in the fodder supply. Unfortunately also able to invade remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas, in paddocks or on roadsides, where it can suppress native groundcover species. It does not like deep shade, so does not advance very far into forests, but forest edges or narrow belts of trees on roadsides suit it fine. It does better with a reasonable supply of moisture, but will persist in dry sites too. Kikuyu is a blight in gardens and tree plantings, where it climbs up through and smothers shrubs and young trees. The long runners can pass under concrete paths and sprout from the tops of the walls of abandoned buildings. DispersalSeed is rarely produced (but can be bought for its weight in gold). Usual means of spread is by broken runners. Even small fragments, such as are found in lawn clippings, will take root. People assist its spread by slashing on roadsides, by collecting manure from dairies for the garden, by using clippings as mulch, and by dumping material from the garden into bush. It is often deliberately planted to stabilise bare ground after excavation work. Look-a-likesBuffalo grass is a similar creeping grass which is equally invasive. It does flower regularly, with the seeds held flat against a broad compressed stem in a short spike. One native grass does look a little like kikuyu until it seeds, hillside burr grass. It forms loose scrambling clumps rather than spreading by runners, but the stems and leaves are similar to kikuyu. However, the very spiky black burrs about 5mm across and held in narrow spikes at the tips of the branches are distinctive. It mostly grows on north-facing hillsides, often among rocks. ControlThe best way to keep kikuyu out is to avoid introducing it in the first place. Use oats, millet or some similar temporary cover crop to stabilise bare ground until the native vegetation that was there originally can re-colonise the site. Avoid collecting manure or mulching materials from sites where it occurs. If you notice it becoming established, remove it quickly, before it has a chance to spread. Kikuyu can be dug out, but this can be very laborious, unless it is growing under a thick mulch. In this case the runners grow along the surface, and are easy to pull up. It is very easy to kill with non-selective herbicide, or some grass-specific herbicides can be used to remove it from among native grasses, with minimal damage to the natives.
Kochia / Burning bush
Kochia / Burning bush - Click to enlarge
Kochia / Burning bush
Bassia scoparia
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Kochia is a bushy annual, growing to 1.5 m tall and wide in good conditions. It has an erect main stem with many upwards-curving side branches. The stems and leaves are generally green, but change to yellow, red and brown as the plant ages and dies. Kochia is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. HabitatKochia is able to grow in a wide range of soil types, and is drought tolerant. It thrives in warm, low rainfall environments such as the cereal-growing regions of the southern mainland states of Australia. DispersalKochia reproduces by seed only. The species typically produces around 14 000 seeds per plant in late summer. Seeds are dispersed in autumn when the plant becomes a tumbleweed. Dead plants break off at ground level and are blown large distances by the wind. The tumbleweed habit is capable of spreading seeds up to a kilometre from where the plant was growing. Seeds appear to have a relatively short life in the soil, mostly germinating in spring or as suitable conditions allow. Look-a-likesThis plant is difficult to confuse with other species due to its distinct foliage which changes from green, to yellow then a bright red/pink as its matures which is how it gets its common name, Burning Bush. ControlIf you think you‘ve seen this plant, contact Council‘s invasive species staff immediately on 4474-1269.
Koster's curse
Koster's curse - Click to enlarge
Koster's curse
Clidemia hirta
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A densely branching long-lived (i.e. perennial) shrub normally growing 0.5-3 m tall, but sometimes reaching up to 5 m in height. In more shaded habitats it grows much taller than it does in exposed areas, where it typically grows less than 1 m tall. A much-branched shrub with oppositely arranged leaves. Stems, leaves and fruit are covered in large, stiff, brownish-coloured hairs. Its leaves have five prominent veins, finely toothed margins, and a somewhat wrinkled appearance. Small white flowers have five petals (6-11 mm long) and distinctive claw-like stamens. Small rounded fruit (4-9 mm across) are dark blue, purple or blackish in colour. HabitatThis species prefers humid tropical climates and may invade both disturbed and undisturbed habitats. It is a potential weed of wetter pastures, open grasslands, plantations, roadsides, wetter open woodlands, waterways (i.e. riparian vegetation), forest margins and rainforests. DispersalThe most common method of dispersal of Koster‘s curse is via birds that eat the berries. The fruit may also be spread by water and human intervention such as in potting material or mud on machinery or vehicles. Look-a-likesThis species is quite easily recognisable and there are no native or naturalised species in Australia which closely resemble it. Young plants, with their stiff hairs and crinkled leaves, may vaguely resemble a stinging nettle (Urtica spp.), but mature plants can be distinguished by their shrubby habit and white flowers. ControlMust be reported to Biosecurity inspector or authorised person. Must not be distributed, moved, possessed or kept under your control.

L

Lagarosiphon
Lagarosiphon - Click to enlarge
Lagarosiphon
Lagarosiphon major
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A submerged aquatic plant with stems up to 5 m long that are usually rooted to the substrate. Its small strap-like leaves (5-20 mm long and 2-3 mm wide) are densely arranged in a spiralling pattern along the stems. These leaves are strongly bent downwards and have minute teeth along their margins. Its tiny flowers are pink or purplish in colour and borne just above the water surface on long thread-like stalks. HabitatA potential weed of slow-moving waterways, ponds, lakes and dams in the temperate regions of Australia. DispersalAll reproduction is vegetative (i.e. asexual) in Australia, via stem fragments and creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes).The creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes) allow colonies of this weed to increase in size and spread laterally across or along a water body. Stem fragments are usually introduced into new water bodies in dumped aquarium waste are spread down catchments by water movement and floods. Look-a-likesLagarosiphon (Lagarosiphon major) can be confused with other submerged water weeds such as dense waterweed (Egeria densa), elodea (Elodea canadensis), hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana) and parrot‘s feather (Myriophyllum aquaticum). ControlThere are no known infestations of lagarosiphon in Australia. Because it poses such a serious threat, any outbreaks should be reported immediately to your state or territory weed management agency or local council. Do not try to control lagarosiphon without their expert assistance. Control effort that is poorly performed or not followed up can actually help spread the weed and worsen the problem.
Lantana
Lantana - Click to enlarge
Lantana
Lantana camara
Declared Biosecurity Matter Lantana forms a large intricately branched shrub, which may sometimes climb into trees. Stems are square in profile, with small prickles, and leaves are arranged in opposite pairs. The leaves are broadly oval, rough to the touch with short hairs, with finely toothed edges. They have a strong smell when crushed. Flowers are a mixture of cream, pink or orange, numerous in small rounded heads. Fruits are small fleshy berries in clusters, green ripening to black. HabitatLantana may be close to its climatic limit on the far south coast. It prefers moist soils and a warm, humid climate, which restricts the areas it can invade. It is abundant in the Illawarra, and on the good volcanic soils and mild maritime climate of Mt Dromedary, but very uncommon further south. It generally occurs along the edge between forest and cleared land, and in paddocks is often associated with rock outcrops. It comes up under trees, where birds deposit the seeds, but does not do well in dense shade. Lantana castes a dense shade which suppresses all other plants. It may also release chemicals from the leaves or roots which suppress the growth of other plants. It can alter the soil chemistry so that remaining trees do not thrive. It can entirely take over the understorey of disturbed wetter eucalypt forest and rainforest, and climb to a height of 10m or so in the remaining native trees, shading their foliage as well. The plants are highly flammable, and may become a fire hazard in dry conditions. Lantana is poisonous to stock, and humans. DispersalClumps increase in size from seedling growth along the edges, by suckering from the roots, and by layering, or taking root where stems contact the ground. Can grow from stem fragments if these are deposited on moist soil, for example, by slashing. Birds and foxes can spread seed. Look-a-likesLantana is unmistakeable in flower, but the native herb cockspur flower could be mistaken for a young lantana plant. It has the square stems, opposite, oval toothed leaves, and is aromatic when crushed. It grows in association with rock outcrops in similar locations to lantana. It can be distinguished by being velvety hairy on the leaves and stems rather than roughly hairy. The flowers are small and blue, in elongated spikes. The native shrub or small tree poison peach bush has similar raspy textured oval leaves, but they are smaller and narrower than those of most lantana and arranged alternately on the stems, not in opposite pairs. It also has black berries, but they are not in compact clusters like lantana fruits. ControlSeedlings and smaller plants, particularly the straggly specimens which grow in deep shade within forest, can be hand-pulled or dug out. Cut and paint plants growing amongst native vegetation. Spray dense infestations, or plants in pasture. Suckers are likely to arise from the roots and will need follow-up work. Hot fires have been shown to kill mature plants, whereas they will re-sprout after a cooler fire (be sure to apply for appropriate fire permit). Seedling growth and re-sprouters after fires would need follow-up.
Large-leaf Privet
Large-leaf Privet - Click to enlarge
Large-leaf Privet
Ligustrum lucidum
A small tree with leathery, hairless, oppositely arranged leaves. Its relatively large dark green leaves (4-24 cm long and 2.5-8 cm wide) are glossy in appearance. Its small white flowers (about 6 mm across) are borne in large branched clusters (8-25 cm long) at the tips of the stems. Its bluish-black berries (5-10 mm long) are borne in large attractive clusters. HabitatMainly a weed of wetter sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions, but occasionally also recorded in tropical and cooler temperate areas. It is often cultivated as a hedge or windbreak, and has often become naturalised in and around rainforest areas. Also a weed of open woodlands, grasslands, pastures, waste areas, disturbed sites, roadsides and waterways. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed, which are readily dispersed by fruit-eating (i.e. frugivorous) birds and other animals. They may also be spread about by water and in dumped garden waste. The bunches of mature fruit are also used in flower arrangements. Look-a-likesBroad-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) is very similar to Chinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) and common privet (Ligustrum vulgare). It is also relatively similar to Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica). ControlHand pull seedlings, cut and paint larger plants. Treatment of large/parent plants can stimulate mass germination of seedlings which can be spot sprayed.
Leafy elodea
Leafy elodea - Click to enlarge
Leafy elodea
Egeria densa
A very leafy aquatic plant that grows almost entirely submerged, its stems up to 5 m long are usually anchored to the substrate, but can sometimes be free-floating at the water surface. Its partially see-through and strap-like leaves densely clustered along stems in groups of 3-7. The white flowers are borne just above the waters surface and have three broad petals 9-12 mm long. Leafy elodea only reproduces vegetatively in australia, via stem fragments. HabitatGrows in a wide range of climates (i.e. from temperate to tropical environments). It is an aquatic weed that infests slow-moving waterways, ponds, lakes, dams and water features. DispersalStem fragments are spread along waterways by water movement and boats and are usually introduced into new water bodies in dumped aquarium waste or by contaminated vehicles. Look-a-likesCan be confused with other submerged water plants such as , largarosiphon, cabomba and parrots feather. ControlSmall infestations can be hand removed taking care to remove all leaf and stem segments. Contact Council regarding large infestations.
Lesser Hawkbit , Hairy Hawkbit
Lesser Hawkbit , Hairy Hawkbit - Click to enlarge
Lesser Hawkbit , Hairy Hawkbit
Leontodon taraxacoides
Perennial herb to 40 cm tall with a basal rosette of hairy leaves which are narrow and lance shaped often, but not always, lobed. Flower-head on a solitary stem and nodding in bud. ‘Petals’ 3-7 mm long, bright yellow with a purplish exterior. Fruit dries with hairs that serve to bear the fruit on the wind. HabitatHairy hawkbit (Leontodon saxatilis) is mainly a weed of habitation (e.g. lawns, gardens, footpaths, parks, roadsides, disturbed sites and waste areas), but also invades pastures and natural areas. It is only regarded as an important environmental weed in Victoria, but is a problem species in moist habitats (e.g. swamps, wetlands and riparian areas) in many parts of southern Australia. DispersalWind borne seed. Look-a-likesHairy Hawkbit is similar to a number of other flatweeds such as Dandelion. ControlCan be dug out, taking care to ensure that the entire tap root is removed. Alternatively spray using a broad leaf herbicide particularly if located within a lawn. The broad leaf herbicide will ensure that the lawn will not be impacted.
Lions Tail , Honey Weed
Lions Tail , Honey Weed - Click to enlarge
Lions Tail , Honey Weed
Leonotis leonurus
A striking shrubby perennial growing to 2m. Tall straight stems bear lance shaped leaves that are aromatic. In Summer, clusters of bright orange tubular flowers are borne in knobby whirls along the stems and at the tips. After flowering the flower heads form with brown clusters persisting for a long time on the flowering stem. HabitatUsually seen only near houses where it probably becomes established due to dumping of seed-bearing garden waste. However, a population is well established and spreading by seed in dune vegetation at the mouth of the Shoalhaven River so it appears capable of spreading into relatively undisturbed native vegetation. If it becomes dense enough it may displace native species DispersalDumping of plants carrying seed, seed quite fine and may be spread in strong winds. Look-a-likesThe foliage of lions tail could be confused with some other members of the mint family (Lamiaceae) such as the widespread weed purpletop (Verbena bonariensis) and the native Australian gypsywort (Lycopus australis) both of which have toothed opposite leaves. However these have square stems, while those of lions tail are grooved with rounded corners. The bright orange flowers of lions tail are quite distinctive. One rare native plant, tall raspwort (Haloragis exalata) also has toothed opposite leaves, but it too has square stems, and its flowers are very tiny, green to red and carried in long terminal spikes. ControlSeedlings and smaller adult plants may be hand pulled or dug out. Larger plants may need to be sprayed. If plants are carrying seed ensure this is not spread during control activities. Seed heads may need to be cut off and bagged for safe disposal before digging out the plant
Lippia
Lippia - Click to enlarge
Lippia
Phyla canescens
A perennial creeping herbaceous plant usually forming a dense ma over the ground surface. Its small leaves 10-70 mm long and 4-25 mm wide are oppersitely arranged and usually have finely toothed margins. These leaves are somewhat fleshy and greyish-green in colour, the flowers are borne and small, dense, rounded clusters 5-10 mm across and whitish, pinkish, lilac or purplish in colour, with yellowish centres. its small, dry fruit are enclosed in the old flower parts and spilt into two seeds when mature. HabitatA weed of pastures, grasslands, waterways and roadsides in semi-arid, sub-tropical and warmer temperate environments but also grown in lawns and gardens. DispersalReproduces by stem fragments as well as seed. Stem fragments and seeds are spread during floods and by other soil disturbances. Dispersal of this plant has also been aided by its use as a low-maintenance lawn in some areas. Look-a-likesLippia (Phyla canescens) is very similar to carpet weed (Phyla nodiflora). These two species are very difficult to distinguish, except by the different habitats they are usually found in: Lippia (Phyla canescens) is found mostly in wetter inland habitats on clay soils. Its leaves are usually greyish-green with very short teeth and its flowers are usually lilac or pinkish in colour. Carpet weed (Phyla nodiflora) is found mostly in more humid coastal areas on sandy soils. Its leaves are usually dark green with obvious teeth and its flowers are usually whitish in colour. Control Hand remove small infestations or spot spray with a selective herbicide.
Long-leaf willow primrose
Long-leaf willow primrose - Click to enlarge
Long-leaf willow primrose
Ludwigia longifolia
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A small upright shrub usually growing 0.5-2 m tall. Its hairless stems are conspicuously square in cross-section and usually also somewhat winged. Its elongated leaves are hairless or almost hairless (5-35 cm long and 4-25 mm wide) and glossy in appearance. Its bright yellow flowers have four greenish or reddish sepals and four, or rarely five, bright yellow petals. Its hairless fruit are sharply four-angled (10-42 mm long and 4-8 mm wide) and contain large numbers of tiny dust-like seeds. HabitatIt is an occasional garden escape in the Sydney region, and in south-east Queensland. It is usually associated with wet areas, though it is not actually aquatic. DispersalThis species generally only reproduces by seed, however branches that are detached during floods can take root and develop into new plants. The small seeds can be dispersed by water, wind, animals or human activities (e.g. in contaminated soil or dumped garden waste). Look-a-likesThe noxious weed Ludwigia (Ludwigia peruviana) is a similar and closely related tall weed of the margins of water bodies, but it has narrowly oval hairy leaves (see separate entry for this weed). The very much smaller native water primrose (Ludwigia peploides ssp montevidensis) has similar yellow flowers, but is a prostrate plant which floats on the water surface or trails over mud around pond margins. ControlIt is no longer legal to propagate or sell this species. Advise your local Council weed staff if you see it being offered for sale.
Loquat
Loquat - Click to enlarge
Loquat
Eriobotrya japonica
Loquat is a fruiting tree or shrub that can grow up to 9 m, but more commonly to around 3 m. Leaves are typically 12 - 30 cm long and 7 - 10 cm wide with a with a dark green glossy upper surface and white or rusty coloured hairy underside. Leaves are arranged alternately but can appear whorled at the tips of branches. The plant bears yellow to orange coloured fruit that are rounded or pear shaped and up to 5cm in length. Fruit appears in clusters of 4 - 30. HabitatCan grow in a range of habitats and has become naturalised in dry sclerophyll forests and along waterways. It is also common along roadsides, urban bushland, disturbed sites and forest margins. DispersalLoquat spreads via seed and is often dispersed by birds, other animals and humans. New plants often emerge around the parent tree as a result of falling fruit. Look-a-likesMay be mistaken for Eggfruit (Pouteria campechiana) another plant that has small yellow fruit and similarly shaped leaves. Eggfruit however, does not have toothed leaf margins like the Loquat. ControlLoquat can be controlled by using the cut and paint method, spraying foliage and hand removing smaller individuals.

M

Madiera Cherry/Jerusalem Cherry
Madiera Cherry/Jerusalem Cherry - Click to enlarge
Madiera Cherry/Jerusalem Cherry
Solanum pseudocapsicum
An erect branched, slightly woody perennial herb to about 1m high with thin-textured light green, non-hairy, alternately arranged leaves. Flowers are about 15 mm diameter, white, with fused petals. The fruit is a bright orange-red berry, also 10-15 mm diameter and looking like a small tomato or chili. HabitatPrefers moist situations within forest, such as gullies. It is quite shade tolerant. Madeira cherry is generally only a minor weed of bushland, seldom being present in large amounts.The plants sometimes appear in gardens, the seed being deposited by birds, and are tolerated because of their colourful fruits. However, the fruits are very poisonous to humans. They are sometimes sold incorrectly labelled as being an edible chili. DispersalBirds spread the seeds far into relatively undisturbed bush. Look-a-likesThere are a number of members of the nightshade family with similar flowers. On the south coast, most native nightshades have purple flowers and usually sharp prickles on at least the stems, and often the leaves as well. Weedy nightshades such as Solanum chenopodioides generally have white flowers and no prickles. Colour of the ripe berry varies from species to species. Green, yellow, black and red are all possible. Berries of the nightshade family should be treated with great caution. Some are edible when ripe and some are very poisonous to humans. ControlHand-pulling or chipping. Not usually present in sufficient numbers to need herbicide
Madiera Vine / Lamb's Tail
Madiera Vine / Lamb's Tail - Click to enlarge
Madiera Vine / Lamb's Tail
Anredera cordifolia
A large vine with fleshy, glossy, slightly heart shaped leaves, and long pendulous spikes of tiny cream flowers. The plant grows from large underground tubers and forms distinct aerial tubers along the stem, which will sprout to form new plants when they fall to the ground. These tubers are similar in appearance to the ginger root used in cooking. HabitatMore common in the northern parts of the region, but present at least as far south as Bega. Generally in moist sunny sites such as river banks and gully edges. Dies back over winter in the southern part of the region, and re-sprouts from the tuber in spring. Climbs over shrubs and trees, smothering and breaking them down. Also spreads over the ground, smothering native groundcover plants and preventing regeneration. DispersalSpread by tubers, in dumped garden waste or contaminated soil, or by water, such as along rivers in floods. Aerial tubers will be shed from stems if the vine is cut, and remain viable in soil for at least 5 years. Look-a-likesThe fleshy leaves and aerial tubers are distinctive, though the tubers may not always be present. Most other climbing plants with fleshy leaves are also weeds, such as cape ivy and climbing groundsel. One small native vine, climbing lignum has slightly fleshy leaves, which may also have a heart-shaped base similar to Madiera vine. Climbing lignum leaves differ in having finely crisped margins. It only grows on sea cliffs and dunes. Some native vines have glossy, but not fleshy, heart-shaped leaves: snake vine , pearl vine, round-leaf vine and giant pepper vine. Giant pepper vine clings to tree trunks with small suckers of aerial roots, unlike Madeira vine which twines. ControlPlants can be dug up, but large tubers may break up in the process. Careful collection and disposal of aerial tubers will be needed if pulling vines down, to avoid spreading the plant. Use a tarp laid under the working area to catch them. Spraying with herbicides is useful for plants without aerial tubers, and young regrowth. Scrape and paint method can be used on mature vines. This will kill aerial tubers slowly. Results need to be monitored for regrowth. Respraying needs to be done frequently, to prevent enough foliage recovering to support the development of new tubers.
Marram Grass
Marram Grass - Click to enlarge
Marram Grass
Ammophila arenaria
Tall tussock forming dune grasses to 1m with grey green smooth hairless foliage, with a plastic-like texture. The pale wheat coloured seed heads are spike-like and rise above the leaves. The hummock gets larger as the plant matures and becomes established. Initially planted as a dune stabilizer, Marram grass is fairly common on the South Coast particularly around beach entrance ways. HabitatBeaches, dunes, and adjacent sandy areas. DispersalSpreads by seed and rhizome. Look-a-likesCan be confused with the similar clump-forming natives, Dune Fescue (Poa billardierei), Coastal Poa (Poa poiformis) and Coast Spear Grass (Austrostipa stipoides). The distinguishing feature of Marram Grass is the generally broader leaf with the outer surface shiny green and the inner face blue and deeply grooved. It also has a very long ligule, a flap of tissue located where the leaf blade meets the stem. In most grasses this is only a mm or two long and invisible without magnification, but in Marram Grass it is 20-30mm long and very obvious. ControlDig small plants out or spot spray larger plants with a registered herbicide such as Glyphosate. Severe infestations that contain a high percentage of desirable native species can be burned to reduce the density of Marram Grass whilst promoting the growth of the native plants. Monitor the area for germinating seedlings.
Mexican feathergrass
Mexican feathergrass - Click to enlarge
Mexican feathergrass
Nassella tenuissima
A tufted long-lived and upright perennial grass growing 25-70 cm tall. It grows in a dense fountain like clump with slender (less than 1mm wide) leaves that roll tightly inward so that they appear wiry. Serrations make the leaves feel coarse when sliding fingers down the length of the leaf blade. Mature plants form small, white seeds that grow in the top third of the tussock. Seeds have a long awn (tail 5-9 cm long) with one or more bends. HabitatIs a potiental weed of temperate and semi-arid regions that will most likely invade pastures, grasslands, grassy open woodlands, disturbed sites, roadsides and waste areas. DispersalThese Seeds are commonly spread by the wind and also become attached to animals, clothing and vehicles. They may also be dispersed in contaminated agricultural produce. Look-a-likesMexican feather grass is very similar to serrated tussock but can be distinguished by its much shorter awn (tail 2.5-3.5cm) on seeds. Other grasses that are commonly reported as Mexican feather grass include fox tails (Pennisetum spp.) because the flowers look like feathers and the native poa (Poa spp.) as the growth habit is similar to that of a tussock. The difference in both cases are that the leaves of these grasses are flat, not tightly rolled like Mexican feather grass. Control Small infestations can be chipped out, disposed of in a closed plastic bag in the red bin. Do not compost or add to green waste bins. Call Council re advice for herbicide use.
Mexican poppy
Mexican poppy - Click to enlarge
Mexican poppy
Argemone ochroleuca
Mexican poppy is an erect, spreading annual herb with grey-green, deeply lobed leaves to 12cm long, usually with silvery spines at the tips of the lobes. The yellow poppy flowers are 4-7cm across and produced in summer. They are usually deep yellow but occasionally pale lemon yellow. The green seed capsule is usually prickly but may sometimes lack prickles. HabitatRoadsides and degraded areas. DispersalFine seed may spread by wind however contaminated soil is the more likely means of spread. Look-a-likesThere is a relatively common weed of waste ground, also called Mexican poppy (Argemone ochroleuca), which looks very similar. Its flowers are cream or pale yellow. ControlIt is not legal to propagate or sell Mexican poppy. Advise your local Council weed staff if you see anything which resembles this plant being offered for sale, or if you think you have an infestation.
Miconia
Miconia - Click to enlarge
Miconia
Miconia spp
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Miconia grows as a small tree, up to 15 metres tall. Leaves are commonly 60 to 70 cm long (maximum 1 m), dark green with three prominent veins on the upper surface and distinctly purple-blue undersides. Young stems and leaves have velvety hairs. Flowers are numerous, sweet-scented, white to pink in colour, and very short-lived (dying 12 to 24 hours after opening). Fruit is dark purple and about 1 cm in diameter. The fruit is sweet-tasting and very attractive to birds. Each fruit contains between 50 and 200 tiny seeds that are about 0.5 mm in diameter. HabitatMiconia is a rainforest tree, and the climate throughout much of northern and eastern Australia is ideal for the plant. DispersalMature trees (4-5 years old) can flower and fruit three times a year producing up to 5 million seeds. Birds are the primary vectors of dispersal but small mammals are also major contributors. Because the seeds stick to mud on shoes, clothing and machinery, humans also contribute to spread. Seeds remain viable in the soil for 5 years or more. Germination requirements are varied with most seeds remaining dormant until stimulated by sunlight from an opening in the canopy, however seeds will also germinate under heavy shade. Miconia can also spread vegetatively through layering and resprouting. ControlA range of control methods is available for miconia, but control needs to be carried out carefully to prevent the re-establishment of massive numbers of seedlings from the soil seedbank. Contact your local council weeds officer for assistance with identification and control of miconia.
Mikania
Mikania - Click to enlarge
Mikania
Mikania micrantha
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Mikania is a rapidly-growing multi-stemmed vine that prefers to climb over already established plants or structures. Young lateral shoots will twine around a plant‘s own main stem until other support is found. In the absence of support it grows prostrate along the ground. Leaves are heart-shaped, tapering to a sharp point, 4-13 cm long and 2-9 cm wide. They occur in opposite pairs along the stem on a stalk 2-8 cm long. Stems are slender, ribbed with fine white hairs; although some stems may be hairless. Flowers are produced in a flat-topped cluster, where each flower head is 4.5-6 mm long and contains four individual whitish flowers 2-4 mm long. Flowering occurs mostly between May and October, but can take place all year if plants are exposed to full sunlight. Seeds are black, 1.5-2 mm long, thin and flattened. Each seed has a parachute-like tuft of fine whitish bristles (pappus) that are 2-3 mm long. HabitatMikania thrives in open, sunny, disturbed areas, but will also tolerate partial shade. It prefers warm and humid tropical climates with rich damp soils and an annual rainfall over 1000 mm. DispersalA mikania plant is capable of producing around 40 000 seeds each year. These small seeds are equipped with a pappus which assists wind dispersal and can be transported some distance from the original plant. Seeds can also be dispersed via animals, water and machinery. Mikania is also able to reproduce vegetatively from stem fragments that take root at their nodes. Fragments can be spread by machinery and water. Cultivation practices can also break up and spread viable stem fragments. Look-a-likesMikania vine is reasonably similar to several other vines including the climbing groundsels and ivy groundsel when not in flower. However, these species all have yellow flowers and are usually only found in sub-tropical and temperate regions.It is also reasonably similar to the native headache vine, but on close inspection this species has leaves with three leaflets and its flowers have four petals. ControlThere are no chemicals registered to specifically control mikania vine. Any suspected infestations must be immediately reported to Council‘s invasive species staff on 4474-1269, who will develop a site-specific eradication program with the relevant landholder.
Mile a minute, Coastal Morning Glory
Mile a minute, Coastal Morning Glory - Click to enlarge
Mile a minute, Coastal Morning Glory
Ipomoea cairica
A rampant climber or creeper with hairless slender stems. Its very distinctive leaves have 5-7 finger-like lobes. Its large purple, purplish-pink or whitish tubular flowers (4-6 cm long and 5-8 cm across) have a darker centre its small capsules (10-12 mm across) turn brown as they mature and contain four seeds. These seed are partly covered in long silky hairs HabitatFound mostly in coastal ereas around sea cliffs, particularly in exposed-coastal locations in moist shady or sunny sites. Sea-cliffs, gullies, forest edges. Can smother both trees and shrubs and the groundcover vegetation. DispersalReproduces vegetatively, from stem segments dumped or transported by floods or mowing machinery. Mile-a-minute also has wind-spread seed. Look-a-likesThe native vine, large bindweed has narrowly heart-shaped leaves and a large pink flower, with white bands. It differs from the morning glories in having the base of the flower enclosed in two large green flaps. It often grows in wet areas around the edges of towns. There are smaller native twining plants in the convolvulus family, Calystegia marginata, Convolvulus erubescens and Polymeria calycina, which have white or pink morning glory-like flowers, but all are much smaller than the weedy species, with flowers generally only 4cm or less in diameter, and leaves also smaller and roughly arrowhead shaped. The small native beach plant, Calystegia soldanella, has a pink flower with white bands. The leaves are heart shaped, waxy and fleshy, to protect it from water loss in the harsh beach habitat. It trails across the sand or may have the stem buried with just the leaves protruding above the sand. ControlStems will take root wherever they touch the ground, so if plants are being hand-dug, it needs to be done thoroughly. Young plants which are not trailing over the ground can be cut at the base and left to dry out in place, with the cut stem being treated with herbicide. Large woody stems can be treated by the scrape and paint method. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem, but if fruits are present (even if they are still green), they should be collected as carefully as possible and destroyed by burning or deep burial.
Mimosa
Mimosa - Click to enlarge
Mimosa
Mimosa pigra
Mimosa has large thorns (5-10 mm long) on the stem and smaller thorns on the branches between the leaves. The greenish stems on young plants become woody with age. Leaves are green, feathery and fern-like, with the central leaf stalk being prickly and 20-25 cm long. The flowers are round, fluffy, pink or mauve balls 1-2 cm across. HabitatFavours a wet–dry tropical climate, in areas with above 750 mm annual rainfall and higher temperatures. In areas with less than 750 mm of annual rainfall, it could still pose problems in wetlands and around dams and waterways. Mimosa pigra will establish in a range of soil types and is found in moist situations. DispersalSeed pods are easily spread by humans, animals and water. The segments stick to the fur of animals and can pass unharmed through their digestive tract. Segments may become attached to people’s hair, shoes and clothing. Vehicles, boats and machinery also transport seed either in mud or loose as a result of brushing up against plants. Look-a-likesMimosa bush (Acacia farnesiana) is native to Central and South America. It is a rounded shrub or small tree that forms thorny thickets. ControlContact Council for control advice.
Ming Asparagus
Ming Asparagus - Click to enlarge
Ming Asparagus
Asparagus macowanii var. zuluensis
Ming asparagus fern is a shrubby plant with a fern-like appearance, usually growing 1-2 m tall; although it occasionally grows to 3 m. The root system consists of relatively short, fleshy, tuberous roots. Older stems are pale grey to whitish and have small spines. Leaf-like cladodes (modified stems) are needle-like, hairless, usually slightly curved, 12-25 mm long and about 0.5 mm wide. They are borne in cluster of 20-30 along the stems; the clusters somewhat resemble pom poms. Flowers are small, bisexual (both male and female parts present), white to cream, borne on short stalks and arranged in dense clusters. They are produced in large numbers for a short period in summer. Berries are 6-10 mm in diameter, rounded, green at first and turning purple to pinkish-red or with a bluish bloom to black as they mature. Fruit are borne year round. HabitatMing asparagus fern prefers semi-shaded situations. It is primarily found in the understorey of drier forests, but has the potential to invade riparian areas, forest margins, open woodlands, urban bushland, coastal environs, roadsides, disturbed sites and waste areas. DispersalMing asparagus fern primarily reproduces from seed, but can also spread vegetatively from the roots. The main growth period is from autumn through to spring, but green foliage is present year-round. Flowering chiefly occurs in spring and early summer. Fruit set occurs from spring to summer, but fruit can be present year-round. Fruit are spread by birds, foxes, reptiles and other animals that can deposit seeds far from the parent plants. Fruit are also spread by water and dumping garden waste. Vegetative spread is primarily by people dumping garden waste. Look-a-likesLooks similar to other species of asparagus fern and can resemble a small sicklethorn. ControlCan be sprayed or hand pulled, ensuring that the main stem is removed and properly disposed of. Ming asparagus fern is banned from sale, propagation and knowing distribution across all of NSW. It is a Regionally Prohibited, notifiable noxious weed in many council areas. This declaration requires that plants must be eradicated from the land and that land must be kept free of the plant.
Mirror Bush
Mirror Bush - Click to enlarge
Mirror Bush
Coprosma repens
A straggly shrub 2-4m high, with round, highly glossy and slightly fleshy leaves. If the plant is growing in a very dry situation the leaves may be rolled almost into a tube to reduce water loss from the leaf surface. Plants are either male or female. Flowers are small and white, followed by small fleshy orange berries on female plants. Cultivars with variegated foliage are sold in nurseries, and these should also be regarded as potentially weedy. HabitatMirror bush is primarily a coastal weed, as it is mainly planted in coastal gardens due to its high salt tolerance. Usually found behind beaches or on coastal cliffs. It can invade coastal eucalypt forest and littoral rainforest. The dense shade cast by mirror bush suppresses native vegetation DispersalBirds and other animals. Movement of seed-contaminated soil. Can take root from dumped material. Look-a-likesA weed with glossy fleshy leaves is the shrubby climber, climbing groundsel, but its leaves are bluntly angular, not circular. It has yellow daisy flowers, and seeds with a parachute of hairs, like those of dandelions. ControlSeedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Cut and paint large plants. They are likely to re-sprout and require follow-up spraying. Plants with a waxy cuticle on the leaf such as mirror bush will need a penetrant added to any herbicide applied as a spray. Younger plants are more susceptible to sprays than older plants. If staged removal is being done to prevent possible erosion remove female, fruit-producing plants first.
Mistflower
Mistflower  - Click to enlarge
Mistflower
Ageratina riparia
Mistflower is a branching perennial herb about 1m high, although often sprawling out over water along creek edges. Leaves are diamond or lozenge shaped, in opposite pairs, and leaf margins are finely toothed. Flowers are small, fluffy and white, in branched terminal clusters. HabitatA weed of moist, warm situations such as creek banks, road verges on moist slopes, storm water drains. Mostly confined to the northern coastal part of the region, north from about Nowra. Much more common in northern NSW, where it also invades pasture. Sometimes used as a garden plant, and therefore naturalised around some towns in southern Australia. Mistflower forms dense stands in moist sites, choking out native vegetation. If it moves into run-down pasture stock carrying capacity can be reduced. Seedlings are not very competitive in vigorous pasture. Mistflower has been shown to be toxic to some stock in laboratory trials. DispersalThe tiny black or dark brown seed has a parachute of fine hairs, and is spread by wind and water, and in contaminated soil on vehicles and machinery, or on clothing. Broken off pieces may take root, and local spread occurs when branches trailing over the ground take root. Look-a-likesCrofton weed has a very similar habit and flowers but leaves are triangular to trowel-shaped, tapering abruptly to the leaf stalk, 5-8 cm long, on long stalks. The native herb Indian weed (Sigesbeckia orientalis) has a similar habit and leaf shape, but leaves are more arrowhead shaped, flowers are tiny and yellow, and enclosed by very sticky bracts. Native stinging nettle (Urtica incisa) has similar leaves to mistflower, in opposite pairs, but it has inconspicuous flowers in long narrow spikes, and is covered in long visible stinging hairs. It often grows in similar shady areas near creeks. ControlHand-pull or dig, or spray with non-selective or selective woody weed herbicide, when the plant is actively growing, but before flowering occurs. Monitor and control any regrowth. A biological control for mistflower was introduced into southern NSW in 2011 and is proving quite effective in defoliating the plants, although they may subsequently recover. Called the white smut fungus (Entyloma ageratinae) it causes brwon patches on the upper leaf surface and edges and white fluffy fungal growth can be seen on the lower leaf surface. Unfortunately this fungus does not appear to affect Crofton weed.
Montbretia
Montbretia - Click to enlarge
Montbretia
Crocosmia X crocosmiiflora
An erect perennial her up to 60 cm tall with short-lived foliage that grows each year from long-lived underground bulbs. The bulbs 10-35 mm across are rounded or flattened and covered in several brown fibrous layers, its strap-like leaves 30-80 cm long are mostly clustered near the base of the plant and sheath the stem. Flowers are borne in elongated clusters at the top of the stems, these yellow to orange-red flowers are tubular in shape and have 6 petals. Its three-lobed capsules turn brown and become shrivelled as they mature. HabitatA weed of temperate and sub-tropical environments. It inhabits wetter grasslands, open woodlands, pastures, waterways, gardens, roadsides, waste areas, disturbed sites and railway enclosures DispersalInfestations spread laterally via the growth of underground rhizomes while long-range dispersal of the corms and seeds occurs via water, machinery, contaminated soil or dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesLined tritonia (Tritonia gladiolaris) is very similar to some other invasive bulbous species with whitish flowers, including freesia (Freesia alba x Freesia leichtlinii), sparaxis (Sparaxis bulbifera) and hesperantha (Hesperantha falcata). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: lined tritonia (Tritonia gladiolaris) flowers are white or cream, but covered with a network of thin dark brown lines. The flower styles are divided into three branches and hence they have three stigmas. freesia (Freesia alba x Freesia leichtlinii) flowers are white or cream, often with some purplish markings on the outside, and the lower three petals have yellow markings on the inside. The flower styles are divided into six branches and hence they have six stigmas. sparaxis (Sparaxis bulbifera) flowers are white or cream, often with some purplish markings on the outside, and their centres are usually yellow. The flower styles are divided into three branches and hence they have three stigmas. hesperantha (Hesperantha falcata) flowers are white or cream with a distinctive purple-brown colour on the outside of the petals. The flower styles are divided into three branches and hence they have three stigmas. ControlSmall infestations or individual plants may be manually dug up from the ground. All root material and bulbs must be removed. Foliar application of a registered herbicide during periods of active growth (when in leaf and prior to seed forming).
Morning glory, Blue morning glory
Morning glory, Blue morning glory - Click to enlarge
Morning glory, Blue morning glory
Ipomoea indica
The leaves of blue morning glory are broadly heart-shaped or three-lobed, but variable in shape. Flowers are tubular, about 8 cm in diameter, and pink to mauve to deep blue, with paler bands. Fruit is a four-valved capsule, but blue morning glory seldom sets seed in southern Australia. HabitatFound around towns, particularly in near-coastal locations in moist shady or sunny sites. Sea-cliffs, gullies, forest edges. Both can smother both trees and shrubs and the groundcover vegetation. DispersalCan reproduce vegetatively, from stem segments dumped or transported by floods or mowing machinery. Mile-a-minute also has wind-spread seed. Look-a-likesThe native vine, large bindweed has narrowly heart-shaped leaves and a large pink flower, with white bands. It differs from the morning glories in having the base of the flower enclosed in two large green flaps. It often grows in wet areas around the edges of towns. There are smaller native twining plants in the convolvulus family, Calystegia marginata, Convolvulus erubescens and Polymeria calycina, which have white or pink morning glory-like flowers, but all are much smaller than the weedy species, with flowers generally only 4cm or less in diameter, and leaves also smaller and roughly arrowhead shaped. The small native beach plant, Calystegia soldanella, has a pink flower with white bands. The leaves are heart shaped, waxy and fleshy, to protect it from water loss in the harsh beach habitat. It trails across the sand or may have the stem buried with just the leaves protruding above the sand. ControlStems will take root wherever they touch the ground, so if plants are being hand-dug, it needs to be done thoroughly. Young plants which are not trailing over the ground can be cut at the base and left to dry out in place, with the cut stem being treated with herbicide. Large woody stems can be treated by the scrape and paint method. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem.
Mossman River grass
Mossman River grass - Click to enlarge
Mossman River grass
Cenchrus echinatus
It is an erect annual grass forming loose tussocks with stems to 90cm long. Stems are branching, prostrate at the bases and rooting if they contact the soil. Leaf blades are stiff and flat and 5-25cm long and 3-12mm wide, flat and smooth on the lower surface, but rough on the upper surface. Narrow linear seed heads at the stem tips carry 5-50 pale brown sometimes green to purple-tinged burrs. Burrs are produced from January to May and the plants die back over winter. HabitatMossman River grass is primarily a weed of northern Australia, particularly the coastal areas to date but there are scattered infestations in NSW and it has reportedly occurred in the Illawarra region. It is a native of tropical America. It prefers light or sandy soils and grows rapidly in moist conditions. It is a serious weed of horticulture (sugar cane, orchards, vegetable crops etc). The burrs reduce the value of wool and hides and make affected animals unpleasant to handle. They can cause injuries to the eyes, mouth and feet of dogs and stock. DispersalBurrs cling to animals, clothing, vehicle tyres and machinery. They may also be spread in contaminated hay, and float on water. Spread by water may be significant in irrigated areas. Look-a-likesThe burrs are distinctive, but could be confused with a local native species, hillside burr grass, which often grows on rocky slopes with a warm northerly aspect. It is a perennial grass and also has quite broad bright green leaves, and looks similar to kikuyu until it produces its spikes of black burrs in late summer. The black colour of the ripe burrs would separate this native species from Mossman River grass, though it might not be desirable to wait until burrs are ripe for a definite identication of this weed. Similar also to weedy burr-grasses, Cenchrus incertus and Cenchrus longispinus ControlAs Mossman River grass is an annual, it is essential to control it before it seeds. Dig or spot spray before seeding and monitor the site for new seedlings which might germinate later. It is not very competitive in dense pasture.
Moth Plant
Moth Plant - Click to enlarge
Moth Plant
Araujia sericifera
A woody vine with oval leaves, sometimes with a slightly heart-shaped base, and a white underside, growing in opposite pairs. The leaf upper surface is a dull dark green, not glossy. Milky sap is produced from cuts. Showy white shortly tubular flowers are held in the leaf axils. Seeds have a tuft of hairs to assist dispersal, and are packed tightly into a leathery green choko-like capsule, which splits when ripe. HabitatWidespread in a variety of habitats, but most common in moist soils along rivers. Climbs over shrubs and small trees, smothering and breaking them down. Also spreads over the ground, smothering native groundcover plants. The milky sap is irritant to the skin and eyes. DispersalSeed spreads on the wind and in water. Look-a-likesThe flowers and choko-like fruits are distinctive but there are some native climbers with similar leaves. Milk vines also have milky sap and opposite leaves. However, the upper surface is shiny and the underside pale green in M. rostrata and yellowish in M. flavescens. Flowers are smaller, and yellow, and seed pods long and narrow. Common silkpod has similar leaves which are dull green above and paler green below, yellow flowers and long cigar-shaped pods. The small native vine Tylophora barbata has clear sap, opposite pale green leaves and the rarely produced flowers are small and dark purple. ControlYoung plants are easily hand-pulled if growing in loose soil, or can be dug out. Large plants can be treated by the scrape and paint method. Wear gloves when handling this plant and avoid getting the sap in the mouth or eyes. When removing any species of vines, be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem, but if fruits are present they are best collected and destroyed (do not place in green waste/compost bin).
Mother of Millions
Mother of Millions - Click to enlarge
Mother of Millions
Bryophyllum delagoense
A fleshy herbaceous plant with upright stems growing 30-180 cm tall. Its mottled leaves are cylindrical and have a few small teeth near their tips. Tiny plantlets are often produced at the tips of its leaves. Its drooping bell-shaped flowers (2-4 cm long) are usually red or reddish-pink in colour. These flowers are borne in dense clusters at the top of its stems. HabitatA garden escapee usually found close to towns, spreads vigorously through slashing and mowing.A widespread weed of pastures, grasslands, open woodlands, waste areas, disturbed sites, fencelines, roadsides, embankments, and railways in sub-tropical, semi-arid, tropical and warmer temperate regions. It is commonly found growing in rocky sites or on poor soils. DispersalReproduces by seed and by tiny plantlets that are produced at the tips of its fleshy (i.e. succulent) leaves. Dislodged leaves and broken leaf parts can also take root and give rise to new plants. This species is commonly spread in dumped garden waste. Its very fine seeds are probably wind and water dispersed and its leaves and plantlets may also be dislodged and spread by animals, vehicles, machinery and slashers. Look-a-likesMother-of-millions (Bryophyllum delagoense) is very similar to hybrid mother-of-millions (Bryophyllum x houghtonii) and mother-of-thousands (Bryophyllum daigremontianum). It is also relatively similar to resurrection plant (Bryophyllum pinnatum), prolific mother-of-millions (Bryophyllum proliferum) and lavender scallops (Bryophyllum fedtschenkoi). ControlSmall infestations can be hand removed taking care to remove all stem, leaf and root fragments. Large infestations can be foliar sprayed - call Council for application rates.
Myrtle Leaf Milkwort
Myrtle Leaf Milkwort - Click to enlarge
Myrtle Leaf Milkwort
Polygala myrtifolia
An upright shrub usually growing 1-2.5 m tall, most readily recognised by their mauve-purple, pea-shaped flowers produced throughout most of the year, predominantly during spring. Flowers develop two-celled flattened seed capsules that ripen from green to papery brown. HabitatA weed of coastal environments, open woodlands, grasslands and water courses in the temperate regions. DispersalMainly dispersed by seed which can be spread by birds, ants, wind, water and in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesMyrtle-leaf milkwort (Polygala myrtifolia) is similar to broom milkwort (Polygala virgata). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: myrtle-leaf milkwort (Polygala myrtifolia) is a large spreading shrub with relatively broad leaves (more than 6 mm wide). Its flowers are borne in short clusters at the tips of the branches. Broom milkwort (Polygala virgata) is a small slender shrub with narrow leaves (usually less than 6 mm wide). Its flowers are in long clusters at the tips of the branches. Both are introduced species. ControlHand remove/pull seedlings. Larger plants can be cut and painted, applying herbicide directly to the cut stump and leaving roots in situ.

N

Narrow Kernel Espartillo
Narrow Kernel Espartillo - Click to enlarge
Narrow Kernel Espartillo
Amelichloa brachychaeta
Espartillo is an erect tussock-forming grass that grow 75-100 cm high. Leaf blade is stiff, flattened or tightly rolled, up to 50 cm long and 1.5–2.5 mm wide, rough to touch. Brownish-purple seed head 15-25mm long producing completely hairy (& sticky) yellow/brown seeds 2-3mm long. If left untreated, espartillo tussocks can grow up to 1 m wide. The centre of the plant dies back, leaving a seed rich mulch. HabitatEspartillo thrives in temperate grasslands. It occurs as a weed of roadsides, disturbed areas, open forests, grazing land, native grasslands and waterways. DispersalEspartillo reproduces only by seed. Most spread is by the seed attaching to livestock or humans. Seeds have awns that can attach to fur, wool and clothing. Seed can also be spread by vehicle movement and water. Look-a-likesChilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana) is very similar to narrow kernel espartillo (Achnatherum brachychaeta). Similar also to broad kernal espartillo (Amelichloa caudata), and the two species are difficult to tell apart, except for the following differences: Narrow kernal espartillo has a completely hairy seed coat; and a grain that is relatively narrow (2-3 mm long and 0.9-1.0 mm wide). It produces stem seeds in both the upper and lower leaf sheaths. Broad kernal espartillo has a partly hairy seed coat; and a grain that is relatively broad (2-3 mm long and 1-1.4 mm wide). It produces stem seeds only in the lower leaf sheafs. Espartillo is also similar in appearance to the native spear grass. ControlAlways treat small infestations to prevent them from becoming large ones. Once established, espartillo is very difficult to control. Treating plants before flowering and seed set can be advantageous. Always check the leaf bases for seeds as these can be produced without any visual seed head forming. In small infestations, clumps can be dug out and removed. Always dispose of the grass in an appropriate manner to prevent further spread. After removal from the site, plants can be dried out and burnt to destroy plant material.
Narrow-leaf Cotton Bush/Swan Plant / Milkweed
Narrow-leaf Cotton Bush/Swan Plant / Milkweed - Click to enlarge
Narrow-leaf Cotton Bush/Swan Plant / Milkweed
Gomphocarpus fruticosus
A tall slightly woody herb 1-2m high. Leaves are narrow, opposite and dark green. Flowers are white, shortly tubular, about 1 cm across, and carried in drooping clusters in the leaf axils. Fruit is a papery green pod with a covering of long bristles. Seeds are large and black, with a parachute of fine white hairs. The plant exudes a milky sap when damaged. HabitatGrows in a wide range of open sunny habitats, usually forest margins or grassy remnant native vegetation of farming areas. Seldom becomes abundant on the south coast. The plant is poisonous and has caused deaths in cattle, sheep and poultry. It is seldom consumed fresh, but may be dangerous if included in cut fodder or chaff. The main symptom of poisoning is gastro-enteritis. The bladder-like pods may be attractive to children as playthings. DispersalWind-spread seed and suckering from the roots to a limited extent. Seed may also be spread in mud on vehicles and machinery or in contaminated grain or hay. Look-a-likesFlowers and fruits are distinctive, and the combination of narrow opposite leaves and milky sap is not shared by any native plants of the south coast. ControlDig or hand pull small infestations, removing as many roots as possible to minimise suckering. Spot spraying will also be effective.
Nodding Thistle
Nodding Thistle - Click to enlarge
Nodding Thistle
Carduus nutans
Most thistles are erect single-stemmed or branching biennial herbs ranging from 30cm to 2m high depending on species and growing conditions. They are characterised by having long spines on the leaf margins and stems. The plant begins life as a rosette, from which an elongated flowering stem arises. Flower heads consist of numerous small flowers clustered into cylindrical or hemispherical heads at the branch tips, and surrounded by spiny bracts. Flower colour is pink to purple for most of the species found on the south coast. HabitatThistles are invasive weeds of pasture, reducing carrying capacity. The broad flat rosette habit in the early stages of growth smothers surrounding grass plants, and the density of stands which can occur after disturbance such as over-grazing or cultivation can choke out all other vegetation. Unpalatable to stock because of the spines, it is favoured by heavy grazing. The spiny nature of thistle plants restricts stock and human movement in infested pasture. Thistles are a more troublesome weed in the drier tablelands and slopes of NSW. Black or spear thistle is the most common thistle found on the coast. It is often mistakenly referred to as Scotch thistle. Slender thistle is less common, but widespread. The remaining four species are not well established on the coast, although they may become locally common in some areas as a result of feeding contaminated hay. Scotch, variegated, saffron and nodding thistle should all be destroyed wherever they are detected on the coast, to prevent them becoming well established here. Thistles generally prefer more fertile soils, and hence seldom invade forests on the coast, except occasionally along road edges. They are sometimes a serious weed of remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas. DispersalSeed is wind-blown, and moved around in soil and on vehicles and machinery. Contaminated hay and agricultural seed are also a source of infestations. The degree of wind movement of thistle seed varies with the species. Although all have a parachute of bristles to help keep the seed aloft, in some species such as nodding thistle this breaks off readily and does not assist much with dispersal. In other cases such as black thistle, seed can drift for long distances on the wind. Look-a-likesThe weed Mexican poppy has thistle-like spiny foliage which is silvery grey in colour. It is in the poppy family, and has a cream coloured poppy flower and a prickly seed capsule which splits at the top to release numerous small black seeds. It grows to about 1m high. There is a native plant with thistle-like foliage, the blue devil. It is a plant of native grasslands and grassy woodlands on the tablelands and slopes, and is very unlikely to be found on the coast. It has blue flowers in branched heads, and is not in the daisy family ControlThistles can be chipped out with a mattock (hold the top of the plant down to the ground with one foot to get the spiny leaves away from your hands while chipping, or catch them while still in the rosette stage). Spot spraying or boom spraying can be used for larger infestations. Goats and donkeys can help reduce seed-set by eating the flowers.
Noogoora burr
Noogoora burr - Click to enlarge
Noogoora burr
Xanthium occidentale
An upright or spreading short-lived herbaceous plant usually growing to about 1 m in height. Its much-branched stems are covered in short, stiff, hairs that give them a rough texture. Its large, broad, irregularly toothed leaves are also rough to the touch and commonly have three or five broad lobes. Its fruit is a shortly-stalked and oval-shaped burr (7-20 mm long) containing two seeds. This fruit is covered in numerous hooked spines (about 2 mm long) and has two larger spines (about 4 mm long) at its tip. HabitatA widespread weed of crops, cultivation, pastures, waterways (i.e. riparian areas), floodplains, roadsides, disturbed sites and waste areas in temperate, semi-arid, sub-tropical and tropical environments. DispersalThis species reproduces entirely by seed. The burrs are well adapted for dispersal, due to their hooked spines, and readily become attached to animals, clothing and vehicles. They may also be spread by water, during road maintenance activities, and in contaminated agricultural produce (e.g. particularly in wool). Look-a-likesNoogoora burr (Xanthium occidentale) is one of the closely related species that make up the Noogoora burr complex (Xanthium strumarium sp. agg.). The species in this complex can be distinguished by the following differences: Noogoora burr (Xanthium occidentale) has leaves that are quite deeply three or five lobed and its stems are usually covered with purplish streaks or blotches. Its relatively small fruit (7-20 mm long) are topped with two relatively small (about 4 mm long) straight beaks that are parallel or slightly divergent. South American burr (Xanthium cavanillesii) has leaves that are not distinctly lobed or shallowly lobed, and the base of the leaf blade is somewhat heart-shaped (i.e. cordate). Its relatively large fruit (15-30 mm long) are topped with two relatively large (6-8 mm long) straight beaks that are usually divergent. Hunter burr (Xanthium italicum) has leaves that are usually distinctly, but not deeply, three lobed. Its relatively large fruit (20-30 mm long) are topped with two relatively large (about 7 mm long) divergent beaks that are incurved at their tips. Californian burr (Xanthium orientale) has leaves that are distinctly three lobed and its stems are green or reddish brown in colour. Its relatively small fruit (15-20 mm long) are topped with two relatively small (4-6 mm long) divergent beaks that are incurved and hooked at their tips. Noogoora burr (Xanthium occidentale) may occasionally also be confused with Bathurst burr (Xanthium spinosum). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: Noogoora burr (Xanthium occidentale) has relatively large leaves (up to 20 cm long) that are very broad (up to 18 cm across) and often have three or five lobes with irregularly toothed margins. ControlSpot spray or chipping out for small infestations, larger infestations may require slashing (prior to setting seed) or spraying.
Norfolk Island Hibiscus
Norfolk Island Hibiscus - Click to enlarge
Norfolk Island Hibiscus
Lagunaria patersonia
Medium tree to 15m with smooth grey grey bark and thick oval shaped olive green leaves 5 - 10cm long. The leaf upper side is scurfy in appearance and the underside is silvery, at least in new growth. Flowers are 5 petalled pale pink to mauve, with a prominent column of fused stamens. The large red-brown seeds are held in a leathery capsule, splitting into 5 segments. The seed capsule also contains fibreglass-like hairs which are irritant, hence other common names Itch Tree or Cow Itch Tree. HabitatEndemic to Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island, doubtfully QLD. Found in moister coastal sites such as swamp oak forest or wetland edges and sometimes on coastal cliffs and headlands. DispersalSeed dispersal is by birds. Readily escapes cultivation. Look-a-likesNorfolk Island Hibiscus can superficially look like many commonly cultivated Hibiscus species but its flowers lack the frilly petal margins typical of cultivars, and it is a tree rather than a shrub. ControlCut down and paint the stumps with neat glyphosate within 20 seconds of cutting. Monitor for regrowth and germinating seedlings. Larger trees could be stem injected. Make an angled incision about 1 cm deep into the trunk with a tomahawk, chisel or drill and squirt glyphosate into it. Several such incisions will be needed, spaced evenly around the trunk.

O

Ochna/Mickey Mouse Plant
Ochna/Mickey Mouse Plant - Click to enlarge
Ochna/Mickey Mouse Plant
Ochna serrulata
A small woody shrub with rough pimply-textured bark. Its alternately arranged leaves are narrowly oval or elongated and have finely toothed margins. Its bright yellow flowers (2-3 cm across) have five petals, five sepals and numerous stamens. The sepals are initially green, but they turn bright red as the fruit develop. The small fruit (5-8 mm long) turn from green to black as they mature and grown in clusters of 4-6. HabitatFound in dry and wet eucalypt forest and rainforest, where it can dominate the understorey and prevent regeneration by native plants DispersalBird dispersed and dumping of plants carrying seed. Look-a-likesThe native shrub or small tree hairy clerodendrum has a similar fruit to ochna, with a berry ripening to black and seated on a fleshy red calyx. However, clerodendrum has only a single berry on each red calyx, instead of a cluster of 4-6 berries. The leaves of clerodendrum are quite different, being large, and often velvety hairy, although old leaves may become hairless with time. It grows on rainforest edges north from Batemans Bay. A native tree with similar leaves to ochna is the whalebone tree which grows in rainforest north from Milton. It has leaves of similar size to ochna, with finely serrated margins. They differ in being glossy on the upper surface, and they feel rough on both surfaces due to the presence of numerous small papillae on the leaf surface. They are alternate on slightly zigzag stems, unlike ochna leaves which are opposite. Streblus stems do not feel rough, while ochna stems do. ControlOchna is very resistant to herbicides, and re-sprouts vigorously if it is damaged. Seedlings may be dug out. Hand-pulling is likely to leave the taproot behind to re-grow, though small plants in moist soil can be pulled readily enough. Cut and paint or stem inject mature plants, preferably before they begin to develop seed. To improve the effectiveness when using the cut and paint method, peel the bark back all around the stump and apply herbicide quickly to both the cut face and the exposed outer wood. If using stem injection, use a knife to remove a strip of bark 10cm long and immediately apply herbicide to this area. Make 1-3 such strips around the trunk, depending on the plant size. Spray any regrowth. Selective herbicides will be most effective. Generally spraying works best on seedlings and regrowth with ochna, as the older dark green leaves do not absorb the herbicide well.
Olive Hymenachne
Olive Hymenachne - Click to enlarge
Olive Hymenachne
Hymenachne amplexicaulis
a large spreading grass with thick pithy stems, these stems are often trailing or creeping (sometimes floating on water) and regularly produce roots at their joints. Its leaves have large, relatively broad, stem-clasping leaf blades (10-45 cm long and 2-6 cm wide). Its elongated seed-heads are spike -like in appearance (10-50 cm long and 0.8-2 cm wide), they contain numerous individual flower spikelets that are 3-4 mm long. HabitatThis species thrives in wetter tropical and sub-tropical environments. It is a weed of swamps, wetlands, seasonally flooded areas, waterways, riverbanks and other water bodies. It is also quite common in sugar-growing areas, where it is occasionally known to invade plantations. DispersalThis plant reproduces by seed and also vegetatively via stem fragments. The seeds are dispersed by birds, in floodwaters, in mud and in contaminated agricultural produce. Stem fragments are most commonly spread in floodwaters, but in the past they were also been deliberately introduced into new regions as a ponded pasture grass. Look-a-likesHymenachne (Hymenachne amplexicaulis) may be confused with the closely related native species Hymenachne acutigluma. Control Mechanical or physical removal will not completely eradicate hymenachne because of the plant‘s ability to reproduce vegetatively from very small pieces. Heavy earth-moving machinery can be effective. Fire is a tool for the dry season. When integrated with other control methods, fire can improve overall results and reduce cost.
One-leaf Cape tulip
One-leaf Cape tulip - Click to enlarge
One-leaf Cape tulip
Moraea flaccida
This plant is toxic to both animals and humans. A long-lived Perennial herbaceous plant with short-lived stems 25-60 cm tall growing each year from a long-lived underground bulb. Each plant produces a single large strap-like leaf up to 1 m long which sheath the base of the stem. The flowers are usually orange or salmon pink in colour, with yellow centres and have six elongated petals which ae 25-40 mm long. Its fruit is an elongated capsule 25-55 mm long that has a short projection at its tip. HabitatA common weed of pastures, open woodlands, wetlands margins, grasslands, roadsides, parks, disturbed sites, waste areas and crops in temperarte regions. It may occasionally also be found in semi-arid regions. DispersalCape tulip reproduces vegetatively by bulbs and also produces seed. Mature corms 10-25 mm across are white with light brown fibrous covering and produce 1-3 new corms each season. The corms and seeds are both spread by machinery and in contaminated agricultural produce. Seeds may also be dispersed by animals, wind and water and corms dispersed during the cultivation of paddocks. Look-a-likesOne-leaf Cape tulip (Moraea flaccida) is similar to Cape tulip (Moraea collina), two-leaf Cape tulip (Moraea miniata) and Cape tulip (Moraea ochroleuca). All are introduced species. ControlA long term weed management program is essential for control. Only a portion of corms and cormils will sprout in any one season. Control of these plants will have no effect on the dormant corms. Ongoing treatment every year will be required to reduce the level of dormant corms. Early treatment of new infestations and small patches should be a priority. Individual plants can be dug out, making sure to remove the corms. Herbicides often give the best control, but will require continual maintenance and follow-up treatments. The optimum treatment period for herbicide application is July–September. This is when plants are in their active growth phase and just at flowering, when the corms have nearly exhausted their food reserves. Herbicide treatment of plants, using a foliar application at this stage of growth, and repeated over several seasons will give best results
Onion grass / Guildford grass
Onion grass / Guildford grass - Click to enlarge
Onion grass / Guildford grass
Romulea rosea var. australis
A small herbaceous plant growing each year from a rounded underground bulb. Its grass-like leaves (8-65 cm long and only 1-2.5 mm wide) are clustered together at the base of the plant, these very narrow leaves are hairless, somewhat flattened, and have a groove running lengthwise. Its pale pink to bright pink flowers (15-30 mm long) are borne singly on stems 3-12 cm long and have a yellow centre. Its fruit is a small cylindrical capsule (6-13 mm long and 3-7 mm wide) that splits open when mature. HabitatA very common weed of lawns, footpaths, parks, roadsides, gardens, pastures, crops, disturbed sites, waste areas, grasslands, open woodlands and wetlands in temperate regions. It is occasionally also found growing in semi-arid and sub-tropical environments. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed and vegetatively via bulbs (i.e. corms). The seeds are probably dispersed by water and when infested areas are mown or slashed, while the bulbs can be spread in dumping garden waste and contaminated soil. Look-a-likesThe two main varieties of common onion grass (Romulea rosea) in Australia can be distinguished from each other by the following minor differences in the colour of their flowers: Romulea rosea var. australis has flowers with yellow centres, then a small white band, followed by pink tips. Romulea rosea var. communis has flowers with yellow centres, then a small dark purple band, followed by dark pink or pale purple tips. Control Small infestations can be dug out, taking care to remove corms/bulbs. Large infestations can be sprayed - contact Council for Herbicide rates.
Orange trumpet vine
Orange trumpet vine - Click to enlarge
Orange trumpet vine
Pyrostegia venusta
A vigorous growing, evergreen woody climber with strong twiners capable or attaching to almost anything. Orange trumpet vine has opposite leaves, approximately 4-10 cm long. Flowers July to October with a thick blanket of orange to orange reddish coloured tube / trumpet shaped flowers. HabitatPrefers moist but well drained soil, though will tolerate frost and drought once established. Occasionally naturalised in south-eastern Queensland and the coastal districts of central and northern New South Wales. DispersalCan spread from gardens where it is commonly grown as an ornamental plant. In gardens it needs to be constantly pruned to prevent it from growing out of control and smothering surrounding plants. Can spread from cuttings and dumped garden waste. ControlHand remove, cut and paint larger stems. Ensure removed vegetation is disposed of properly.
Ox-eye Daisy
Ox-eye Daisy - Click to enlarge
Ox-eye Daisy
Leucanthemum vulgare
An upright and long-lived herbaceous plant with sparsely branched stems usually growing 30-60 cm tall. Its leaves are alternately arranged along the stems, but form a basal rosette during the early stages of growth, the rosette leaves are stalked and have slightly toothed to lobed margins, while the upper stem leaves are smaller, narrower, and usually stalkless with toothed margins. Its flower-heads (2-6 cm across) are like a typical daisy with numerous white petals and a yellow centre, these flower-heads give rise to numerous small ribbed seeds (about 2.5 mm long). HabitatA weed of disturbed sites, waste areas, roadsides, pastures, grasslands and open woodlands in the wetter temperate regions of Australia. DispersalThis species reproduces from seed and also vegetatively via creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes) that give rise to new shoots. Seeds may be spread by water, animals, vehicles and in contaminated agricultural produce. Underground stem (i.e. rhizome) fragments may be spread during processes involving soil movement, such as cultivation and road maintenance activities. Each plant can produce up to 26,000 seeds. Look-a-likesOx-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) is very similar to shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) and relatively similar to stinking mayweed (Anthemis cotula). Control Sheep and goats will graze on this plant. Manual removal can be difficult for large infestations so contact Council for herbicide advice.

P

Paddy's lucerne
Paddy's lucerne - Click to enlarge
Paddy's lucerne
Sida rhombifolia
An erect branched, slightly woody perennial herb to about 1m high, with small (2-5 cm), sparse, alternately arranged toothed leaves. Flowers are about 2 cm diameter, yellow and hibiscus-like in shape. Fruit is a ribbed capsule, which breaks up into 8-10 segments. HabitatUsually confined to waste ground, such as roadsides and rocky areas, stock camps or rabbit warrens, but can be competitive in pasture, due to its unpalatability to livestock. The common name suggests that it has good feed value, but this is not the case. May reduce stock carrying capacity of pasture, and could be an environmental weed of remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas DispersalFinely barbed seed is spread on animals or clothing, in hay, in water or in mud on machinery or vehicles. Look-a-likesThe native perennial herb Abutilon oxycarpum is also in the mallow family, and has the same growth habit and similar flowers, though the leaves are more abruptly tapered into the leaf stalk or slightly heart-shaped at the base, not almost diamond shaped as in Paddy‘s lucerne. It tends to grow on steep rocky north-facing slopes. ControlChip plants out. Spot spraying with selective or non-selective herbicides for young plants. Mature plants are quite resistant to herbicides. Slashing just before flowering will prevent seed production temporarily and produce new growth for spraying.
Pampas grass / Pink pampas grass
Pampas grass / Pink pampas grass - Click to enlarge
Pampas grass / Pink pampas grass
Cortaderia selloana , Cortaderia jubata
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A very large tussock grass with large white or beige (C. selloana) or pink to mauve (C. jubata) feathery plume-like seed heads on long stems to 3m high. Leaves have serrated edges. HabitatA garden escapee usually found close to towns. It has shown the ability to spread quite extensively especially in disturbed open situations and in moist soils. It tolerates saline conditions. It can form dense stands, choking out all other vegetation. Could create a fire hazard. Pampas grass used to be a fairly benign garden plant in Australia, but the importation of new strains in the 1970s has made it a more aggressive weed. DispersalSeed is blown very long distances on the wind, and also spread in water, and by machinery in soil. Underground stems may be spread by machinery. Plumes are often cut for dried flower arrangements, with the result that seed will be spread when they are discarded. Look-a-likesThe native common reed also has seed in plumes, but these are carried at the tip of bamboo-like leafy stems. It occurs in swamps and along creeks. Saw-sedges have similar very robust tussocks, but they have more open branched seed heads and shiny red or black seeds. The introduced garden plant, giant reed also has a large plume-like seed head, but it, like common reed, is carried on a bamboo-like leafy stem. It also sometimes escapes from cultivation in moist situations. ControlIf plants are carrying seed, remove the seed heads very carefully and bag for burning or deep burial before attempting any other control. Small plants can be dug out, taking care to remove all the roots. A backhoe may be required for large plants, if they are in sites where this would not cause damage to native vegetation. If spraying, it will be more effective to remove old foliage by slashing or burning, then spray regrowth. Stock find young plants palatable, so infestations are unlikely to develop in grazed sites.
Panic Veldtgrass
Panic Veldtgrass - Click to enlarge
Panic Veldtgrass
Ehrharta erecta
Panic veldtgrass is a soft, bright green grass of shady areas, with flat leaves 5-15mm wide, smooth and hairless. A distinctive feature is the presence of a faint purple band at the base of the leaf where it joins the stem, though plants may not always have this. Flowering stems are erect with a seed head 10-40cm long, branched, with the branches held out at a wide angle to the main stem, and widely spaced. The branches are often mostly on one side of the main stem. The seeds are tiny (2.5-3.5mm long), green, and without awns (a long thread-like structure sometimes found on grass seeds). Seed drops, leaving the straw coloured glumes in which it developed behind on the stems, gaping widely. HabitatShady sites are preferred and high soil moisture helps infestations to spread rapidly, although some plants will persist in drier sites. Sandy soils are also preferred. Panic veldtgrass is rarely seen in pasture, but is a weed of bushland, particularly on sandy soils close to the coast. It is also common on riverbanks. It can form dense stands which exclude most native groundcover plants. DispersalReproduces mostly by seed, which can spread in water, on mowing machinery or vehicles, and to a lesser extent by wind. Dumping of garden refuse or grass clippings can spread this grass into the bush. Look-a-likesThe native weeping grass is the most similar looking grass. Its leaves are very similar to those of veldtgrass, but it lacks the purple band near the base of the leaf. The seed heads of weeping grass are quite different, as they are not straight and branched, but drooping at the tip and unbranched. Each individual seed is held between 2 structures with long awns which are rough to the touch. ControlVeldtgrass is easily dug out just with a weeding knife, as individual plants are usually quite small and shallow-rooted. Seed-bearing plants should be burnt and the remaining material should be disposed of carefully to ensure it does not take root again. Spraying with selective or non-selective herbicides is effective, but will need to be followed up with control of seedlings, which are likely to appear regularly throughout the growing season. Seeds do not persist for more than about one year in the soil, so as long as all plants are destroyed as they appear and before they can seed, it should be possible to remove veldtgrass infestations completely within a year or two. It is more susceptible to grass-specific herbicides than some native grasses, making it possible to selectively remove it from among native grasses with minimal off-target damage.
Parkinsonia / Jerusalem thorn
Parkinsonia / Jerusalem thorn - Click to enlarge
Parkinsonia / Jerusalem thorn
Parkinsonia aculeata
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Parkinsonia can be a single or multi stemmed tree or shrub, up to 8m tall. Branch stems are green, smooth and slender, with sharp spines 5-15 mm long. It is highly invasive and can form impenetrable dense thickets around watercourses such as drainage lines, creeks, dams, rivers and bores - leading to reduced water flow and availability of surface water, erosion and loss of native habitat. Infestations can also restrict access to land and waterways, degrade pasture, replace native plant species and provide shelter for feral animals.It is adapted to a range of climates and once established is capable of withstanding long periods of heat and drought. HabitatParkinsonia grows well on open grasslands and rangelands, although wetlands and floodplains are particularly vulnerable to invasion. It is native to Central America, the Caribbean, southern USA, Mexico and northern South America. In New South Wales (NSW), isolated infestations have been identified in Broken Hill, Walgett, Bourke and the far north western corner of the state. Parkinsonia has the potential to invade the north and central coastal regions and most of western NSW. DispersalParkinsonia reproduces by seed. Water movement is responsible for most of its spread as seed pods can float and be carried large distances by floodwaters. A mature tree usually produces around 5000 seeds per year. Seeds have a hard, thick coat and can remain dormant in the soil for a number of years. Dormancy is normally broken by wet and warm to hot conditions, and is then usually followed by a mass germination event. Spread can also occur through movement of contaminated sand or soil from infested sites. Look-a-likesMy be confused for other species of thorny bush or tree including prickly acacia (Acacia nilotica subsp. indica), mimosa bush (Acacia farnesiana) and the mesquites (Prosopis spp.). ControlIf you suspect you have found parkinsonia you should contact your local council weeds officer who will assist with identification, removal and eradication. A range of control options are available for parkinsonia. A suitable control program should be tailored to suit the landscape and size of the infestation.
Parramatta Grass / Rat's tail grass
Parramatta Grass / Rat's tail grass - Click to enlarge
Parramatta Grass / Rat's tail grass
Sporobolus africanus
Parramatta grass is a tough wiry stemmed tussock, usually under 45cm high, with blue-green leaves up to 5mm wide, held either erect or spreading. Leaves are folded or flat and smooth to the touch. Flowering stems are erect with a seed head to 18cm long. The branches of the seed head are held very close to the stem, so that the whole head appears to be a single spike. If the head is bent over, to force the lower branches away from the main stem, they will be seen to be only 2.5cm long or less. The seeds are a leaden grey colour, and without awns (a long thread-like structure sometimes found on grass seeds). They are often infected with smut, a fungus, making the seed head black and lumpy. Giant Parramatta grass is a larger version, reaching 1.6m high, with a seed head up to 45cm long. The lower branches of giant Parramatta grass are much longer (8-11cm) than those of Parramatta grass and may hang away from the stem at maturity. HabitatParramatta grass favours sites with compacted soil, such as road verges and tracks, but it will also invade pasture and sandy coastal sites. It has very low feed value, and being very tough, can loosen the teeth of stock feeding on it. Giant Parramatta grass behaves similarly. It is a common pasture weed on the NSW north coast, where it is particularly invasive in wet areas, but it is not yet well established on the south coast. DispersalThe seed is spread in soil on machinery and vehicles, and although it has no awn or hairs, it becomes sticky when wet, and can adhere to animals and clothing. Look-a-likesTwo native rat's tail grasses are also common on the south coast. They have more interrupted seed heads than Parramatta grass and giant Parramatta grass, with the stem visible between the branches, at least in the lower part of the head. The length of the lower branches in these two species is only 5cm or less. Distinguishing between native and introduced Sporobolus can be difficult and expert assistance may be needed. ControlParramatta grass is so widespread in the district that attempts to control it are probably pointless, except in very weed-free situations, to which it may gain access along tracks.
Parrots feather / Brazilian water milfoil
Parrots feather / Brazilian water milfoil - Click to enlarge
Parrots feather / Brazilian water milfoil
Myriophyllum aquaticum
An emergent freshwater aquatic plant with stems forming dense mats of vegetation on the water surface. Its bluish-green or pale green leaves are usually arranged in groups of five or six along the stems, these leaves have deeply divided margins and are feathery in apperance. Its inconspicuous female flowers are borne in the upper leaf forks. Fruit and seeds are not produced in Australia. HabitatCommonly found around the edges of bdies of fresh water, in slow-moving waterways and in drains in sub-tropical and warmer temperate areas. DispersalReproduction in Australia is entirely by vegetative means as no viable seeds are produced. Stem fragments readily develop roots and form new plants, while vegetative buds are also produced. These stem fragments are spread by water movement, boats, vehicles, animals and in dumped aquarium waste. Look-a-likesParrots feather is very similar to several native water milfoils, including red water milfoil and common milfoil. ControlSmall infestations can be hand removed taking care to remove all leaf and stem segments. Contact Council regarding large infestations.
Parthenium weed
Parthenium weed - Click to enlarge
Parthenium weed
Parthenium hysterophorus
Annual herb up to 1-1.5m tall, developing many branches in its top half when mature. Leaves are pale green, up to 2mm long, deeply lobed, covered with fine, soft hairs. Flowers are small, creamy-white, on stem tips 4-10mm in a 5-sided shape. Flowers have 4-5 wedge-shaped, black seeds, 2mm long with 2 thin, white scales. HabitatA weed of semi-arid, sub-tropical, tropical and warmer temperate regions, it is found along roadsides, railways and waterways. DispersalSeeds spread by water, vehicles, machinery and stock. Also spread by feral and native animals, and in feed and seed. Look-a-likesNative to North America, annual ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) is a fast-growing, fern-like plant. Control Hand-pulling small areas is NOT recommended because of the health hazard from allergic reactions and the danger of mature seeds dropping and increasing the infestation area. Spray early before plants can set seed. Keep a close watch on treated areas for at least 2 years.
Paspalum
Paspalum - Click to enlarge
Paspalum
Paspalum dilatatum
A tussock grass, with a spreading open shape. Leaves are bright green, folded in bud and flat and about 1cm wide when mature. Long stems bear nodding seed heads which produce sticky disc shaped seeds. HabitatGrows in wet areas in pasture where it can be of some value as fodder in summer. Also on wetter parts of road verges. A major weed of wetland edges and wet native grasslands. Most of the wet meadows which must once have been common on the south coast have been destroyed by invasion of paspalum, Yorkshire fog and other moisture-loving exotic grasses. DispersalSeed is spread by sticking to animals, clothing, machinery and vehicles, and in water. The basal parts of the tussock may be broken up and spread in earth-moving or cultivation. Look-a-likesThere is a larger version of paspalum, Vasey grass which has similar seed heads, on a taller erect plant. It is often found in drier sites, particularly along track edges in bush. It is also a weed. There are some natives in the genus Paspalum, but none found on the south coast look very much like the weedy species. ControlHeavy grazing early in the season can reduce seed set, but putting stock in after the plants have begun seeding will only spread the seed. Paspalum could be treated with herbicides, but the question of what would replace it needs to be considered. In already degraded wet sites, the plants most likely to respond to removal of paspalum are a whole suite of weeds which also appreciate the permanent moisture and high fertility of these sites. Isolated early invaders can be dug out or spot sprayed, and the seed heads removed for safe disposal.
Passionfruit / Black Passionfruit
Passionfruit / Black Passionfruit - Click to enlarge
Passionfruit / Black Passionfruit
Passiflora edulis
A vigorous vine with tendrils that allow it to hook onto existing vegetation and structures with large, up to 15cm, bright glossy green 3 lobed leaves. Large white flowers with a purple centre. Large round green fruits that turn purple or yellowish when ripe, full of fleshy edible seeds and pulp. HabitatA weed of roadsides,fencelines, waste areas, disturbed sites, native bushland, riparian vegetation, open woodlands, forest margins and coastal environments. Often a garden escapee. DispersalFruit are delicious and birds are often responsible for the plants dispersal when they discard the fruit in bushland. Can also grow from garden dumping and vegetative spread from nearby gardens. Look-a-likesThere are several species of Passionfruit, many of which are cultivated for their edible fruits or used as rootstock. Passiflora species have fruit with a soft pulpy interior, but they vary in size, shape and colour between the species. Passiflora herbertiana, or native passionfruit, is a widespread climbing twiner native to moist forests on the coast and ranges of eastern Australia and can be distinguished by the slightly hairy underside of the leaf and the yellow/orange flowers. Native passionfruit species are relatively short lived, usually for about a year. They are all thin-stemmed and never take over, preferring to climb up and amongst foliage of other plants. They might have a leafy coverage in a small area, but they never go rampant. ControlSmall infestations can be hand pulled taking care not to leave root structures in contact with the soil, including any roots that have formed at the leaf nodes as the plant layers. Large plant stems can be scrape and painted with herbicide and left to die in situ. Seedlings can be hand pulled or spot sprayed.
Patersons Curse/Salvation Jane
Patersons Curse/Salvation Jane - Click to enlarge
Patersons Curse/Salvation Jane
Echium plantagineum
An erect annual, occasionally biennial herb (life cycle within 2 years), growing to 1.5m high but commonly 30 to 60 cm, reproducing by seed. Young plants form rosettes with oval leaves.The stems have stout white hairs or bristles. The leaves along the stem are alternate and hairy. The flower head is curled and unrolls as the flowers open. Flowers are 20-30mm long, trumpet shaped and usually blue/purple, though some can be white or pink. HabitatGenerally found in farming areas in degraded pastures and on roadsides. Both species are more common in inland NSW. Because they are avoided by most stock, they can become dominant in grazed pasture. Patersons curse is toxic to pigs and horses, and the hairs of both may irritate cows udders. Sheep are more resistant but over a number of years they develop liver damage, which may cause death after sudden stress on the liver as from pregnancy or intake of lush feed. The flowers are of value to the honey industry. DispersalBought-in hay is the usual means of initial introduction, after which the sticky seed is spread in or on livestock, or by water. River beds are a common site of infestation. Seed can remain dormant in the soil for over five years. Look-a-likesThe trumpet shaped flowers are quite distinctive, but from a distance the purple cover of a dense infestation can be mimicked by purple verbena, another weed with a slightly more reddish-purple flower head. Another annual or biennial herb to about 1m high, which start out as a rosette, elongating to a vertical flowering stem is Vipers Bugloss. Patersons curse stems are more likely to be widely branching, and vipers bugloss single-stemmed, but both species may adopt either habit. The blue-purple flowers are large and showy. Vipers bugloss can be distinguished by the coarse prickly hairs, which make it painful to handle, and the much narrower leaves in the rosette stage. The stem leaves (as opposed to the basal rosette leaves) are heart-shaped at the base in Patersons curse, but not in vipers bugloss. ControlHand chip small infestations. For larger infestations spray with selective or non-selective herbicides, or on high production pastures, cultivate and establish a dense sward of grasses and clovers, which will out-compete the weeds.
Pennywort / Beach Pennywort
Pennywort / Beach Pennywort - Click to enlarge
Pennywort / Beach Pennywort
Hydrocotyle bonariensis
Beach Pennywort produces one large, rounded leaf at the end of a long stem. Because it spreads vegetatively by sending out runners, it gathers in large patches that may consist of thousands of genetically identical individuals. A separate stem rises from each individual to form a branched grouping of small flowers. Flower stalks can be up to 30 centimetres(though most often far less) with numerous white/cream flowers. Produces a dry fruit that at maturity splits into two or more parts each with a single seed. HabitatWidespread on dunes, beaches and along waterways. Considered naturalised in South East NSW. Lives in sandy areas of somewhat extreme conditions, very dry lands that are flooded sometimes. DispersalCreeps and root at the nodes and spreads by rhizomes. Can also spread via seed. Look-a-likesHydrocotyl ranunculoides is a similar looking plant of the same species currently found in coastal freshwater streams and water storages near Perth. It is potentially a serious weed of freshwater wetlands and other nutrient enriched watercourses throughout most of coastal Australia. No infestations of Hydrocotyl ranunculoides have been recorded in New South Wales. ControlControl of this plant on beaches is not recommended due to its role in binding the sand, its widespread occurrence and the disturbance control may produce with little effect. In the home garden control can be manual (taking care to remove rhizomes) or via herbicide with a penetrant that will assist herbicide to break down the fleshy leaf.
Periwinkle
Periwinkle - Click to enlarge
Periwinkle
Vinca major
A spreading groundcover, which form extensive mats, but does not climb. Broad-oval, hairless, glossy dark green leaves, about 5cm long and in opposite pairs. There are cultivars with variegated foliage, which are also weedy. Flowers are mauve to purple, with a distinctive twist in the petals. HabitatMoist shady situations will produce thickest growth. Commonly occurring along river banks, on silty alluvial soils, but may also appear around the edges of towns, in cemeteries and anywhere where garden refuse is dumped. Forms dense mats which smother all native groundcover vegetation and prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs. This can have important long term consequences on streambanks, where the eventual loss of native tree and shrub cover could lead to erosion. DispersalDoes not usually produce seed in Australia. Broken off sections of stem will take root, and existing plants spread by rooting at the nodes. Spread down rivers by floods, and into other areas by dumping of garden waste. Look-a-likesPeriwinkle is quite distinctive, although non-flowering small plants could be mistaken for the small native vine Tylophora barbata. However, Tylophora twines up nearby plants, while periwinkle seldom climbs. ControlVery small infestations can be dug out, but every fragment of stem can potentially re-grow and needs to be removed and destroyed off-site. In sunny situations, covering the plant with plastic sheeting for 4-6 months in the warmer months will weaken the plant. After removing the plastic any regrowth can be dug or sprayed. This method will not work in the shade. Spraying with selective or non-selective herbicides will work eventually, but repeat treatments of regrowth will be needed. Plants should not be under any moisture stress when sprayed. Surfactants will improve penetration into the waxy-coated leaves.If treating riverbank infestations, it will be necessary to plant native vegetation after treatment, to prevent erosion. Consult with the Department of Land and Water Conservation before commencing any removal of vegetation on river banks. Remember that there are restrictions on the use of herbicides in watercourses.
Phalaris / Canary grass
Phalaris / Canary grass - Click to enlarge
Phalaris / Canary grass
Phalaris aquatica
A tall robust tussock grass, with an erect habit. Leaves are blue-green, flat and 1-2cm wide when mature. Tall erect stems carry dense cylindrical seed heads, consisting of numerous crowded overlapping flowers. Seeds have no awn, and are smooth and shiny. HabitatValuable fodder in dry regions, but it needs to be heavily grazed as it quickly becomes rank and overgrown. Very invasive in remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas. Phalaris produces a lot of rank growth if not grazed and as this usually browns off in summer it can create a fire hazard. DispersalSeed is spread by animals, in soil, on machinery and vehicles, and in water. The basal parts of the tussock may be broken up and spread in earth-moving or cultivation. Look-a-likesThere are several species of phalaris, all similar in appearance. Another exotic grass found on the coast with a similar dense cylindrical seed head is pigeon grass, but it differs in having numerous short bristles protruding from the base of each flower, making the whole seed-head look like a miniature bottlebrush. ControlHeavy grazing early in the season can reduce seed set, but putting stock in after the plants have begun seeding will only spread the seed. Regular slashing can reduce seed set, and if cut frequently and hard enough, may kill plants. This can reduce the density of stands, making it easier to mop up the survivors with herbicides. Dig or spot spray isolated plants, and remove the seed heads for safe disposal.
Pond apple
Pond apple - Click to enlarge
Pond apple
Annona glabra
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Is a semi-deciduous woody tree, usually 3-6 m tall. The plants have alternate leaves, 70-120 mm long with a prominent midrib. The leaves have a light- to dark-green upper surface depending on their age, and are paler on the underside. The flowers are creamy white to light yellow, about 20-30 mm in diameter and are not easily seen on the tree. They have three leathery outer petals and three smaller inner petals, with a red inner base. The edible fruit looks like a smooth-skinned custard apple 5-15cm in diameter. The plants have dark grey bark, usually with a single trunk but multiple-stemmed plants are also common since several seedlings may germinate together. HabitatWetland environments including mangrove communities DispersalSome of the characteristics that make pond apple a successful invader include its ability to form dense thickets, tolerance to salt and inundation, effective seed dispersal by water and animals, and a germination period spread over serval months. The fruit and seeds both float, which helps it spread in flowing water. The hard seeds can remain viable for some time in fresh, brackish or sea water. Seeds are also spread by animals such as feral pigs. Pond apples massive seed production can result in a 200 mm thick carpet of seed covering the ground. Disturbance, either natural or of human origin, can play an important role in encouraging infestations. Look-a-likesPond apples may be confused with some native mangrove species because they look superficially similar, share many similar features and are often found growing together. Both pond apples and mangroves have lenticels, which are cork-like pores on the bark that allow gases to move into and out of the plant. Both pond apple and mangroves tolerate inundation by salt water. ControlDue to its habit of infesting wetland communities, extreme care must be taken with regards to control techniques. Stem injection and cut and paint techniques are preferred. If you think you‘ve seen this plant, contact Council‘s invasive species staff immediately on 4474-1269.
Poplars
Poplars - Click to enlarge
Poplars
Populus spp
Deciduous trees to 40m high with smooth grey or white bark, sometimes rough on the lower trunk. Leaves usually roughly triangular or diamond-shaped, on a long stalk, with a paler green or white underside. Tiny flowers in long drooping catkins are produced in spring and may be followed by tiny seeds with a fluffy parachute of hairs which are released in late spring. HabitatUsually in damp soils or in river beds. Were often used to stabilise river banks (pre 1990s) but they cause erosion by creating dense thickets which divert flows against the opposite bank. Were popular street/town trees. DispersalThe main form of spread is by root suckers around the parent plant, forming large thickets. White or silver poplar (Populus alba) and Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra var. Italica) sucker the most. Spread over greater distances occurs when dumped material or branches detached in floods take root. Some poplars can produce copious seed crops, particularly white poplar, but seed may not be viable as seedlings seldom or never result. There has been some indication that different species of poplar can hybridise like the willows and produce fertile offspring from seed. Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) and Lombardy poplar are the species which have been implicated to date, but the potential is there for other species to hybridise if planted within a suitable distance of each other. At this point it appears that not all poplars are invasive but given this potential for hybridisation it would be safer to avoid planting them. Plant only native plants for river bank stabilisation. Look-a-likesThere are no similar natives. White poplar can be confused with the exotic birches (Betula species) some of which also have very white bark, but birches do not have the white leaf underside and do not sucker. The willows are similar, particularly pussy willows which have broad leaves, but their leaves are not triangular or diamond shaped. ControlCut and paint, stem inject or spray smaller plants. Treat plants when in full leaf, in summer or early autumn. Some poplars will sucker massively if cut and repeated cut and paint will be needed.
Prickly acacia
Prickly acacia - Click to enlarge
Prickly acacia
Acacia nilotica ssp indica
A small, thorny, shrub or spreading tree generally growing to about 4-7 m high, occasionally to 10 m. It is usually single stemmed. The deep taproot also has several branches near the surface. The bark of young trees has a tinge of orange and/or green. Young trees usually have long white straight spines 10-50 mm long in pairs at the base of each leaf; older trees have dark, rough bark and tend to lose most of their thorns. Leaves are 30-40 mm long, each comprising up of 10-25 pairs of very small (3-6 mm) leaflets along its length. The globular flowerheads are golden-yellow, about 10 mm in diameter in groups of 2-6 in the leaf axils. The seed pods are grey-green, covered in fine hairs and generally 100-200 mm long. The pods are an important distinguishing feature of the plant, having deep constrictions between the seeds that gives them a necklace-like appearance. HabitatPrickly Acacia grows best on cracking clay soils that have high water holding capacity, but can also grow on sandy soil in areas of higher rainfall. It grows best around waterways and on seasonally inundated floodplains receiving 350-1500 mm of annual rainfall. Young plants may be found growing in areas of sufficient moisture such as around creeks, river levees, bores and dams. Once established they form dense, thorny thickets which become impenetrable to both man and animals. DispersalAlthough capable of regenerating from cut stumps, Prickly Acacia only reproduces by seeds. A healthy, medium-sized tree in a well watered environment can produce as many as 200 000 seeds per year. Seeds may be washed downstream in fast flowing water, but long distance spread in Australia is mainly attributed to consumption of seeds by cattle, which readily eat the nutritious, ripe seed pods. Transported stock also spread seeds interstate due to the time taken for seeds to pass through the animal‘s digestive tract. Look-a-likesMimosa (Mimosa pigra) has a similar umbrella shaped appearance however the distinct flowers, thorns and seeds of prickly acacia make it readily distinguished. ControlChemical and mechanical control can be integrated with fire, grazing management and biological control to combat Prickly Acacia.
Prickly Pear
Prickly Pear - Click to enlarge
Prickly Pear
Opuntia stricta
Declared Biosecurity Matter A cacti, with swollen fleshy stems, spines and no easily discerned leaves. Upright or spreading fleshy shrub usually growing only 50-100 cm tall. Its stems are much-branched and consist of a series of flattened fleshy segments. These stem segments are longer than they are broad and have groups of one or two sharp spines (2-4 cm long)its showy yellow flowers (6-8 cm across) are borne along the margins of the stem segments and the fleshy fruit turn reddish-purple in colour as they mature. Its fruit (4-8 cm long and 3-4 cm wide) are egg-shaped and have several tufts of small barbed bristles on their surface. HabitatOriginally garden plants, they may occur close to old buildings, but can also be spread far from habitation. Rocky slopes and river banks are favoured habitats. Dense infestations can impede movement. The long sharp spines of tiger pear make walking through outbreaks of this plant very unpleasant. Prickly pears can dominate the vegetation of rocky outcrops displacing natives, some of which may be restricted to such outcrops, and consequently be relatively rare. DispersalBirds and other animals can spread the seed of common pear. The segments will take root from the eyes if left in contact with the ground, and because they are so succulent, they remain capable of rooting for several months after being detached from the parent plant. They can be moved in floods leading to infestations along river banks. Look-a-likesThe spineless Indian fig sometimes grown as a hedge or for its edible fruits, has also become weedy in Victoria. It may be a large shrub or develop a woody trunk and become tree-like. Its segments are very similar to those of common pear. The eyes on its segments are small and distant and do not contain any spines. ControlPlants can be dug out, but need to be disposed of very carefully because of their ability to take root again if left on the ground. Segments will remain viable even if hung up in vegetation or placed on rocks away from soil, and they may be relocated onto soil by wind, water or animals. Be very careful when handling any prickly pears, as the spines easily get into the flesh and break off, causing irritation. Wear leather gloves and thick clothing and shoes. Kitchen tongs are useful for handling the smaller tiger pear segments. Spraying with woody weed specific herbicide can be effective, but a high concentration is needed. Biological controls (the Cactoblastis moth, or cochineal insects) are effective in warmer climates, but in southern areas they need to be reintroduced after winter. They may weaken plants and prevent seeding, but will not eradicate infestations.
Purple verbena / Veined verbena
Purple verbena / Veined verbena - Click to enlarge
Purple verbena / Veined verbena
Verbena rigida
A long-lived herbaceous plant with upright stems growing 60-200 cm tall. Stems are square in cross-section and bear pairs of toothed leaves with rough surfaces. These stems are topped with branched, slightly-elongated spikes of small purplish or bluish coloured flowers. Small tubular flowers are densely clustered. HabitatPurple top tends to be a nuisance weed, growing in waste areas, disturbed sites and in revegetation areas. Purple top is an invasive plant which can disrupt native flora communities and ecosystems. DispersalPurpletop (Verbena bonariensis) reproduces mainly by seed. The seeds may be dispersed by animals (i.e. externally), by wind, or in water. They may also be spread in contaminated agricultural produce. Look-a-likesVerbena incompta is often confused with, or regarded as being the same as, Verbena bonariensis and so its impact has been largely attributed to the latter species. ControlSmall infestations can be cleared by hand pulling and digging (prior to setting seed). Larger infestations can be treated with herbicide. When using any herbicide always read the label first and follow all instructions and safety requirements.
Purpletop
Purpletop - Click to enlarge
Purpletop
Verbena bonariensis
A perennial herbaceous plant with erect stems growing 60-200 cm tall. Stems are square in cross-section and bear pairs of toothed leaves with rough surfaces, these stems are topped with branched, slightly-enlongated spikes of small purplish or bluish coloured flowers. The small tubular flowers ae densly clustered and noticeably longer than the sepals, the open flowers are mostly borne above the tips of the flower spikes. The small fruit seperate into four 'seeds' when mature, these seeds 1.5-18 mm long are enlongated in shape and usually brown in colour. HabitatA common weed of roadsides, pastures, grasslands, open woodlands, riparian vegetation, crops, orchards, gardens, disturbed sites and waste areas in warmer temperate, sub-tropical and tropical environments. DispersalThe seeds may be dispersed by animals, by wind, or in water. They may also be spread in contaminated agricultural produce. Look-a-likespurple top is very similar to other weedy and native verbenas, including native verbena, seahorse verbena, veined verbena, trailing verbena and maynes pest. Consult with your local environment invasive species officer if you com across what you think is this plant.
Pyracantha/ Orange Firethorn
Pyracantha/ Orange Firethorn - Click to enlarge
Pyracantha/ Orange Firethorn
Pyracantha angustifolia
Large spiny shrub growing 2-5 m tall and spreading up to 5 m across. Stems are densely hairy and grey or whitish when young, turning reddish-brown or darker grey as they mature. Short side-branches are formed off the main branches which bear most of the elongated entire leaves. Upper leaf surfaces are dark green, almost hairless and shiny, while their undersides are densely hairy and whitish. White flowers (8-12 mm across) have five petals and are borne in dense clusters. Small berry-like fruit (5-9 mm across) are turn yellow or orange when ripe HabitatGarden escapees, usually found close to towns or old farmhouses, often on roadsides under trees and fences. Birds may spread the seed some distance from habitation. Firethorn seeds have a chilling requirement before they will germinate, so it is more of a problem on the tablelands and the far south coast than further north. Dense infestations will smother native vegetation, particularly in remnant grassy vegetation in farming areas. The spiny habit of this shrub makes it hard to move through infestations without painful encounters. It can act as the host for bacterial fireblight, a disease of apples and pears, and allow fruit fly to over-winter. Encourages the build up of pest species of native fruit-eating birds such as currawongs, which prey on the nestlings of more desirable bird species. DispersalBirds. Dumped garden waste with fruits on it. Look-a-likesPyracantha could be confused with the weedy shrub or small tree, Hawthorn, as both are spiny, and have similar red to orange berries. Hawthorn has broad, usually lobed leaves. Cotoneaster, also a weed, has similar berries but no thorns. ControlFor large plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Root suckers are likely to arise after cutting the parent plant, and these will need follow-up cutting and painting or spraying.

R

Radiata Pine
Radiata Pine - Click to enlarge
Radiata Pine
Pinus radiata
A tall tree with dark brown bark that is deeply ridged. Its needle-like leaves (7.5-15 cm long) are grouped in threes and enclosed within a sheath at their base. Its cones are obliquely egg-shaped. HabitatRadiata pine (Pinus radiata) has become naturalised in the southern and eastern parts of Australia, particularly near forestry plantations, and is a weed of roadsides, urban bushland, open woodlands, disturbed sites and waste areas. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed. The seeds are mostly spread by wind and water, though they may also be dispersed by birds (e.g. cockatoos) and in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesRadiata pine (Pinus radiata) is similar to many other pine species that have become naturalised in Australia, including slash pine (Pinus elliottii), Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea), cluster pine (Pinus pinaster) and Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: radiata pine (Pinus radiata) has relatively large asymmetrical cones (7-17 cm long) that are borne on short curved stalks. Its leaves are relatively short (8-15 cm long) and usually borne in groups of three (rarely in twos).slash pine (Pinus elliottii) has relatively large symmetrical cones (7-20 cm long) that are borne on short stalks. Its leaves are relatively long (15-30 cm long) and borne in groups of two or three (usually in twos).Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea) has relatively small symmetrical cones (5-12 cm long) that are borne on short stalks. Its leaves are relatively long (15-30 cm long) and usually borne in groups of three (rarely in twos, fours or fives).cluster pine (Pinus pinaster) has relatively large slightly symmetrical or asymmetrical cones (9-20 cm long) that are almost stalkless (i.e. sessile). Its leaves are relatively long (10-30 cm long) and usually borne in groups of two. Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) has relatively small symmetrical cones (5-14 cm long) that are borne on curved stalks 10-30 mm long. Its leaves are relatively short (4-12 cm long) and usually borne in groups of two. ControlCut stems/trunk low to the ground.
Rambling Dock / Turkey Rhubarb / Climbing Dock
Rambling Dock / Turkey Rhubarb / Climbing Dock - Click to enlarge
Rambling Dock / Turkey Rhubarb / Climbing Dock
Acetosa sagittata
A large non-woody vine with arrowhead shaped leaves, and small white flowers carried in long branched heads. Seed capsules are red, drying to brown, with a papery texture The plant grows from a conical underground tuber like a sweet potato. HabitatIt is often found growing in old, neglected gardens and where people have been dumping garden rubbish. It favours disturbed, damp areas. It is particularly troublesome where it is growing in amongst rubble dumped on the edge of bushland. DispersalSpread from seed or tubers, in dumped garden waste, or contaminated soil. Seed is spread by wind or water, and tubers potentially by water as well, such as along river banks in floods. Look-a-likesQuite distinctive in the dense sprays of papery fruits. There are some smaller native climbers with arrowhead shaped leaves. Forest bindweed (Calystegia marginata ) has single white flowers (to 1.5cm) with the base enclosed in two green flaps (bracts). It is found in moist forest, particularly after disturbance such as fire or collapse of a tree. The small creeper Muehlenbeckia gracillima has similar leaves with finely toothed and wavy margins, but the flower spikes are much smaller. It usually occurs along rivers. ControlConstant re-sprouting from the tuber makes this species difficult to control. Lengthy follow-up is needed. Plants can be dug up, but every tuber will need to be removed and burnt or deeply buried. Spraying with selective broadleaf herbicides prior to seeding will be effective, but will need to be repeated on regrowth the next season. When removing any species of vine be careful about pulling them down, as this can damage the supporting plant. Generally they are better left to die off and break up in place, unless this would involve leaving a lot of seed in the canopy. Try to control vines before seed has formed to avoid this problem.
Red rice
Red rice - Click to enlarge
Red rice
Oryza rufipogon
A perennial, tufted grass which grows in shallow water. Oryza rufipogon is a close relative of cultivated rice, O. sativa, and shares many of the characteristics of the crop. HabitatSites with shallow, standing, or slow-running water, rice fields. Oryza rufipogon is an aggressive weed of rice in many regions of world. It (and the other wild red rices) compete with and reduce the yield of cultivated rice. They are considered weeds because the spikelet shatters (disarticulates easily), the seeds have dormancy, and the grain coat is red. DispersalSpread by seed. Red rice is an aquatic grass found in northern Australia. It is not present in NSW or Victoria. Look-a-likesThe wild red rices (Oryza longistaminata, O. punctata and O. rufipogon) can be distinguished from O. sativa L. (cultivated rice) by their red caryopses, although it may be difficult to differentiate the wild red caryopses from commercial rice cultivars with red grains. ControlAn agricultural weed. Integrated weed control systems, involving the use of certified seed (or good quality weed-free seed), good land preparation, the use of stale seedbeds to encourage weed germination before seeding, careful crop and water management, herbicides and crop rotation are needed. In crop rotation, rice may be rotated with other crops in alternate seasons and an appropriate herbicide can be used to destroy weedy rice seedlings in these crops.
Rhus tree
Rhus tree - Click to enlarge
Rhus tree
Toxicodendron succedaneum
Deciduous small tree to 5-8m high with smooth, grey bark. Compound leaves to 10-30cm long with 4-7 pairs of leaflets. There is an unpaired terminal leaflet at the tip of each leaf. Each leaflet has a long tapered tip and a rounded asymmetric base. The leaflet lower surface has a slight whitish bloom. Tiny yellowish flowers are carried in large clusters 8-15cm long. The 5-11mm wide fruits are round but slightly flattened in one plane, pale brown and hard textured with a papery skin. They hang in clusters on the tree through winter, falling in spring. The sap of rhus is highly toxic. It is closely related to the North American poison ivy and poison oak. First contact with the plant may not produce any effects but sensitivity develops with further contact. Usual effects are severe dermatitis, with a rash and blistering coming on within 1-7 days of contact and persisting for 10-14 days. Hospitalisation may be required. All parts of the plant are poisonous and in highly sensitive people merely standing under it may be sufficient to produce a reaction. Contact with dried sap on clothing or tools is just as dangerous, and the sap may remain active for months. Almost everyone will develop a sensitivity to Rhus after sufficient exposure. HabitatA potential weed of disturbed sites, forests, open woodlands, urban bushland, roadsides, gardens and waste areas in temperate and sub-tropical regions. DispersalSeed spread by birds. Rhus used to be popular because of its brilliant red autumn colour, but is no longer sold because of its toxic properties. However, it is still found in some gardens and birds can spread the seeds into bush, or into your garden without your knowledge. The seeds are produced in large numbers and are said to have a high germination rate, so this plant has high weed potential. Look-a-likesAnother exotic, Chinese pistachio is similar and is sometimes recommended as an alternative small tree producing good autumn colour. It also is weedy, with the small red to purple soft fruits being spread by birds. It has shown considerable ability to spread into native vegetation in the cooler climates of the NSW tablelands and Blue Mountains, where it has possibly been planted for longer than it has on the coast. It is distinguished from Rhus by having leaves which mostly lack a single terminal leaflet. Apart from this they are similar, being 10-25cm long, with 4-7 pairs of leaflets, each with a tapered tip and asymmetric base. The leaf underside does not have a whitish bloom. The fruits are held in clusters on the tree after the leaves fall. The clusters have stiffer branches than those of Rhus, whose fruits droop more. A few native rainforest trees such as scentless rosewood, which grows north from Bega, and ribbonwood, which grows north from Jervis Bay, have similar compound leaves and berry-like fruits. However, they do not change colour in autumn or lose their leaves in winter. Red cedar is a native tree which is deciduous and has compound leaves, but they usually have no terminal leaflet and the leaf is larger with 4-10 leaflet pairs. White cedar is a delicious native tree which also retains its fruits on the tree through winter. The fruits are larger than those of rhus and are cream colored. The leaves of white cedar are bipinnate, that is, at least some of the leaflets are themselves further divided into leaflets. The flowers are mauve and produced in large showy clusters. ControlAs might be imagined, extreme care is needed when removing rhus trees. It should be done in winter when sap flow is reduced. Prevent sap from getting on the skin by covering up as much as possible with overalls, gloves and face protection. All clothes and tools which might be contaminated should be thoroughly washed in such a way that they cannot contaminate other clothing. It would be safer to poison the tree by stem injection when it is actively growing in summer (still taking precautions to avoid the sap) and cut it down once it is long dead. If live trees are cut the stump should be painted with herbicide to inhibit re-sprouting. If a brush is used for this task, bag it securely and dispose of it safely. Do not chip any material as even the dried sap is toxic for long periods, and do not burn it as the smoke is highly toxic. Seedlings can be dug or chipped out. Wear rubber gloves when dealing with them. Chinese pistachio can be cut and painted or stem injected without such precautions.
Roldana
Roldana - Click to enlarge
Roldana
Roldana petasitis
A dense bushy perennial but not very woody shrub 1.5 to 2m high with softly hairy stems. Leaves are alternate, very large (to 20 x 20cm) and almost circular, softly hairy, with bluntly lobed margins and a long leaf stalk. Flowers are daisies with 4 to 6 yellow petals. They are born in open spreading clusters in the leaf axils, towards the top of the plant. The seeds are 2.5-4mm long, yellowish with a parachute of fine hairs 8-10mm long at the tip. HabitatUsually seen only near houses where it probably becomes established due to dumping of seed-bearing garden waste. However, plants have been seen spreading into bush, probably from seed, around coastal villages in Eurobodalla. If it becomes dense enough it may displace native species. DispersalDumping of plants carrying seed, wind dispersal of fine seed. Look-a-likesThis plant is quite distinctive with its large leaves and very dense growth habit. Another plant with large furry or hairy leaves on long stalks is the native stinging tree. Its leaves are closer to circular, with finely serrated, not lobed, margins. It stings quite severely and should not be handled. Another rainforest tree with large furry leaves is hairy clerodendrum. Its leaves are more oval in shape with a pointed tip, and margins are smooth, or coarsely toothed in young plants. They also have a long leaf stalk which is furry and often purple. Both these species are often found as saplings in wet gullies and around rainforest margins. They should be distinguishable from Roldana by their open, usually single-stemmed habit. Roldana is invariably multi-stemmed, dense and compact in form. ControlSeedlings and smaller adult plants may be hand pulled or dug out. Larger plants may need to be sprayed. If plants are carrying seed ensure this is not spread during control activities. Seed heads may need to be cut off and bagged for safe disposal before digging out the plant.
Rubber vine
Rubber vine - Click to enlarge
Rubber vine
Cryptostegia grandiflora
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A robust woody vine or shrub with greyish-brown stems covered with small warty spots. Its stems and leaves contain a milky sap. Its paired leaves are thick and leathery with glossy dark green upper surfaces and slightly paler and duller undersides. Its showy pale pink to whitish flowers (4-6 cm long and 5-9 cm wide) are tubular with a darker throat and five petal lobes Its fruit (10-15 cm long and 2-4.5 cm wide) are produced in divergent pairs and contain numerous seeds topped with a silky tuft of white hairs. HabitatA weed of semi-arid, tropical and sub-tropical environments. It infests creekbanks and other waterways (i.e. riparian zones), open woodlands, grasslands, closed forests, forest margins, pastures, roadsides, disturbed sites and waste areas. It prefers sites with ample moisture and low shrubs or trees to support its climbing stems. DispersalRubbervine reproduces by seed. A hectare of rubbervine can produced millions of seeds each year and 95% of these seeds are viable. The seed is not long lived and if conditions are too dry to allow germination, most of the seed will die after one year. The spread of rubber vine into new areas is typically via wind-blown seed (short distances) or by seeds carried in water (longer distances). Seed pods float downstream in waterways and as a result, the seed is spread through catchments. Seeds can remain viable for more than a month within the seed pod, even when the pods are floating in salt water. Seed can also be spread by birds and in mud attached to vehicles, machinery or animals Look-a-likesRubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) is very similar to a closely related species that is known as purple rubber vine (Cryptostegia madagascariensis). It is also relatively similar to the garden plant known as purple allamanda (Allamanda blanchetii). ControlYour local council weeds officer will assist with identification, control information and removal and eradication of this weed. Infestations can be spread by inappropriate control activities.

S

Saffron Thistle
Saffron Thistle - Click to enlarge
Saffron Thistle
Carthamus lanatus
An erect, slightly hairy or sometimes woolly annual herb, growing about 1m or so tall, but more commonly standing 40-90cm tall. Saffron thistle generally dies during late autumn to early winter, and dead plants may remain standing for many months. HabitatThough this species is primarily a weed of disturbed sites, roadsides and agricultural areas (i.e. crops and pastures), it is also widespread in rangelands and natural habitats (e.g. open woodlands, grasslands and conservation areas). DispersalReproduction is by seeds. Look-a-likesIn Australia introduction of the plant was probably intentional, as it can be confused with a closely related safflower, and imported as a source of dye. Similar to other thistle species particularly as a rosette (prior to growing the flowering stem). Control Chip/dig small infestations. Spot spray prior to setting seed.
Sagittaria / Arrowhead
Sagittaria / Arrowhead - Click to enlarge
Sagittaria / Arrowhead
Sagittaria platyphylla
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Sagittaria is a tufted perennial herb to about 80cm high that grows around the water\\\\\\\'s edge. It will survive variation in water levels, either flooding or extensive dry periods. It has two types of leaves: submerged long narrow strap-like leaves and emergent large spoon shaped leaves with a pointed tip. Stems are triangular in cross-section. Male flowers are quite showy, with 3 white petals, to 3cm across. They are carried in whorls on an erect stem, above the female flowers which have no petals and look rather like a flattened green strawberry. HabitatOn mud around the edges of fresh water bodies. Can displace native water plants which occupy the same habitat. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. Probably also spread by seed which can adhere to the feathers or feet of water birds, and hence be spread long distances. Look-a-likesIt is similar to the introduced blue-flowered pickerel weed, and to the white-flowered native water plantain. Sagittaria can be distinguished from water plantain by the following features: having submerged strap-like leaves as well as emergent spoon-shaped leaves, having only one main mid-vein on the emergent leaves, having larger flowers. ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into or around water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ornamental ponds. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. Plants growing around the water‘s edge, such as sagittaria, can be dug up. For large infestations, herbicide may be necessary, but a permit will be required from the Environmental Protection Agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Salvinia
Salvinia - Click to enlarge
Salvinia
Salvinia molesta
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Salvinia is an aquatic fern which floats on the water surface. Initially leaves are round, 1-4 cm long, with the upper surface covered in papillae (like a cat‘s tongue) and the lower surface with a dense mat of brown hairs. Root-like structures dangle below the leaves. As the infestation becomes more crowded the leaves fold upwards into a shape rather like a sheep or goat‘s cloven hoof. HabitatFresh water bodies such as farm dams, lagoons on river floodplains, rivers and creeks. Still or slow flowing water is preferred. Salvinia blankets the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. It also interferes with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduce water quality and block pumps. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. Salvinia molesta is a sterile hybrid and only reproduces vegetatively, from broken-off pieces or whole plants being moved on boats or fishing equipment or washed from one water body to another in floods. Look-a-likesSalvinia is variable in appearance, with young leaves lying flat on the water, becoming folded as plants become more crowded. There are no very similar natives, although there are a few small floating natives such as the red-coloured fern azolla which can cover large expanses of water from time to time. It has finely divided leaves. Water lettuce is the most similar plant, but has a rosette of erect lettuce-like leaves rather like a mignonette lettuce. It is native to the Northern Territory, but introduced in Queensland and NSW. ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ornamental ponds or aquaria. Some invasive water plants are still sometimes sold by nurseries or pet shops. If you notice this, report the instance to Council, so that the proprietors can be advised that it is illegal to sell these plants. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. Salvinia can be raked to shore or pulled in with an encircling rope, and piled on the shore above flood reach under plastic, where it will break down rapidly. For large infestations herbicide may be necessary but a permit will be required from the Environmental Protection Agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Scotch Thistle
Scotch Thistle - Click to enlarge
Scotch Thistle
Onopordum acanthium
A large, short-lived, spiny thistle growing up to 2 m tall. Its stems are broadly winged and are densely covered in whitish hairs that give them a cottony appearance. Elongated leaves have irregularly toothed or deeply divided margins and often have a distinctive bluish-grey appearance. Large purplish flower-heads (2-6 cm across) are surrounded by several rows of spine-tipped bracts. Seeds (4-5 mm long) are grey with darker mottling and are topped with a ring of whitish-coloured hairs (5-10 mm long). HabitatA weed of pastures, crops, disturbed sites, waste areas, gardens and roadsides. It is mainly found in temperate regions, but occasionally also grows in semi-arid and sub-tropical environments. DispersalThis species usually reproduces by seed, although severed root fragments can give rise to new plants after being cut and spread by cultivation equipment. There is little dispersal of the individual seeds by wind, although the whole seed-head may detach and spread seeds about in this manner. Seeds are more often dispersed after becoming attached to animals, clothing and vehicles or they are spread in contaminated agricultural produce (e.g. hay, silage and grain). Look-a-likesScotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium) is very similar to Illyrian thistle (Onopordum illyricum) and relatively similar to stemless thistle (Onopordum acaulon) when it is in the rosette stage of growth. Spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare), perennial thistle (Cirsium arvense), artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus), variegated thistle (Silybum marianum), nodding thistle (Carduus nutans subsp. nutans) and the slender thistles (Carduus pycnocephalus and Carduus tenuiflorus) may also be confused with Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium). They can be distinguished by the following differences, in addition to the fact that Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium) has greyish-coloured leaves: the slender thistles (Carduus pycnocephalus and Carduus tenuiflorus) and perennial thistle (Cirsium arvense) have smaller and much more slender flower-heads. spear thistle (Cirsium vulgare) has leaves with deeply cut lobes held at various angles (instead of toothed and undulating leaves) and its seeds have a pappus of feathery hairs up to 25 mm long (instead of toothed hairs up to 10 mm long). nodding thistle (Carduus nutans subsp. nutans) has flower-heads with purplish-coloured bracts and these flower-heads nod or droop as they mature. variegated thistle (Silybum marianum) and artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus) have wingless stems and larger flower-heads (up to 13 cm across). Control Chip/dig isolated infestations. Spot spray rosettes prior to developing flowers.
Sea Rocket
Sea Rocket - Click to enlarge
Sea Rocket
Cakile spp (Cakile maritima)
Herb to 80 cm high, branching extensively and sometimes spreading along the sand (though not rooting). Leaves are ovate to spatula-shaped, 4-7 cm long and variously lobed. Flowers are white, pink or lavender with four petals 4-8 mm long. HabitatEuropean sea rocket (Cakile maritima subsp. maritima) is a common annual weed of coastal environs (i.e. in foredunes, along seashores and on offshore islands) and is regarded as naturalised on Eurobodalla beaches. DispersalGrowth is stimulated by both salinity (i.e. a true halophyte) and sand burial. Also spread via seed. Look-a-likesThis species also hybridises with American sea rocket (Cakile edentula) and intermediates between the two plants are common or dominant in some areas. ControlCan be hand pulled however due to its widespread distribution and role in stabilising sand dunes treatment is not recommended.
Sea Spurge
Sea Spurge - Click to enlarge
Sea Spurge
Euphorbia paralias
A perennial herbaceous plant with several ascending stems usually 20-70 cm tall growing from a wooden base. The stems are somewhat fleshy, containing a milky sap and usually divide into branches near their tips. Its stalkless leaves 5-30 mm long are crowded along the stems, the tiny cup-like, yellowish-green flowers are borne near the tips of the stems and have a large stalked ovary. Its fruiting capsules 3-5 mm long each containing three seeds. Sea Spurge is poisonous and its stems contain a milky white sap. This sap can be highly irritating when it comes into contact with the skin or when it is accidentally rubbed into the eyes. HabitatA weed of coastal environments and offshore islands in the temperate regions in Australia. It occurs on free draining sandy soils on beaches, around estuaries, through dune fields, in coastal herbfields, grasslands, heaths and shrublands, and may also grow along rock shorelines and in sand-filled cracks between rocks. DispersalSea spurge reproduces by seed and has two main modes of dispersal. The fruit open explosively when mature and expel the seeds short distances, seeds are also buoyant in sea water and can be spread very large distances by ocean currents. Humans can also assist the dispersal of seed by spreading it about with beach grooming equipment or moving it to new areas in contaminated sand. Look-a-likesIs very similar to several other weedy spurges including; false caper, caper spurge, sun spurge, and petty spurge. ControlHand pull prior to seeding taking care no to expose skin to the milky sap.
Seaside Daisy
Seaside Daisy - Click to enlarge
Seaside Daisy
Erigeron karvinskianus
A spreading perennial herb to about 50cm high. White to pink or red daisy flowers 1-2cm across are borne all year round. HabitatNot much naturalised on the south coast yet, but known to be weedy elsewhere. Highly tolerant of poor, dry soils and grows in a wide range of conditions. Has been recorded growing on tree fern trunks and old chimneys, so requirement for soil is minimal. A very popular garden plant which has great potential to spread into many types of native vegetation. DispersalSeed is wind-spread. Plants will also spread vegetatively by rooting at the nodes, and dumped material may re-sprout. Look-a-likesSome other daisies which are popular hardy garden plants also naturalise around towns, often due to dumping rather than seed dispersal. All have much larger flowers than those of seaside daisy. ControlRemove this plant from gardens which are close to native vegetation. Do not dump garden refuse.
Sedum
Sedum  - Click to enlarge
Sedum
Sedum praealtum
Is a mostly erect perennial shrub to about 1 metre high. Leaves 3-7 cm long are oblong to spoon-shaped, yellow-green and fleshy. Flowers are bright yellow and star-shaped in dense, many flowered inforescences. HabitatFound along roadsides and in rocky sites. Common in garden refuse dumping. DispersalSeed, stem and leaf fragments spread by soil and occasionally water, road graders, traffic and gravity (cliff areas) and also by deliberate movement and plantings. Look-a-likesMany succulents have a similar form when seedlings particularly those in the sedum genus. All are introduced. Control Hand pull taking care to remove all stem, leaf and root segments.
Senegal tea plant
Senegal tea plant - Click to enlarge
Senegal tea plant
Gymnocoronis spilanthoides
Declared Biosecurity Matter Senegal tea plant is an emergent perennial herb growing in shallow water or on mud around the waters edge. It may form rounded clumps of stems, or a tangled mass of stems spreading across mud. It spreads by rhizomes (underground runners). Stems are pale green to reddish at the base, erect or prostrate, branching at the nodes, and up to 1.5 metres long and 10-15mm diameter, cane-like and hollow between the joints. Leaves are lance-shaped to oval, dark green, on short stalks, with the margins serrated and slightly wavy. Flowers are small and white to mauve, in dense hemispherical clusters 1-2 cm across at the stem tips, enclosed before opening in a single row of green bracts. HabitatStill or very slowly flowing fresh water in tropical to warm-temperate climate is the preferred habitat. Introduced from tropical America for the aquarium trade and naturalised in a few widely separated areas, including the NSW north coast and Illawarra. Senegal tea plant could blanket the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. It may interfere with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduce water quality and block pumps. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. The record from the Illawarra was of plants deliberately cultivated in a farm dam to provide stock for the aquarium trade. Look-a-likesSenegal tea should be easily recognised when in flower, as the white flowers on an aquatic plant are distinctive. Prior to flowering the plants could be confused with a number of native and exotic species which grow in or near water. The weed, blue water speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica) has hollow stems, an erect habit and rhizomes. Its leaves are opposite and finely toothed, but are stalkless (senegal tea leaves are on short stalks). Water speedwell flowers are pale blue or mauve and arranged in long terminal spikes with large gaps between flowers. Alligator weed is an aquatic weed with a sprawling habit which can also grow on dry land around the edge of water bodies. Its leaves are blunt-tipped and lack marginal teeth, and are in opposite pairs. Flowers are small and white, a little similar to those of Senegal tea plant, but are held in small clusters on a short stalk in the axil of each leaf, not in terminal clusters. The native plant square raspwort (Haloragis exalata ssp exalata) forms similar clumps of erect stems which are red at the base and green above, and it has opposite leaves with toothed edges. However, the most common form of this plant, variety exalata, has raspy textured stems and leaves, covered with small stiff hairs. A very rare form, var laevis, has smooth, glossy leaves and stems. The stems are not hollow. The flowers of this plant are tiny and look more like buds, in terminal spikes or in the upper leaf axils. ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ornamental ponds or aquaria. Some invasive water plants are still sometimes sold by nurseries or pet shops. If you notice this, report the instance to Council, so that the proprietors can be advised that it is illegal to sell these plants. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. Plants can be raked to shore and piled on the shore above flood reach under plastic, where they will break down. Vigilance will be needed to ensure that plants do not recover. For large infestations herbicide may be necessary, but a permit will be required from the Environmental Protection Agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Serrated tussock
Serrated tussock - Click to enlarge
Serrated tussock
Nassella trichotoma
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A tussock grass (to about 0.5m) with very fine bright green leaves less than 1mm wide, held very erect when young, and spreading in larger plants. Older leaves and whole tussocks in winter have a characteristic bleached appearance. Long, branched seed heads weep over to the ground around the tussock. The tiny seeds are enclosed in reddish purple structures called glumes, giving the whole plant the appearance of a large pink cushion when flowering. The seed itself is straw coloured and almost round, with a fine thread-like awn attached off-centre at one end. HabitatSerrated tussock is most invasive in over-grazed pasture in dry areas, but it will readily invade any sort of grassy vegetation, and even spread into forest adjacent to infested pasture. It can build up to high density eliminating most other plants. Individual plants are long-lived and seed remains viable in soil for more than 13 years. Dense stands produce a serious fire hazard. Serrated tussock has no feed value. Its fibre content is so high that stock are unable to digest it, and animals forced to graze it may eventually starve to death. It therefore reduces stock carrying capacity of pasture, as well as being one of the worst potential environmental weeds of remnant grassy native vegetation of farming areas. DispersalThe entire seed head snaps off and blows around like a tumbleweed, to collect against fences and other obstructions. It is very light, and can be carried many kilometres on the wind. Seed can also stick to clothing and animals, and is spread in manure of stock feeding on infested pasture, in contaminated hay and in mud on vehicles. Look-a-likesMany native grasses have some points of similarity with serrated tussock: Poa or silver tussock is most commonly confused with serrated tussock, just because it is a large tussock, whose leaves feel serrated when rubbed with the fingers from top to bottom. The leaves of many grasses feel like this, and it is not diagnostic for serrated tussock. Poa tussock also tends to grow in large stands, particularly in wet areas or on sheltered slopes. Unlike serrated tussock, it has tall erect seed heads which persist on the plant after the seed has fallen. The young heads are purple, not red or pink, and the seeds have no awn. Blown grass and panic have seed heads which snap off and blow around, but both of these have quite wide leaves, and neither have seeds which appear red. The seeds of panic are shiny and millet-like, without an awn. Those of blown grass do have an awn, but it is attached to the middle of the back of the seed, not at the tip. Magnification may be needed to see this. Corkscrew grass can look very similar when not in seed to a young serrated tussock plant, as it has the same erect leaf growth and very fine foliage. Corkscrew grass has large awned seed, whose awns twist on maturity to produce a spiral effect up the seed head. However, like many native spear grasses, when the seed is young it may be red. The diagnostic feature for corkscrew grass is the erect, not trailing, seedhead which persists on the plant after the seed has been shed. Each individual seed is long and slim in shape, with the awn attached centrally at the tip. A small native poa tussock also has fine erect bright green foliage, but like corkscrew grass it has erect, not trailing, seed heads which persist on the plant after seed has been shed. ControlControl before plants produce seed, or if too late bag seed and burn it. For small infestations, dig out plants and turn upside down, or suspend on other vegetation to dry out so that roots are not in contact with the soil. If spraying, use of a selective herbicide is preferable, since it minimises disturbance to other vegetation. In pasture, it is important to maintain other pasture plants in vigorous condition, as serrated tussock seedlings are not very competitive in dense pasture. Control of rabbits, and of stock grazing pressure, is crucial
Sharp rush
Sharp rush - Click to enlarge
Sharp rush
Juncus acutus
Sharp Rush is an upright and tufted long-lived plant that is grass-like in appearance and usually grows 1-1.2 m tall. Its numerous unbranched stems bear a dense cluster of flowers just below their tip, which tapers into a sharp spine. Leaves are very similar to the stems, except that they do not bear flowers. Flowers are green, brown or reddish-brown in colour with reddish-brown capsules (5-6 mm long). Leaf tip is actually painful to touch with the hand (try patting the top of the tussock with your palm). HabitatSharp rush grows in wet soil, in areas which are occasionally but not permanently under water. It will grow in both freshwater and saline situations. DispersalSpread by seed in water or contaminated soil, in mud on vehicles, machinery and boats. The clumps also spread gradually by underground rhizomes. Look-a-likesThere are many native and a few introduced rushes (Juncus species) which all look very similar. Sea rush is one of the most similar, growing in saline and brackish situations. However, with a bit of experience sharp rush can be distinguished by the very pointed nature of its tips. Most other rushes are not actually painful to bounce the hand off, although they are all sharp. It is also more robust than most of the native rushes found on the south coast. Its stems are very hard. It is impossible to squash them by squeezing with the finger and thumb. This contrasts with many of the native rushes in which it is easy, or at least possible, to squash the stems. Its flower and seed heads also tend to be bigger and more red-brown in colour. It often grows side by side with native species, and these differences are then quite obvious. An isolated plant can be trickier. The definitive distinguishing feature is the fact that the seed capsule protrudes well beyond the tepals which surround it. ControlSmall or isolated plants can be dug up (taking care during disposal not to spread the seed) but the amount of work involved would be prohibitive for large infestations. For these herbicide may be necessary, but a permit will be required from the Environmental Protection Agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have sharp rush present notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Siam weed
Siam weed - Click to enlarge
Siam weed
Chromolaena odorata
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Siam weed is an erect or sprawling fast-growing perennial shrub, forming dense tangled thickets from 1.5-5 metres high.The growth is soft when young, but becomes hard and woody when mature. The leaves are almost triangular with a few coarse veins. The leaves emit a pungent odour when crushed. The flowers are pale blue-lilac with protruding tow-branched stigmas. Flowering from May to October. HabitatSuited to highly productive land types. Grows easily along watercourses, foreshores and swamps. Generally found in areas with rainfall over 600mm per annum. DispersalSeeds by wind and water, and by movement of stem and root fragments. Seeds may be blown long distances and also moved in mud on machinery and recreational vehicles. Look-a-likesChromolaena odorata may occasionally be confused with Gymnocoronis spilanthoides (Senegal tea plant) and Ageratina adenophora (crofton weed). ControlMechanical removal of isolated plants, although effective, is impractical for dese infestations. Slashing and burning offer temporary control but are usually followed by rapid regroth. Herbicide application can be successful, however, repeated applications are required to kill the perennial roots.
Slender thistle
Slender thistle - Click to enlarge
Slender thistle
Carduus pycnocephalus
Erect annual herbs, commonly 60 to 100 cm high but up to 2m, reproducing by seed. Seed germinates in the 6 weeks following the autumn break. Seedlings develop into rosettes and remain in the rosette stage over winter. Flowering stems are produced in early spring and flowering continues from September to December. Plants die in early summer after flowering, but dead stems can remain standing for months HabitatWeed of roadsides & pastures. DispersalSlender thistles are dispersed solely by seed which can be carried for long distances in the wind. Seeds have a parachute of barbed hairs (the pappus) which aids wind dispersal and attaches to clothing and animal coats, particularly the fleece of sheep. Goldfinches and other granivorous birds eat the seed but they remove the husk before consumption so do not disperse viable seed. Seed is spread in contaminated hay, silage and grain and on farm machinery, and can be dispersed in water. Look-a-likesSimilar to several introduced thistles species. All are weeds. ControlDig or chip isolated plants through spring and early summer. Spot spray prior to seeding.
Small-leaf Privet
Small-leaf Privet - Click to enlarge
Small-leaf Privet
Ligustrum sinense
Small-leaf privet is an evergreen shrub potentially reaching about 5m high. Bark is smooth and grey. Leaves are glossy, in opposite pairs, oval in shape, to 5cm, with a less tapered tip. Sprays of small white flowers occur at the branch tips, followed by large clusters of small (4-7mm), fleshy black fruits. Small-leaf privet flowers in spring, HabitatChinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) is most commonly found in wetter tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions. It is a particularly common weed of rainforest areas and waterways, but is also a weed of urban bushland, gullies, open woodlands, waste areas, disturbed sites and roadsides. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed, root suckers, and it also resprouts after its stems are deliberately cut or otherwise damaged. Its seeds are readily dispersed by fruit-eating (i.e. frugivorous) birds and other animals. They may also be spread by water or in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesChinese privet (Ligustrum sinense) is very similar to broad-leaved privet (Ligustrum lucidum) and common privet (Ligustrum vulgare). It is also relatively similar to Indian hawthorn (Rhaphiolepis indica). ControlCut and paint stumps as low to the ground as possible, apply herbicide to cut within 10-15 seconds after cut. Hand pull isolated seedlings or spot spray larger infestations of seedlings.
Smooth Hawksbeard
Smooth Hawksbeard - Click to enlarge
Smooth Hawksbeard
Crepis capillaris
Annual or short-lived perennial herb to 75 cm; stems sparsely branched, hairs crinkly. Leaves form from a rosette. Flowering stem is branching and erect with a bright yellow flower head. HabitatCommon on roadsides and disturbed areas, also a common broadleaf lawn plant. DispersalSeed dispersed. Look-a-likesSimilar to other flatweeds such as Dandelion which also form from a rosette. ControlIsolated infestations can be hand removed. Larger infestations can be spot sprayed with a selective herbicide that targets broad leaf species in lawn.
Smooth-stemmed turnip
Smooth-stemmed turnip - Click to enlarge
Smooth-stemmed turnip
Brassica barrelieri ssp oxyrrhina
Smooth stemmed turnip is an annual plant up to 50 cm tall. It leaves are deeply and jaggedly divided and has white to pale yellow flowers. The flower petals are 6-8mm, white or pale yellow with distinct purple veins. HabitatRoadside and other disturbed areas, problematic in crops. DispersalDispersal by seed. Look-a-likesIt is very similar looking to other Brassica weeds. Control Hand pull/chip isolated plants taking care to remove entire tap root
Soldier thistle
Soldier thistle - Click to enlarge
Soldier thistle
Picnomon acarna
An erect annual up to 100 cm high, many branches with spiny wings and dense cobweb-like hairs giving a woolly appearance. Leaves also woolly with white hairs, rosette leaves up to 30 cm long, slightly lobed and with short spines. Flowers pink or purple. HabitatA weed of disturbed areas and pastures. DispersalSoldier thistle has wind-borne seeds but these disperse only for short distances. Alternatively, the whole dead plant may break off at the base and move as a tumbleweed. Seed production can be high in dense infestations, but there is no means of vegetative spread. It has generally been moved between properties in fodder or on machinery. Look-a-likesCan be confused with other thistle species however the cobweb/woolly hairs are fairly distinct. ControlChip/dig small infestations taking care to remove tap root. Spot spray prior to flowering.
South African Daisy
South African Daisy - Click to enlarge
South African Daisy
Osteospermum ecklonis
Spreading annuals that produce masses of white/pink/mauve flowers in winter and spring. There is also a purple colour form of this plant.The leaves and stem have a distinct odour when crushed. HabitatVery common garden escapee, this plant will tolerate most soils and aspects. Common in garden refuse dumpings in bushland and along drainage lines and creeks. Also widespread in dunes. DispersalProlific seeder with seeds dispersed by wind, water and in vegetative material dumped in bushland. Look-a-likesMay be confused with the native Toothed Daisy Bush (Olearia tomentosa) which grows in dunes however Olearia is a shrub whilst the weedy daisy tends to sprawl. ControlThis woody perennial needs to be hand weeded ensuring that the whole plant including the roots is removed. Also, hand weed before seeds develop. Can be spot sprayed. Continual follow up is key to controlling this plant as it has a long seed life.
Spanish broom
Spanish broom - Click to enlarge
Spanish broom
Spartium junceum
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Spanish broom is an erect shrub 1-2 metres high, with upright branching and pure bright yellow pea flowers in spring. It is generally leafless, with the flowers borne on smooth green non- ribbed stems. HabitatAn occasional garden escape usually found close to towns or old farmhouses, it is less common than the very similar Scotch broom. Brooms, and the closely related gorse, are very bad weeds of cooler areas, where they can come to dominate the understorey of otherwise undisturbed open forest and woodland. They do not like deep shade. Allegedly sterile hybrid forms of brooms are still sold in nurseries. These have been observed to produce seed and revert to the wild type, and should not be planted. Being legumes, the brooms fix nitrogen, and can increase soil fertility, encouraging other weeds to invade. Dense infestations provide rabbit harbour DispersalDumped seed-bearing garden waste or movement of seed-contaminated soil. Explosive release of seeds around parent plants. Seed can become entangled in the wool of sheep feeding on infested pasture or be spread in soil in the hooves of other livestock. Look-a-likesScotch or English broom (Cytisus scoparius) is a similar leafless shrub but it has ribbed stems. See the Scotch broom entry for a more complete description of this weed. There are a number of native shrubs in the pea family which have some of the features of the brooms, but only a couple are leafless. Dogwood (Jacksonia scoparia) is a leafless shrub, but its stems are silvery-grey, not green, and often weeping in habit, except in young plants. Its flowers are a deep yellow with a small orange marking, and pods are tiny (about 5mm long). It grows to about 3m, and has thick furrowed black bark. It is uncommon on the south coast and very uncommon on the tablelands. The leafless native pea Viminaria juncea has a more upright habit, green stems and flowers with a touch of red. It grows in swampy situations on the coast. ControlFor large broom plants, cut and paint. Seedlings and smaller plants can be hand-pulled or dug out. Seed is long-lived in the soil and seedling growth after removal of the parent plants will need follow-up work. Spray if seedling growth is prolific, or hand-pull. Prolific seed production and long viability means a large soil seed bank, which will continue to germinate for many years after mature plants are removed. Fire may be helpful in germinating most seed so seedlings can be sprayed, but fire without follow-up control of regrowth is only likely to make the situation worse.
Spanish Heath
Spanish Heath - Click to enlarge
Spanish Heath
Erica lusitanica
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub 1 to 3m high, with a very upright growth habit. Leaves are very small (4-7mm), narrow and tightly rolled, arranged in whorls of 3 or 4 around the stem. Flowers are tiny white bells (may be pink in bud), clustered at the branch tips, where they may be so profuse as to hide the foliage. Small (2-3mm) capsules contain many fine seeds. HabitatNot widely naturalised on the south coast, but occasionally seen around towns, or old farmhouses. Prefers open sunny situations, but will also invade forest. Much more invasive in cool moist climates such as southern Victoria and Tasmania, where it can dominate the understorey of forest and woodland. DispersalSpread from seed in dumped garden waste, and in contaminated soil, by wind and water. Tiny seeds are produced in very large numbers and remain viable for several years. They may germinate profusely after fire, or disturbance. Look-a-likesMany native heaths in the epacrid family have narrow leaves and small white bell flowers, but they can be distinguished by their alternate rather than whorled leaf arrangement. Most have leaves and flowers which are markedly bigger than those of Spanish heath, and flowers are not usually produced in such dense clusters. They are quite common on the south coast, often on poor sandy soils. One of the most common, and most similar to Spanish heath is the prickly beard-heath which has quite small white tubular flowers. Its leaves are bigger than those of Spanish heath, and very sharp-pointed. There are many other potentially weedy exotic heaths in the Erica family available in nurseries. ControlCut and paint mature plants. If this is done when plants are carrying seed, burn the remains, and be careful not to spread seed beyond the site of the initial infestation in the process. Seedlings may be hand-pulled or dug. Spraying with selective herbicides will be effective, but follow-up will probably be needed.
Spider Plant
Spider Plant - Click to enlarge
Spider Plant
Chlorophytum comosum
A tufted grass-like perennial herb, to 60cm high. Leaves are grass-like, and may be solid green, although the variegated form with pale green and white longitudinal stripes is more common. Flowers are white with six petals, in branching heads. Small plantlets are produced at the tips of the flowering branches. When the branches bend over and the plantlets come into contact with the soil they take root. HabitatOccasionally found naturalised near towns, as a result of dumping of garden waste in accessible spots. Individual clumps can spread quite extensively, excluding native plants. DispersalDumping, vegetative spread by plantlets leading to gradually increasing clump size. Look-a-likesNo very similar plants, particularly of the variegated form ControlDo not dump garden waste. This plant is unlikely to spread into native vegetation without such assistance. Plants can be dug and burnt or deeply buried to prevent them re-sprouting, or sprayed.
Spotted knapweed
Spotted knapweed - Click to enlarge
Spotted knapweed
Centaurea stoebe (subspecies micranthos)
A non-spiny member of the thistle group. Erect, much-branched short-lived perennial herb to 1m high. Leaves are divided almost to the midrib, hairy, stalked at the base of the plant but becoming smaller and stalkless towards the top of the stems. Flowers are pink, in thistle-like heads at the tips of long branches, and the enclosing bracts are not spiny. Bracts are comb-like, with a black tip, giving a spotted appearance (hence the common name). HabitatA serious weed of crops and pastures in the Northern Hemisphere, it is not well established in Australia. One infestation has been recorded in the ACT. DispersalSeed is spread in soil and attached to machinery, vehicles and livestock. Knapweeds have been occasionally found for sale as garden plants in NSW (this is illegal since they are a prohibited plant). Look-a-likesBlack knapweed (Centaurea nigra) is very similar but has black comb-like bracts on the flower heads. Perennial thistle (Cirsium arvense) has similar flower heads, being pink without spiny bracts, but it has spiny leaves. See the perennial thistle page for images of this weed. Other thistles in the genus Centaurea are common weeds of the tablelands, particularly star thistle (Centaurea calcitrapa) and St Barnaby\'s thistle (Centaurea solstitialis). Their rosettes are similar to those of spotted knapweed, with deeply lobed, spineless grey-green leaves. However, their flower heads are surrounded by bracts with very long slender spines. ControlNotify your local control authority if you think you have seen this weed. Chip or spot spray prior to seeding. Selective herbicides can be used to remove knapweed from pasture.
Spotted Spurge
Spotted Spurge - Click to enlarge
Spotted Spurge
Euphorbia maculata
Prostrate to ascending annual herb with several stems up to 30 cm long, often forming dense mats where it is well established. Leaves can be oblong, elliptic or obovate, mostly 3–8 mm long, and usually 1–4 mm wide, finely toothed to entire leaf margins, often with a reddish brown spot in the middle. Flowers are white to pink and very small 1-2mm long. HabitatA common weed of disturbed sites, roadsides, paths, parks and waste areas. Can grow in a wide variety of locations and is drought tolerant. Typically prefers full sun to light shade. DispersalSpreads by seed and is dispersed primarily though water, wind, vehicles, and by transport of seed contaminated products. ControlCan be manually removed or sprayed.
St. Johns Wort
St. Johns Wort - Click to enlarge
St. Johns Wort
Hypericum perforatum
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
An erect branched perennial herb, with small light green to blue-green leaves, arranged in opposite pairs. If the leaves are held up to the light, fine translucent oil dots can be seen in them. Yellow flowers are about 20 mm diameter, in spreading terminal heads. Flowering is in mid-summer. The plant dies back to the rootstock over winter, and does not begin growing again until early summer. At some times of year, the growth habit of non-flowering stems may be prostrate and ground-hugging. The seeds are in papery capsules which dry to dark brown. HabitatFound in pasture and on road verges, generally in drier parts of the region. St John‘s Wort is more common on the tablelands and slopes, where it is a major weed of grazing land, and a serious environmental weed of remnant grassy native vegetation. The plant is poisonous to stock, dry or fresh, causing photo-sensitisation in pale coloured animals. The faces and mouths become itchy and raw, preventing feeding. DispersalSeed sticks to animals or vehicles, or is spread in contaminated soil. It can be introduced in contaminated hay or chaff. Each plant also spreads via underground runners. These can be chopped up and spread during cultivation. Seed is long-lived in the soil. Look-a-likesThere are two native St John‘s wort species, but both are very much smaller than the weed, with flowers only 5-10mm diameter. A larger weedy species is tutsan, but this species is found in cool, moist areas such as the Blue Mountains and parts of the ACT and Snowy Mountains. Several other species of Hypericum are promoted by nurseries, but given the weediness of several members of this group, they would be better avoided. ControlSmaller plants can be hand-dug, taking care to remove all of the rhizomes (underground stems), and dispose of them carefully. Spot spraying with a selective herbicide will be preferable to non-selective herbicides, since it reduces the amount of bare ground available for seedlings to re-invade. St John‘s Wort does not tolerate strong competition from healthy pasture, so avoid over-grazing, and ensure rabbits are controlled. Various biological control agents have been released for St John‘s wort, but they are unlikely to be very effective in the generally small and scattered infestations found on the coast.
Stemless thistle
Stemless thistle - Click to enlarge
Stemless thistle
Onopordum acaulon
Spiny, woolly biennial, herb growing to 1 m high. Purple flower through spring and early summer. Distinctive grey/silver deeply lobed leaves forming from a rosette. HabitatWeed of pastures, arable land & roadsides. DispersalSeed dispersed through wind, water, attachment to livestock and farm machinery. Look-a-likesVery distinct silver/grey leaves and the stem less flower make this plant hard to confuse with other thistle species. Control Hand dig/chip isolated infestations. Spot spray prior to flowering.
Stinking Roger
Stinking Roger - Click to enlarge
Stinking Roger
Tagetes minuta
An erect annual herb, 1-2m high, which is usually single stemmed or lightly branched. Leaves are finely divided into long narrow lobes. Flowers are very small, enclosed within a green sheath, in dense terminal clusters. Seeds are black, linear and 5-8mm long. The whole plant is strongly and unpleasantly aromatic. HabitatOccurs mostly along roadsides and on waste ground, preferring moist soil. Grows largest on disturbed sites with fertile soils such as stock camps or riverbanks, but will tolerate dry sites and poor soils. DispersalSeed is mostly spread in contaminated soil along roadsides. Look-a-likesThe native plant Senecio bipinnatisectus is quite similar in the erect, single-stemmed form of the plant and the leaf shape. Although it also belongs to the daisy family, its flowers and seed-heads are quite different from those of stinking roger. It has more typical small spherical fluffy seedheads. It grows around gully edges, often in slightly disturbed sites. ControlHand pull prior to seeding.
Stinkwort
Stinkwort - Click to enlarge
Stinkwort
Dittrichia graveolens
An erect annual herb, to 1m high but usually less, branched from the base. The whole plant is finely hairy and sticky, and smells very strongly of camphor. Leaves are narrow and greyish green. Flowers are small and yellow with tiny petals. Seeds are in typical spherical fluffy daisy seed heads HabitatSprings up after disturbance particularly along track edges but seldom spreads far into undisturbed vegetation. However, it is invasive in pasture where it can become dominant because stock refuse to eat it. DispersalSeeds have the typical daisy parachute of fine hairs to assist wind dispersal. They also stick to clothing, wool and machinery and are spread in contaminated soil Look-a-likesBroadly similar to a few other weeds in the daisy family, such as the narrow-leaved fleabane, but the yellow flowers, stickiness and strong camphor smell are unmistakable. One native plant, Indian weed has yellow flowers and is sticky around the flowering parts, but it has broad arrowhead-shaped leaves and no camphor smell. ControlSmall infestations can be chipped out prior to seeding or spot sprayed. In many cases the infestation will run its course after a few years, unless there is further disturbance such as road grading.
Stonecrop
Stonecrop - Click to enlarge
Stonecrop
Crassula multicava (ssp multicava)
Creeping succulent herb with fleshy leaves (4 x 4 cm) covered with small, pitted dots. Clusters of small, pale pink flowers on upright stems appear in spring, and small plantlets develop in these clusters after flowering. Leaf colour can vary from bright to dark green and can also have a tinge of pink around the leaf edge. HabitatGrows well on open sites, particularly rocky areas, and can tolerate some shade. Often arises from garden dumpings in urban bushland. DispersalReproduces by seed and by creeping horizontal stems rooting at the nodes and by bits of broken stem with a few leaves which can also root at the nodes and start new patches. Look-a-likesCan be confused with other species of Stonecrop however all are introduced. Distinct white fairy like flowers can aid with identification. Control Hand remove all root, leaf and stem fragments disposing in the red lidded bin. Can be spot sprayed ensuring that a surfactant is added.
Sweet Pittosporum
Sweet Pittosporum - Click to enlarge
Sweet Pittosporum
Pittosporum undulatum
A native plant common in the area. Large evergreen shrub or tree usually growing 4-14 m tall. Its glossy leaves are entire with wavy margins and are alternately arranged or clustered at the tips of the branches. Its bell-shaped creamy-white flowers (1-2 cm long) are borne in small clusters (4-5 in number) at the ends of the branches. These flowers and have five petals that are bent backwards at the tips, separate male and female flowers are usually borne on different plants, its distinctive hard orange capsules (about 10 mm across) split open when ripe to expose 20-30 sticky seeds. HabitatIn its natural habitat it grows in rainforests and wet sclerophyll forests and in sheltered situations in dry sclerophyll forests and woodlands. This species is a weed of open woodlands, grasslands, coastal environments, gardens, roadsides, urban bushland, closed forests, and riparian vegetation in temperate and sub-tropical and regions. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed and suckers. Seeds are eaten and spread by fruit-eating (i.e. frugivorous) birds. They are also dispersed by sticking to birds, other animals and clothing and are sometimes spread in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesSweet pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum) can be confused with other native species such as diamond-leaved pittosporum (Auranticarpa rhombifolia) and brush muttonwood (Rapanaea howittiana).
Sweet Vernal Grass
Sweet Vernal Grass - Click to enlarge
Sweet Vernal Grass
Anthoxanthum odoratum
A smallish tufted grass, usually under 30cm high, which grows best in moist soils. Leaves blades are flat, bright green, to 8mm wide. The leaves are strongly scented of coumarin, a sweet smell unlike the usual green smell of most grass. Walking through a stand of sweet vernal grass may stir up enough of the smell to be detectable, or sniff the crushed leaves. The seed heads are dense, although becoming more open during flowering, green to begin with but ripening to pale brown. HabitatUsually found in ungrazed pasture and on road verges, tolerating a range of conditions but most invasive in moist soils in sunny or semi-shaded sites. It may disappear in dry years, and become abundant in wet years. A weed of remnant grassy native vegetation in farming areas, where it can suppress native groundcover species. It tolerates infertile soils. DispersalThe seed is spread in mud on machinery and vehicles, and can adhere to animals and clothing. Wind and water may also spread seed. This plant may be sold by herb nurseries as vanilla grass. Do not buy it, as it is very invasive. Look-a-likesIn their final straw-coloured form the seed heads are similar to those of another weed, Yorkshire fog grass. This grass also has similar soft textured broad flat leaves, but they are greyish, and velvety hairy. A native species, scented holygrass also smells of coumarin when crushed but its open branched growth habit and seed heads, and forest habitat, distinguish it from sweet vernal grass ControlIsolated plants should be removed before they seed, or if they have already begun to produce seed, then bagged for careful disposal. Spraying with grass selective herbicides will kill large infestations, though blanket removal of grass cover may be inadvisable, as it is likely to be replaced with more weeds. Fire may help manage sweet vernal grass populations, particularly the use of a hot fire in spring, when the plant is preparing to flower.

T

Tall Fleabane
Tall Fleabane - Click to enlarge
Tall Fleabane
Conyza sumatrensis
An erect annual herb, usually about 1m high and single stemmed but large plants may reach 2m and be branched. Stems and leaves are finely hairy. Leaves are grey green and narrow. Flowers carried in branched heads with each cluster of tiny flowers being enclosed in a series of narrow green bracts. Typical daisy spherical clusters of small seed with a parachute of fine hairs. HabitatOne of the most common and widespread weeds, with the occasional plant often found even in quite undisturbed bush. However, fleabane is most common in disturbed sites such as road verges, where it can be quite prolific. Dense stands can smother native vegetation, particularly in grassy remnant vegetation of farming areas. This weed is relatively palatable to livestock and native browsers such as wallabies, which do reduce its seeding to some extent. Parrots feed on the seed (and may be killed along roads as a consequence). DispersalTall fleabane reproduces only by seed, which are easily blown and dispersed by the wind. Seeds may also be spread by machinery, water, vehicles, animals, and in clothing and contaminated agricultural produce Look-a-likesStinkwort, another weed in the daisy family, is superficially similar, but is easily distinguishable by its strong camphor smell. There are several species of Conyza, difficult to tell apart, but all weeds. ControlHand pull or chip prior to seeding. Seedlings can be spot sprayed.
Taurian thistle
Taurian thistle - Click to enlarge
Taurian thistle
Onopordum tauricum
A biennial (plant that completes its life cycle within two years) where during the first year of growth, it appears as a rosette. Rosettes can be 30-60cm feet in diameter. During the second year in mid to late spring the stem bolts, flowers, sets seed, and the plant dies. Taurian thistle has yellowish-brown stems and dark green stems. It flower heads are purplish-pink. HabitatTaurian thistle is recorded only in two isolated areas of Victoria. Grows on stony slopes, fallow fields and any disturbed grounds; can tolerate full sun to part-shade, sandy to heavy soils and calcareous loams, and dry to moderately wet conditions. DispersalReproduces solely by seed Look-a-likesCan be easily confused with the other major thistle weeds of the winter rainfall zone of south-east Australia. They are; Scotch thistle (Onopordum acanthium), Illyrian thistle (Onopordum illyricum), Stemless thistle (Onopordum acaulon) Control Hand chip/dig. Seedlings can be spot sprayed.
Tecoma / Yellow Bells
Tecoma / Yellow Bells - Click to enlarge
Tecoma / Yellow Bells
Tecoma stans
Tecoma / Yellow Bells is a large shrub, or small much-branched tree 3-8m tall, though can often have the growth form of a vine. Bark is initially green and smooth, but becomes light brown to pale grey and grooved with age. Leaflets grow up to 10cm long and have serrated edges. Flowers are borne in several-flowered clusters at or near the stem tips. Petals are bright yellow to orange, tubular and 3-5 cm long, with reddish lines in the throat.Fruit are 10-30 cm long, linear, bean-like pods. Pods are initially green then ripen to brown. Seeds are paper, winged and to about 2.2 cm long. HabitatTecoma / Yellow bells prefers sunny conditions in sub-tropical and tropical climates, which are free of heavy frosts and have 700-1800 mm annual rainfall. It prefers well-drained soils with a light texture. It is grows in riparian areas, edges of rainforest and eucalypt forest, open woodlands, grasslands, waste areas, sand dunes, agricultural land and other disturbed areas. It is also salt tolerant and is capable of becoming established in mangrove habitats. DispersalTecoma / Yellow Bells primarily reproduces from seed. These are primarily wind-borne, but are also spread by water and dumping garden waste. Plants can sucker, especially if damaged. Seedlings mostly germinate in spring and summer. Early growth is relatively rapid, with growth of up to 1 m in height in the first year. The main growth period is from spring to autumn, but green foliage is present year-round. Flowering and fruiting occur year-round, but are primarily from spring to autumn Look-a-likesTecoma / Yellow Bells is very similar to orange bells (Tecoma alata) and may also be confused with the garden plants known as golden trumpet vine (Allamanda cathartica) and shrubby allamanda (Allamanda schottii). It may occasionally also be confused with yellow oleander (Cascabela thevetia). ControlSeedlings or small plants can be hand pulled in small-to-medium sized infestations, but the entire taproot must be removed to avoid regrowth. Herbicide applications are recommended for medium-to-large infestations, but can also be used for small infestations.
Texas blueweed
Texas blueweed - Click to enlarge
Texas blueweed
Helianthus ciliaris
Texas blueweed so named because of its blue-green leaves and stem. The stems arise from creeping rootstocks, with the stem growing 40-70cm tall. The leaves are opposite, narrow to broadly lanceolate with hairy margins. The inflorescence is a head with reddish disk flowers and yellow ray flowers. HabitatBlueweed can be found in cropland and disturbed sites often in dry sandy soil. The creeping rootstocks and aggressive habit make the plant a serious weed in some locations. Texas blue weed occurs on the western slopes of NSW, there have been no recordings of this plant in the Eurobodalla. DispersalIt primarily reproduces by sending out rhizomes. Rhizome fragments can also sprout new plants. Plants can produce up to 7,500 seeds, but only about 1% germinates. This small number of viable seeds can still help the plant to colonize distant areas. Look-a-likesReadily identified by its distinct blue foliage and yellow flower. Not know to occur in the Eurobodalla. ControlCan be hand removed/dug out taking care to remove all rhizomes. Contact Council for herbicide control advice.
Tiger Pear
Tiger Pear - Click to enlarge
Tiger Pear
Opuntia aurantiaca
Declared Biosecurity Matter A spreading fleshy plant usually forming thickets less than 40 cm tall. Its dark green to purplish-coloured stems consist of almost cylindrical segments, these stem segments 3.5-30 cm long are covered in groupd of grey or brownish coloured barbed spines 1-5 cm long. Its showy lemon or bright yellow flowers 25-60 mm across have numerous petals. The fleshy and spiny fruit 20-30 mm long turn red with purplish mottling as they mature. HabitatMostly found in semi-arid regions and drier localities in sub-tropical and warmer temperate environments. A weed of pastures, open woodlands, fence-lines, roadsides and stream-banks. DispersalSpread by segment movement via water, animals and to a lesser extent tyres. Segments root where they contact the ground. Fruit are produced but these do not contain viable seed although plants can still grow from fruit in the same way that they do from segments. Look-a-likesTiger pear is very similar to harrisia cactus. It is also relatively similar to rope pear, boxing glove pear, snake cactus and jumping cholla. ControlHand remove small infestations making sure to wear hand and eye protection. Dispose of in the red waste bin. Large infestations can be sprayed, contact Council for control rates and herbicide.
Tobacco Bush / Tree Tobacco
Tobacco Bush / Tree Tobacco - Click to enlarge
Tobacco Bush / Tree Tobacco
Solanum mauritianum
Straggly evergreen shrub or small tree to about 4m high. Large grey-green leaves, purple flowers followed by clusters of large (to 2cm) berries ripening from green to yellow. All parts of the plant are covered in velvety hairs. Crushed leaves have a strong smell of diesel fuel. HabitatA garden escapee. Widespread along rivers in Eurobodalla, but not yet well established further south. Tobacco bush is a coloniser of disturbed sites, and germination of soil stored seed is stimulated by fire. Invades riverbank vegetation, and coastal scrub and forest, where it displaces and shades out native vegetation. All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans, particularly the green berries. However, the ripe fruit may be a valuable food resource for native fruit-pigeons and other birds. If removing large infestations of wild tobacco bush, it would be preferable to replace them with fruit-bearing local natives. A fast growing but short-lived substitute is kangaroo apple (see below). DispersalSpread from seed in dumped garden waste, and by birds and other animals. Look-a-likesQuite distinctive in its size. There are smaller purple-flowered native nightshades, of which the most similar are Devil‘s needles. These also have furry grey-green leaves, but they are smaller and narrower, and the plants are usually only 1m high. Devil‘s needles usually has some prickles scattered on the stems, as do most native nightshades found on the south coast, but S. densivestitum does not. Two native shrubs or small trees, both typical of moist areas such as gullies and rainforest edges, can have large densely furry leaves, particularly on new growth. They are Clerodendrum tomentosum, whose leaves often have a purple leaf stalk, and Astrotricha latifolia, whose leaves are often held at an angle of nearly 90° to the leaf stalk. The upper leaf surface is green and glossy but the lower surface, leaf stalk and new growth is matted with clumps of soft woolly hairs. Kangaroo apple and Solanum vescum are native nightshades with a similar growth habit to wild tobacco bush, and purple flowers. Their leaves are dark green, hairless, and narrow, or divided into 3 or more long narrow lobes. Fruits are orange, oval and about 1.5cm long. They are colonisers of disturbed moist sites. ControlMature plants will re-sprout if cut down. Cut and paint or stem inject mature plants. Small plants may be hand-pulled.
Tree Lucerne/Tagasaste
Tree Lucerne/Tagasaste - Click to enlarge
Tree Lucerne/Tagasaste
Chamaecytisus palmensis
A small spreading evergreen tree to 3-4m high with rough yellow-grey bark and velvety hairy young growth. Leaves are composed of 3 greyish green equal sized leaflets, which are slightly paler beneath. Flowers are white, in small clusters in the leaf axils. Flat pea-like pods are green, ripening to black, and seeds shiny and black, like wattle seed. HabitatTagasaste was promoted as a fodder plant in the 1980\\\'s and was widely planted on rural properties as a result. It is not often seen in gardens, as without severe pruning, it becomes straggly and unattractive in a few years. A possible sleeper weed on the coast, but it is already extensively naturalised in non-arid inland areas of Victoria, SA and NSW. It is capable of naturalising on the coast, although grazing pressure on seedlings by rabbits, stock and wallabies often prevents it from becoming established. It dislikes wet feet and is usually found in dry sites. The seed is poisonous. Like wattles, tagasaste can accumulate huge stores of long-lived seed in the soil, to germinate after fire or other disturbance. Dense infestations will smother native vegetation, and its nitrogen-fixing ability will increase soil fertility. This can help other weeds to colonise. DispersalExplosive release of seeds from pods in hot weather. Ants can also aid in seed dispersal. Look-a-likesYoung non-flowering plants could be mistaken for cape broom which is also a weed. Broom has a dense, compact growth habit, while tagasaste is more open and spreading. ControlHand pull seedlings. Mature plants usually do not re-sprout if cut right to the base, though they do recover from very heavy pruning.
Tree of Heaven
Tree of Heaven - Click to enlarge
Tree of Heaven
Ailanthus altissima
A very fast-growing deciduous tree to about 20 m high, though usually smaller. Bark is smooth and grey. Leaves are very large (up to 1m long) and compound, with many leaflets in opposite pairs. There is a gland located on a small lobe near the base of each leaflet. When crushed the leaves have an unpleasant smell a bit like peanut butter. New growth is red. Clusters of flowers occur at the branch tips. Each flower is small and white or greenish. Male flowers smell very unpleasant. The seeds are red, large and winged. HabitatFound in many situations, often around old farms, but the winged seeds can blow considerable distances and the tree can occur in relatively undisturbed bush. Dense thickets can shade out and replace native vegetation. Bark and leaves are toxic to animals and can cause contact dermatitis in humans. DispersalWinged seeds are spread by wind, but the main means of reproduction is by root suckers. One plant can rapidly become a large thicket. Dumped material may take root. Root fragments can be spread by machinery. Look-a-likesTwo similar native trees are red cedar and pencil cedar. Both are rainforest trees, and red cedar does not naturally occur south of Milton, though it may be planted outside its natural range. Neither of these trees have the gland on the base of the leaflets, or the unpleasant smell to the crushed leaves. Pencil cedar holds its leaves in a more upright position, and is evergreen. Red cedar is deciduous. The noxious weed rhus is a similar but smaller tree, with smaller compound leaves which do not have a gland on each leaflet. It is very toxic, especially to susceptible individuals. ControlVery young plants can be dug out while they are still small. Larger plants will sucker from the roots when the main plant is cut down or poisoned, and may continue to do so for some years. Repeat treatment is necessary. Cut and paint, stem injection, basal bark treatment in younger plants, or spray foliage for small plants. Do not cut trees down without applying herbicide to the stump or massive suckering will result. Ploughing, or slashing of small plants, will have the same effect.
Tritonia
Tritonia - Click to enlarge
Tritonia
Tritonia lineata
An upright herbaceous plant usually growing 30-60 cm tall and re-growing each year from long-lived underground bulbs. Long, strap-like, leaves (7-35 cm long and 7-18 mm wide) are mostly tufted at the base of the plant. Tubular flowers are borne spikes containing 5-15 flowers at the tips of the flowering stems. These cream, white or pale yellow flowers have six petals with prominent purple or blackish veins. Oval fruit capsules (3-8 mm long) turn brown and split open when mature. HabitatA weed of grasslands, open woodlands, hillsides, roadsides, waste areas and disturbed sites in temperate regions. DispersalReproduces by seed and vegetatively via its underground bulbs (i.e. corms). The seeds may be spread by wind and water, while the seeds and corms can also be spread in contaminated soil and dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesLined tritonia (Tritonia gladiolaris) is very similar to some other invasive bulbous species with whitish flowers, including freesia (Freesia alba x Freesia leichtlinii), sparaxis (Sparaxis bulbifera) and hesperantha (Hesperantha falcata). ControlSmall infestations can be dug out, taking care to remove all bulbs/corms. Spot spray when plant is in active growth.
Tropical soda apple
Tropical soda apple - Click to enlarge
Tropical soda apple
Solanum viarum
An erect shrub to 2m high covered in cream coloured prickles to 12mm long on stem and leaves. It has densely hairy lobed ovate leaves (10-20cm long and 6- 15cm wide) and white flowers. The immature fruit is pale green with dark green veins, making it look like a watermelon. The mature fruit is yellow and golf ball size (20-30cm). HabitatTropical Soda Apple invades open to semi-shaded areas, including pastures, forests, riparian zones, roadsides, recreational areas, horticultural areas and cropping areas. DispersalTropical Soda Apple reproduces by seed and can regenerate from root material. In NSW cattle movement is likely to be the major vector of spread. However, seed can also be spread by feral animals and birds that feed on the fruit, and via water and contaminated produce, soil and equipment. Look-a-likesThere are many native and weedy members of the genus Solanum. The most similar is apple of sodom (Solanum linnaeanum) which also has yellow ripe fruits and large cream coloured spines on the leaves, but its leaves are less hairy. Unlike most species, which have purple flowers, tropical soda apple has cream coloured flowers. Check the silver-leaf nightshade page for more look-alikes. ControlHand-pull or chip out isolated plants and small infestations, making sure to remove all roots and stem fragments. Spot spray larger infestations with a selective herbicide, contact Council for rates and application advice.
Twiggy Mullien
Twiggy Mullien - Click to enlarge
Twiggy Mullien
Verbascum virgatum
A large, short-lived herbaceous plant growing up to 3 m tall. A basal rosette of very large leaves is initially produced, followed by a single upright main stem. Stems and leaves are densely hairy and either greyish-green or silvery in appearance. The alternately arranged stem leaves reduce in size and become narrower towards the top of the plant. Leaves are stalk less and their bases form \'wings\' along the stem. Bright yellow flowers (12-30 mm across) are densely arranged in a large elongated cluster (20-100 cm long) at the top of the stems. Small fruit capsules (7-10 mm long and 3-6 mm wide) are covered in tiny hairs. HabitatA weed of pastures, roadsides, railways, disturbed sites, waste areas, stony river-beds and cultivation in temperate, sub-tropical and sometimes also semi-arid regions. DispersalReproduction is entirely by seeds, and these are easily spread due to their very small size. Potential dispersal agents include wind, water, animals, and vehicles. Seeds may also be spread in mud and as a contaminant of agricultural produce. Look-a-likesGreat mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is similar to twiggy mullein (Verbascum virgatum), moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria) and cretan mullein (Verbascum creticum). Control Hand remove (dig/chip) small infestations. Spot spray regrowth

V

Variegated thistle
Variegated thistle - Click to enlarge
Variegated thistle
Silybum marianum
A robust annual or biennial herb, sometimes to 2.5 m high. Leaves 20-50 cm long initially form a rosette at the base, have rigid spines on each lobe and are are variegated with white veins and blotches. Stem leaves are alternately arranged, smaller and stem-clasping. Solitary flowerheads 3-5 cm across are purple, surrounded by rows of long, spiny modified leaves. Fruit is mottled and shiny with a tuft of bristles. HabitatA widespread weed of cultivation, pastures, roadsides disturbed areas and waste sites, especially in moist sites. DispersalReproduces almost entirely by seeds that are equipped with a large \'parachute\' of bristles that enhances disperal by wind. Seeds are also spread as a contaminant of agricultural produce and to a lesser extent by water, animals, vehicles machinery and in mud Look-a-likesIs relatively similar to several introduced thistles species. Control Dig/chip small infestations making sure to do so prior to the plant setting seed. Can be spot sprayed.
Vasey Grass
Vasey Grass - Click to enlarge
Vasey Grass
Paspalum urvillei
A large and long-lived grass 1-2.5 m tall usually forming dense tufts. Its seed-heads usually have 6-20 branches ranging from 5-15 cm long, the flower spikelets are arranged in pairs along the seed-head branches so that they appear to have four rows of seeds.These flower spikelets are fringed with long silky hairs. Its leaf blades 10.50 cm long and 3-15 mm wide are narrowed at the base and mostly hairless, the leaves consist of a sheath at the base, which encloses the stem and a spreading leaf blade. The sheaths of the lower leaves are sparsley or moderately hairy while the sheaths of the upper leaves are hairless. HabitatA weed of disturbed sites, footpaths, parks and gardens, roadsides, waste areas, wetlands, watercourses, open woodlands, closed forests and pastures. DispersalDispersed by wind, water animals, vehicles, machinery, and in contaminated soil and agricultural produce. Look-a-likesVasey grass (Paspalum urvillei) is similar to other closely-related grasses, including tussock paspalum (Paspalum quadrifarium), broad-leaved paspalum (Paspalum mandiocanum), paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum), Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) and scrobic (Paspalum scrobiculatum). These species can be distinguished by the following differences: Vasey grass (Paspalum urvillei) is a tall grass (1-2.5 m tall) with relatively narrow leaves (4-9 mm across). It has relatively small flower spikelets (2-3 mm long) with long silky hairs on their margins and its seed-heads usually have 10-20 branches (i.e. racemes).tussock paspalum (Paspalum quadrifarium) is a tall grass (1-2 m tall) with relatively narrow leaves (4-9 mm across). Its relatively small flower spikelets (2-3 mm long) do not have long silky hairs on their margins and its seed-heads usually have 15-25 branches (i.e. racemes).broad-leaved paspalum (Paspalum mandiocanum) is a low-growing grass (less than 1 m tall) with relatively broad leaves (up to 20 mm across). Its relatively small flower spikelets (2-2.5 mm long) do not have long silky hairs on their margins and its seed-heads usually have only 3-10 branches (i.e. racemes).paspalum (Paspalum dilatatum) is a moderately-sized grass (usually about 1 m tall) with relatively narrow leaves (up to 12 mm across). It has relatively large flower spikelets (3-4 mm long) with long silky hairs on their margins and its seed-heads usually only have 3-7 branches (i.e. racemes).Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum) is a low-growing grass (usually less than 60 cm tall) with relatively narrow leaves (up to 10 mm across). Its relatively large flower spikelets (2.75-4 mm long) do not have long silky hairs on their margins and its seed-heads usually have only two branches (i.e. racemes). Scrobic (Paspalum scrobiculatum) is a moderate-sized grass (usually 0.5-1.5 m tall) with relatively narrow leaves (3-12 mm across). Its relatively small flower spikelets (2-2.5 mm long) do not have long silky hairs on their margins and its seed-heads usually have only 2-7 branches (i.e. racemes). Control Slash prior to seed set, can be grazed. Dig or chip or consider selective herbicide for spot spraying.
Velvety Tree Pear
Velvety Tree Pear - Click to enlarge
Velvety Tree Pear
Optunia tomentosa
Velvety tree pear, native of central Mexico, can grow to 8 meters high (normally 2-6m). The plant has a distinctive velvety covering on segments. The plant has orange flowers and the fruit is red when ripe. HabitatIs a weed that primarily grows on pastures, grasslands, disturbed sites, waste areas and roadsides. Can be found in a range on environments including sub-tropical, semi-arid, and warm temperate environments. DispersalCan spread via seed and vegetatively. Segments of the plant can take root if left on the ground. Seed dispersal is primarily via birds. Look-a-likesLooks similar to many types of opuntias including Tiger Pear and Prickly Pear. ControlHas been controlled through biological methods, using cochineal, Dactylopius tomentosus, and the cactoblastis moth, Cactoblastis cactorum. Can be controlled by stem injection, basal bark treatment or cut and painting of main stems. All parts of the plant should be properly destroyed to ensure they don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t take root and re establish.
Vipers Bugloss
Vipers Bugloss - Click to enlarge
Vipers Bugloss
Echium vulgare
An upright perennial herb initially producing a basal rosette of leaves, the stems are hairy or bristly and mostly unbranched. Its enlongated leaves are entire and hairy, with those along the stems being alternately arranged and stalkless. The blue tubular flowers 12-20 mm long are borne along one side of a short coiled stem, these flowers have five stamens, four of which are significantly longer than the other and exrtend beyond the flower tube. Its small woody seeds are surrounded by five bristly bracts. HabitatMainly a weed of pastures, roadsides, waterways, gardens, disturbed sites and waste areas in the more temperate regions. DispersalThe seeds are dispersed by water, animals, wind and in dumped garden waste. Look-a-likesVery similar to patersons curse and relatively similar to Italian bugloss. ControlDig/chip small infestations taking care to remove tap root. Spot spray regrowth, seedlings

W

Wandering Jew / Wandering creeper
Wandering Jew / Wandering creeper - Click to enlarge
Wandering Jew / Wandering creeper
Tradescantia fluminensis
A spreading groundcover, which forms extensive mats. Leaves are hairless, glossy, slightly fleshy and dark green. They are arranged alternately along the stems, and are stem-clasping at the base. Flowers are white, about 1 cm across, with a tuft of protruding yellow-tipped stamens. Fruit is not formed. HabitatMoist shady situations will produce thickest growth. Quite dense shade is preferred. Wandering jew commonly occurs along river banks, on silty alluvial soils. It tolerates occasional flooding and waterlogging. It forms dense mats which smother all native groundcover vegetation and prevent regeneration of trees and shrubs. This can have important long term consequences on streambanks, where the eventual loss of native tree and shrub cover could lead to erosion. DispersalNot spread from seed in Australia. Broken off sections of stem will take root. Spread down rivers by floods, and into other areas by dumping of garden waste. Look-a-likesWandering jew is similar to two native plants, Commelina cyanea and Aneilema biflorum, but both these plants have longer, narrower leaves, which are more widely spaced along the stems, and often have the edges of the leaf in-rolled. Commelina has blue flowers, and Aneilema white. They also often grow in shady gullies, but do not form large mats. ControlVery small infestations can be dug out, but every fragment of stem can potentially re-grow and needs to be removed and destroyed off-site. In sunny situations, covering the plant with plastic sheeting for 6 weeks in the warmer months will weaken the plant. After removing the plastic any regrowth can be dug or sprayed. This method will not work in full shade. Spraying with selective or non-selective herbicides will work eventually, but repeat treatments of regrowth will be needed. Plants should not be under any moisture stress when sprayed. Surfactants will improve penetration into the waxy-coated leaves. If treating riverbank infestations, it will be necessary to plant native vegetation after treatment, to prevent erosion. Remember that there are restrictions on the use of herbicides in watercourses.
Water caltrop
Water caltrop - Click to enlarge
Water caltrop
Trapa natans
The chestnut roots are fine, long and many in number. The plant has large leaves that float on water. The leaves are triangular, fan-shaped and have toothed edges. Some leaves are submersed in water and these leaves are feather-like with very fine segments. They remain whirled around a submersed stem. The fruits of Trapa natans are nut-like, one to two in in diameter with four sharp barbed spines. HabitatWater chestnut can grow in any freshwater setting, from intertidal waters to 12 feet deep, although it prefers nutrient-rich lakes and rivers. DispersalThe chestnut plant is propagated mainly through seeds. A single seed can give rise to 10 to 15 plant rosettes. The seeds can stay viable for up to 12 years Look-a-likesCan be confused with another aquatic plant with similar common name, Chinese water chestnut (Eleocharis dulcis) of the family Cyperaceae, which is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian and Chinese cooking. ControlIf you see this plant contact your council weeds officer,
Water hyacinth
Water hyacinth - Click to enlarge
Water hyacinth
Eichhornia crassipes
Water hyacinth is unattached and floats on the water surface, forming dense mats. It is quite a substantial plant, varying from 10cm to 1m in height depending on nutrient levels. Leaves are glossy, fleshy and spoon-shaped. Flowers are in spikes, large and mauve. HabitatFresh water bodies such as farm dams, lagoons on river floodplains, rivers and creeks. Still or slow flowing water is usually preferred, but it can spread downstream on flowing water. Hyacinth blankets the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. It also interferes with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduces water quality and blocks pumps. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. Many will spread from broken-off pieces or whole plants being moved on boats or fishing equipment from an infested to a clean water body, or can be washed out of lagoons into river systems during floods. Look-a-likesThe broad fleshy leaves, floating habit and showy mauve flowers of water hyacinth are unmistakable. A related weed is blue pickerel weed, which is often planted as an ornamental around garden water features. It is a taller plant which is rooted in soil at the waters edge. It also has glossy spoon-shaped leaves and spikes of much smaller mauve flowers. ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ornamental ponds or aquaria. Some invasive water plants are still sometimes sold by nurseries or pet shops. If you notice this, report the instance to Council, so that the proprietors can be advised that it is illegal to sell these plants. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. Floating plants such as water hyacinth can be raked to shore or pulled in with an encircling rope, and piled on the shore above flood reach under plastic, where they will break down rapidly. For large infestations, herbicide may be required, but a permit will be required. Contact Council if you see this plant.
Water lettuce
Water lettuce - Click to enlarge
Water lettuce
Pistia stratiotes
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Water lettuce floats on the water surface and will also grow on mud around the waters edge. It spreads by stolons (white root-like structures which link plants together at their bases). Each plant forms a rosette with the leaves held erect, rather like a mignonette lettuce. HabitatFresh water bodies such as farm dams, lagoons on river floodplains, rivers and creeks. Still or slow flowing water is preferred. Water lettuce is frost tender and unlikely to thrive on the south coast. It is a native of the Northern Territory which has been introduced to Queensland and NSW. Water lettuce could blanket the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. It may interfere with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduce water quality and block pumps. DispersalDumping of aquarium or ornamental pond plants is often the means of spread for aquatic weeds. However, many aquatic species have sticky seed which can adhere to the feathers or feet of water birds, and hence be spread long distances. Many will spread from broken-off pieces or whole plants being moved on boats or fishing equipment from an infested to a clean water body. Look-a-likesIdentifying aquatic weeds is difficult. There are many native look-alikes. Get suspicious plants identified by a specialist. Many native water plants will spread in a weedy way if the nutrient level in the water body is increased or the temperature raised. This may not be undesirable, since these plants will use up nutrients which might otherwise feed a toxic blue-green algae bloom. There are no particularly similar plants to water lettuce. ControlMost importantly, do not dump unwanted aquatic plants into water bodies, or grow species with weed potential in ornamental ponds or aquaria. Some invasive water plants are still sometimes sold by nurseries or pet shops. If you notice this, report the instance to Council, so that the proprietors can be advised that it is illegal to sell these plants. Once an infestation is established, and has been definitely identified, there are two options, mechanical or chemical control. Floating plants such as water lettuce can be raked to shore or pulled in with an encircling rope, and piled on the shore above flood reach under plastic, where they will break down rapidly. For large infestations herbicide may be necessary, but a permit will be required from the Environmental Protection Agency to apply any herbicide to a water body. Only a limited number of herbicides are registered for use over water. If you suspect you have an outbreak of an aquatic weed, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods.
Water primrose, Ludwigia spp, excluding the native* spp peploides
Water primrose, Ludwigia spp, excluding the native* spp peploides - Click to enlarge
Water primrose, Ludwigia spp, excluding the native* spp peploides
Ludwigia peruviana, Ludwigia longifolia
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
A large herb rooted at the water‘s edge and growing out as a floating mat over the water. Mats may become free-floating. Stems are up to 3m high, branching and woody. Leaves are deciduous in winter in Sydney but evergreen further north. They are oval, 5-10 cm long, with deeply impressed regular veins and are finely hairy. The flowers are large (2-4cm diameter) mostly with 4 yellow petals (rarely 5 or 6). Seed is carried in a brown capsule to which the 4 rusty red sepals remain attached, forming a conspicuous star shape. HabitatEdges of fresh water bodies, preferably still. Ludwigia can blanket the water surface reducing light levels, temperature and oxygen in the water below. This has profound effects on communities of native plants and animals in the water. Can also interfere with animal access for drinking water, human access for swimming and boating, reduce water quality and block pumps. DispersalDispersal is mostly by seed, which sticks to wet surfaces and can be spread on birds and other animals, people, machinery and in mud or water. Look-a-likesSimilar plants are other Ludwigia species, mostly also aquatic and introduced, but less invasive. A small species of water primrose is sometimes regarded as native, or may be an introduction from South America. It is a small plant with similar flowers, which grows on the edge of water bodies. It is regularly encountered in south coast wetlands, but seldom in large amounts ControlIf you suspect you have an outbreak of ludwigia, notify your local weed control authority (usually Council) and take their advice on control methods. Ludwigia is less tolerant of dry soil than alligator weed, so lowering the water level in the water body, if feasible, may help to eradicate infestations. Herbicides are effective but repeated application may be needed.
Water soldier
Water soldier - Click to enlarge
Water soldier
Stratiotes aloides
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Water soldier is mainly invisible as it grows under the water and attaches itself to the bed. During its flowering time the stem breaks off and rises to the surface, and the tips of the leaves and the inflorescence rise above the surface of the water. The smell of decomposing flesh that the flower emits attracts flies and perhaps some butterflies to pollinate it. Water soldier leaves resemble aloe plants, and as such it is also called water aloe. HabitatStratiotes aloides usually inhabits shallow stagnant waters, mainly eutrophic and mesotrophic, with substratum of mud and organic deposits. Stratiotes aloides can grow in depths of up to 6.5m. Stratiotes aloides is found mainly in sheltered bays of larger lakes, backwater ponds, ditches and canals. Stratiotes aloides is limited to freshwater. DispersalReproduces mainly by vegetative means, as mature plants produce plantlets which detach and are carried downstream to take root in other locations. Plants also produce seed encased in a berry-like fruit, so that when the plant submerges again the seeds float downstream, but is this method of spread is less common. Look-a-likesNo known similar native species. If you suspect you have seen this plant contact Council for assistance with identification. Control You must report this plant if you see it anywhere in NSW. Call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244. Help will then be provided to remove and destroy it. This serious weed could spread if control efforts do not follow all protocols. Not reporting it is a breach of your legal biosecurity duty.
Watsonia
Watsonia - Click to enlarge
Watsonia
Watsonia borbonica / Watsonia meriana var bulbillifera
A long-lived herbaceous plant emerging each year from underground corms and growing up to 2 m tall. Its upright flowering stems are often reddish its very large leaves (50-80 cm long and 1-5 cm wide) are strap-like in appearance. its tubular flowers are widely spaced along an elongated spike (20-40 cm long) at the tips of the stems, these orange, red or salmon pink flowers (5-8 cm long and 3-4 cm across) are produced at the upper stem joints. HabitatA weed of roadsides, railways, gardens, grasslands, open woodlands, waterways, pastures, coastal environs, disturbed sites and waste areas in temperate and sub-tropical regions. DispersalThis species reproduces vegetatively via underground bulbs (i.e. corms) and smaller bulbs (i.e. bulbils or cormils) on the stems. The underground corms (4-8 cm across) sprout 1-3 new smaller bulbs during each season, which readily become detached from the parent corm. Seeds are not produced. Corms may be dispersed during soil moving activities (e.g. road grading), by water, and in dumped garden waste. The bulbils are also spread in dumped garden waste, by water, and by slashers and other vehicles. Look-a-likesBulbil watsonia (Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera) is very similar to several other cultivated watsonias (Watsonia spp.) that have also become naturalised (e.g. Watsonia aletroides, Watsonia marginata , Watsonia versfeldii and Watsonia borbonica ). However, none of these other species produce the distinctive cormils that are found on the flowering stems of bulbil watsonia (Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera). This species is also relatively similar to African cornflag (Chasmanthe floribunda ) and montbretia ( Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora). ControlDig plant ensuring that all bulbs are removed. Can also be spot sprayed when in a period of active growth.
Whisky Grass / Broom Sedge
Whisky Grass / Broom Sedge - Click to enlarge
Whisky Grass / Broom Sedge
Andropogon virginicus
Originating in America, Whisky Grass is a tufted, erect, brownish perennial with solid stems growing to 1m tall. Leaf blades hairy near the base of the upper surface with hairy ligules. Flowers 2-3cm long, flowering in summer. Seed on a bearded stalk up to 5mm long. HabitatTypically disturbed areas such as roadsides and degraded pasture. DispersalAttachment, wind and mud. Look-a-likesKangaroo Grass (Themeda australis), a valuable native grass may be confused with Whisky Grass. Another native grass, Barbed-wire Grass, may also appear similar. ControlManual: Knife out young plants cutting off fibrous roots below crown. For mature plants, cut off seed head and bag, then knife out plant as above. See Manual Weed Control Techniques. Chemical: Please contact your local control authority for advice on chemical control.
White Passionflower
White Passionflower - Click to enlarge
White Passionflower
Passiflora subpeltata
A vine with slender climbing or creeping stems that are mostly hairless. Tendrils are produced at the bases of the alternately arranged leaves, where the leaf stalk joins to the stems there is a two-lobed leafy structure 1-4 cm long. Its are pale green with three rounded lobed and whitish or bluish-green undersides. Its large white flowers (4-5.5 cm across) are borne singly in the leaf forks. Its leathery egg-shaped fruit (about 4 cm long) are pale green, bluish-green or yellowish when mature. HabitatA common weed of roadsides, disturbed sites, waste areas, watercourses (i.e. riparian areas), urban bushland, closed forests, forest margins, open woodlands and plantation crops (e.g. sugarcane) in tropical and sub-tropical regions. DispersalThis species reproduces by seed, which are commonly spread by birds and other animals that eat the fruit. Look-a-likesWhite passion flower (Passiflora subpeltata) can be distinguished from two other very similar species, corky passion vine (Passiflora suberosa) and stinking passion vine (Passiflora foetida), by its leaves: Corky passion vine (Passiflora suberosa) has hairless or slightly hairy leaves with three pointed lobes. Stinking passion vine (Passiflora foetida) has hairy leaves with three pointed lobes. White passion flower (Passiflora subpeltata) has hairless leaves with three rounded lobes. Control Small infestations can be hand pulled taking care not to leave root structures in contact with the soil, including any roots that have formed at the leaf nodes as the plant layers. Large plant stems can be scrape and painted with herbicide and left to die in situ. Seedlings can be hand pulled or spot sprayed.
Wild Carrot
Wild Carrot - Click to enlarge
Wild Carrot
Daucus carota
Daucus carota typically grows between 30-60cm high and its leaves are tripinnate with a triangular appearance. The white flowers are produced in the second year of the plant’s growth. The root of the wild carrot is edible, however it can only be eaten while it is young as it quickly becomes too hard. HabitatInvades open grasslands, meadows, roadsides, fields and waste areas competing with and displacing native plants. DispersalThe wild carrot reproduces by seed and grows rapidly. Each umbel from a wild carrot plant can produce up to 1,000 seeds which can remain present in the soil for up to seven years. Look-a-likesHemlock (Conium maculatum)can be confused for carrot during its early stages of growth. Foliage and growth patterns resemble carrot, but hemlock soon surpasses the size of the carrot plant and, when flowering, could grow up to3m. Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) has a similar habit but narrower leaf segments and yellow flowers. ControlHand remove before the seeds have chance to mature. Use selective broadleaf herbicides while the weed is growing.
Willow Spp
Willow Spp - Click to enlarge
Willow Spp
Salix spp
Several species of willows are potentially weedy on the south coast. All are deciduous trees or large shrubs, but they vary markedly in appearance. Weeping willow (Salix babylonica) is the most familiar. It is usually single-trunked, with very long pendulous branches. It and crack willow (Salix fragilis), which is usually multi-trunked, are the most common species occurring along rivers. Other species commonly planted as windbreaks or in gardens are: Golden upright willow (Salix alba var. vitellina), whose bare stems in winter are very yellow; New Zealand hybrid willows (Salix matsudana hybrids), which have a narrow upright habit; pencil or Chile willow (Salix humboldtiana Pyramidalis\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'), which has a very narrow columnar form and may be evergreen in warm areas; tortured willow (Salix matsudana Tortuosa\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'), which has markedly contorted branches and leaves; pussy willows (Salix cinerea, S. caprea), which are multi-stemmed and shrub-like (though up to 10m high) and have broad oval leaves and short very fluffy catkins.With the exception of the pussy willows, the leaves of all species are long and narrow, with finely toothed edges, and usually a paler underside. Numerous tiny flowers are carried in upright catkins which are produced before the leaves in spring. Tiny seeds with a fluffy parachute are released quite early in the season, around November. At this time clouds of fluff can be seen drifting away from stands of willows which are seeding. HabitatRiver beds and banks. A moist seed bed such as wet sand is needed for seeds to germinate and become established. In some cases roadside ditches or swamps may also be colonised. Their impact on rivers is substantial. They trap sediment, building up the river bed and filling in the waterholes needed by aquatic animals. Their large root masses, or tangles of trapped debris, can push water flow into the banks, causing erosion. The sudden drop of leaves in autumn can deplete the water of oxygen while the leaves are decomposing, making things difficult for fish and other animals. The dense shade they cast in summer can affect water temperatures. DispersalThe very fine seed can drift for many kilometres on the wind. It is only viable for a few days, and needs a moist site such as a sandy river bed, so the odds of an individual seed landing in the right place and developing into a tree are low. Despite this, millions of seedlings manage to germinate in river beds in favourable years. Look-a-likesNo natives look similar. There are many different willows, and all, including weeping willow, are potentially or actually weedy. The closely related poplars look similar, but have broad, glossy leaves and longer, dangling catkins. They are more often found planted away from rivers, but when they do occur in rivers can also cause problems by blocking flow and trapping sediment. They have not yet been shown to reproduce by seed on the south coast, but they do grow readily from broken branches or twigs. ControlCut and paint or stem inject mature plants with glyphosate. This can be a difficult task, since willows are often multi-stemmed, and every stem will need to be treated. Their bases are also often buried in flood debris, blocking access. In this case burning the flood debris can kill the willow. This would be best done in the warmer months to avoid killing hibernating frogs and reptiles which might be sheltering in the piles. Small numbers of seedlings can be easily hand-pulled in loose sand. Spraying with glyphosate will be effective on smaller plants, but may produce too much spray drift to be acceptable with large plants. Remember that a permit is required to use herbicides within a watercourse. Willow removal needs to be carefully staged to avoid causing more erosion. The willows may need to be replaced with suitable local native vegetation which can take on the job of protecting the river banks during floods. Seek advice from Council.
Witchweed
Witchweed - Click to enlarge
Witchweed
Striga spp (excluding S. parviflora)
Declared Biosecurity Matter
NOTIFIABLE WEED - Call 4474-1269 now if you've seen this plant.
Witchweeds are usually 15-30 centimetres tall, but can be taller. They have narrow leaves, one to three centimetres long, inconspicuous. Witchweed flowers can be bright colours including red or purple, or plain white. After flowering, small, swollen seed pods form, each one containing thousands of minute seeds. The seeds are like specks of dust, only about 0.2 millimetres long. Each witchweed plant can produce up to 50 000 seeds, they can last for 10 years or more in the soil. HabitatWitchweed prefers intensive agriculture where frequent crops, monocultures and fertilisers encourage growth and seed production. In July 2013 Striga asiatica was found on a small number of properties near Mackay in Queensland. Witchweeds are not known to occur in NSW. DispersalWitchweeds are dependent on a host plant, only germinating when exposed to certain chemicals that host plants give off. A number of witchweed plants can attach to a single host plant. Look-a-likesSpecimens of the native witchweed (Striga parviflora) have been collected from woodlands on the north coast and central western slopes of NSW.After emergence, witchweeds can flower and produce seed rapidly. Each plant is capable of producing at least 50 000 tiny seeds. These may remain viable in the soil for over 10 years. Seeds are spread short distances by wind, and further by water and soil attached to animals, machinery, tools, footwear and clothing. Contaminated crop seed is the most likely way for witchweeds to be introduced into an area. ControlYou must report this plant if you see it anywhere in NSW. Call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244. Help will then be provided to remove and destroy it. This serious weed could spread if control efforts do not follow all protocols. Not reporting it is a breach of your legal biosecurity duty.
Wood/Pink Sorrel
Wood/Pink Sorrel - Click to enlarge
Wood/Pink Sorrel
Oxalis articulata
Oxalis grows from a bulb and so is only visible above ground for only part of the year. Leaves consist of 3 leaflets, similar to clover. Flowers are shortly tubular with 5 petals. Most of the more colourful oxalis species do not produce seed in Australia. HabitatAppears mostly around towns and old farms, in cemeteries and on nearby roadsides, as they are garden escapees. They can form a dense groundcover, excluding native species, especially in shady sites. DispersalDumping of garden waste spreads bulbs. Infestations gradually enlarge by the production of bulbils from the parent bulbs. Look-a-likesNative species of oxalis occur, but they are all yellow flowered, are generally low sprawling or creeping plants with flowers in groups of 1-4, with much smaller flowers than the introduced species. Those species of oxalis which are garden escapees generally have pink, purple or white flowers. There are some weedy yellow flowered oxalis as well. Soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) is distinctive in having an erect habit, with a single flowering stem to 35cm high carrying up to 25 flowers. Oxalis corniculata is very difficult to distinguish from native oxalis species. ControlSmall infestations can be dug out, but this should be done when soil is moist (though not too wet), to avoid leaving behind the bulbs, or the small bulbils which develop around the base of the parent bulb late in the season. Spraying is also effective, but may need to be repeated the following season.

Y

Yellow burrhead
Yellow burrhead - Click to enlarge
Yellow burrhead
Limnocharis flava
A perennial herbaceous plant growing 20-120 cm tall. Its fleshy leaves arise from the base of the plant on the long three-angled stalks, these leaves have rounded blades 5-30 cm long with entire margins. The yellow flowers have have three petals and are borne in loose clusters at the top of long flower stalks. Its rounded fruiting capsules split into serval floating segments when mature. HabitatA potential weed of wetter tropical environments. It inhabits freshwater bodies of water, slow moving waterways, wetlands, swamps, marshes, irrigation channels, drainage ditches and ponded crops. DispersalYellow burrhead reproduces by seed and vegetatively via creeping underground stems. Small plants are sometimes also produced at the tops of the flowering stems. These seeds and vegetative shoots are usually spread by water but may also be dispersed in dumped garden waste and aquarium waste. Look-a-likesYellow burrhead is similar to monochoria, pickerel weed and water hyacinth when it is not in flower. It is also relatively similar to sagittaria. Control Contact Council for control advice.
Yellow nutgrass
Yellow nutgrass - Click to enlarge
Yellow nutgrass
Cyperus esculentus
Yellow nutsedge can be identified by solid, triangular-shaped stems which are be easily determined by rolling the stem back and forth between fingertips. Yellow nutsedge leaves have a prominent mid-rib and are arranged in threes which also help to distinguish it from grasses. Leaves are a light green to yellowish in color, have a shiny/waxy appearance, and have a long leaf-tip tapered to a sharp point. While many grasses have hairs on the leaf blades, such as crabgrass or bermudagrass, yellow nutsedge leaves and stems are completely smooth, which accentuates the shininess of the leaves. An annual or perennial plant, growing to 90 cm tall, with solitary stems growing from a tuber. HabitatOccurs mostly in moist, disturbed habitats and can tolerate a wide range of soil types. It grows in riparian areas and along lake-sides and marshes. Spring flooding in these areas favours this plant. It also occurs in cultivated areas, along roadsides, waste places and in lawns. Its does not thrive in shaded situations. DispersalThe plant is reproduced by seeds, creeping rhizomes, and tubers. Look-a-likesSimilar in appearance to purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotunda) and Liriope. Control It establishes by rhizomes, which form tubers (called nutlets) that are capable of surviving in the soil for periods of up to ten years. Small infestations can be dug/chipped taking care to remove rhizomes. Contact Council for spray control rates and advice.
Yorkshire fog
Yorkshire fog - Click to enlarge
Yorkshire fog
Holcus lanatus
A velvety greyish perennial mat forming grass, usually under 50cm high, which grows best in wet soils. Leaves blades are flat, to 10mm wide and softly and densely hairy. Flowering stems are erect with a seed head to 5-17cm long. The seed heads are highly variable in appearance, depending on their state of maturity. Initially they are spike-like, with the branches folded flat against the main stem, and purple in colour. During flowering the branches spread , making the whole head quite open in structure. As seeds mature the purple turns to straw colour, and eventually the branches contract against the main stem again. Despite all this variation in seed head appearance, the plant is easily recognisable by the velvety textured leaves. HabitatYorkshire fog tolerates a wide range of conditions but is most invasive in wet soils in sunny or semi-shaded sites. It is not much grazed by stock and can become dominant in wet pasture. It may disappear in dry years, and become abundant in wet years. It can be a serious weed of freshwater wetland margins. DispersalThe seed is spread in mud on machinery and vehicles, and can adhere to animals and clothing. Viable seed can be spread in animal manure. Look-a-likesIn their mature contracted straw-coloured form the seed heads are similar to those of another weed, sweet vernal grass. This grass also has similar soft textured broad flat leaves, but they are bright green rather than greyish, and not velvety hairy. ControlChip/dig isolated infestations. Spot spray with a selective herbicide.