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australia:vic:weeds

noxious weeds infesting Victoria

examples of common weeds in Victoria

ground cover / prostrate plants

  • capeweed - ground cover, flowers Winter, early Spring
  • caltrop / bindii - sprawling prostrate annual herb to 2m long; 8-15mm 5-petal yellow flowers Dec-Mar; woody burr with sharp rigid spines to about 6mm long, with the burr about 1cm in diameter (excluding spines)
  • khaki weed - prostrate, creeping perennial herb and propagates from an underground organ; inconspicuous flowers; chaff-coloured 1cm prickly burrs;
  • pearlwort dense low growing dicot weed with tiny white flowers
  • burr medic low-growing, almost hairless, sprawling herb, yellow flowers with 3-5mm long petals; small, greenish-brown burr;
  • creeping oxalis / yellow wood sorrel little yellow flowers which help make the plant obvious
  • white clover Trifolium repens leaves with three leaflets, and creeping stems that set roots at whatever point they touch the ground;
  • chickweed prostrate plant with shiny leaves on multiple stems which produce a single white flower on each stem
  • Galenia pubescence succulent oval grey-green leaves and pink or white flowers. Each plant can spread to cover up to 2 metres of ground and the single tap root of the plant makes the infested area more prone to soil and water erosion.
  • blue periwinkle Vinca major forms dense mats; distinctive blue-mauve flowers fading to white in the centre; can be poisonous if eaten by livestock;
  • fumitory Fumaria capreolata dainty light green leaves; annual; prefers damp shade; may have either white or pink and claret flowers; may climb up over other plants smothering them;
  • petty spurge / cancer weed / “milkweed” Euphorbia peplus annual with light green foliage growing between 5–30 cm with smooth stems; thick white sap has long been used as a traditional remedy for common skin lesions including cancers – it apparently being toxic to rapidly replicating human tissue; wear gloves if weeding and avoid sap into eyes!
vines / creepers
  • wandering creeper Tradescantia fluminensis alternate dark green shiny leaves and small green to white flowers; prefers damp dark areas; stems easily squashed;
  • morning glory Ipomoea indica trailing or climbing perennial to 10m high; purple-blue trumpet-like flowers ; heart shaped leaves;
  • bridal creeper Asparagus asparagoides tenacious vine-like plant with shiny green leaves to 30mm length; small white flowers; 8mm red berries in Aug/Sept; highly invasive;
  • honeysuckle
  • cape ivy Delairea odorata Sth African; light green ivy-like leaves; strong limey smell when crushed; clusters of bright yellow flowers in Autumn/Winter–making it more conspicuous and easier to find;
  • Wandering Trad / Creeper Tradescantia albiflora or T. fluminensis Sth American; small white flowers
  • creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens erect flowering stems up to 50 cm high as well as prostrate running stems; yellow flowers; prefers damp areas;

grasses

  • serrated tussock - increases intensity of grass fires 7-fold; A slight serration is felt when the leaf is drawn between fingers from tip to base. Resembles many native tussock grass species
  • Kikuyu grass Pennisetum clandestinum Kenyan; produces herbicidal toxins that attack competing plants.
  • annual veldt grass Ehrharta longiflora
  • African feather grass
    • grows up to 2m; strongly ribbed long leaves 12mm wide and up to 1.2m long, purplish, yellow or brown flowers 8 to 30cm long spike-like panicle Nov-Feb.
    • mainly around Casterton and the Glenelg River but also at Macarthur, Penshurst and Coalville near Moe.
  • Chilean needle grass - tussocky perennial to 1m high; flowering head is a loose, sometimes interrupted panicle to 40cm long in Oct-Apr; sharp-pointed seeds readily become attached to the coats of animals, clothing and machinery.
  • spiny burr grass - erect or spreading annual summer growing grass; yellow to green, 3 to 7mm in diameter (excluding the spines which are purple-tinged, spreading or reflexed, slender but broadened at the base, and are sharply pointed, finely barbed and rigid) - these are the ones which stick to your socks by the hundreds when you walk through an infested field.
  • pampas grass grows 2-6m tall; distinctive feathery, soft, white/yellowish plumes. Invades burnt bushland;
  • spiny rush Juncus acutus - grows to 1.5m high; Flower heads appear in spring and are a dense cluster of green florets, turning brown. dense stands that restrict access to water and create harbour for pest animals. There are also many native species of Juncus.
  • sweet vernal grass Anthoxanthum odoratum tufted perennial; dense seed head that opens and becomes lighter as summer progresses and seeds are shed; releases chemicals into soil to suppress the growth of other plants;

thorny plants

  • African boxthorn
    • very thorny shrub up to 3m with large spines up to 15cm long occur on the main stems with smaller spines on sides and ends of branches, small, scented, white flowers with purple markings in Oct-Mar and bright orange-red shiny round berry fruit.
  • hawthorn Tall, densely growing deciduous thorny shrub or small tree; white, cream or pink flowers in spring, which form into small, red, apple shaped berries.
  • Spiny broom - perennial shrub; multi-branched from the base and armed with sharp, rigid spines to 75mm long; 12-15mm long bright yellow flowers Nov-Dec; 40mm long smooth, flattened pods
  • sweet briar / wild briar rose
  • blackberry
cacti
  • prickly pear
  • wheel cactus
thistles
  • artichoke thistle
  • Scotch thistle
    • erect annual or biennial herb growing to 2m high; 1 main stem with numerous branches; purple or mauve florets in heads 2-6cm diameter Oct-Feb; a single plant can produce more than 20,000 seeds;
  • golden thistle - erect, perennial herb with many branches to 1m high; milky sap; golden-yellow florets on solitary flower heads of 2.5 to 4cm in diameter Nov-Feb;
  • Illyrian thistle - erect annual or biennial herb growing to a height of 2m; purple florets with globular heads that grow to 8cm in diameter Sept-Nov;
  • hardhead thistle/knapweed - erect perennial herbs growing to a height of 30 to 90cm (mostly 45cm); leave a bitter tasting substance on hands when handled; florets are purple, pink or occasionally white and tubular flowers in Nov-Feb.
  • soldier thistle - erect annual herb growing to 1m high; leaves are covered with fine white hairs and yellow spines; pink or purple flower heads, growing 2 to 4cm long Sept-Jan;
  • star thistle - erect bushy annual or biennial herb growing to 1m high; many branches, giving it a bushy appearance; flowers are sessile purple florets Nov-Jan;
  • stemless thistle - prostrate annual or biennial herb; flowers are white to purple florets with globular heads Oct-Nov; 1200 seeds per plant.
  • St Barnaby's thistle - erect annual herb; 4-15mm diam x 10-15mm long yellow dandelion-like flower heads encircled by rows of yellow spines that are 10 to 25mm long and protruding from the bracts Nov-Feb;

blue or purple flowers

  • blue periwinkle Vinca major forms dense mats; distinctive blue-mauve flowers fading to white in the centre; can be poisonous if eaten by livestock;
  • forget-me-not Myosotis sylvatica lovely 5-pealled light blue flowers with yellow centres;short-lived perennials growing to about 30cm high;
  • Patterson's curse
  • silverleaf nightshade - erect summer perennial herb growing to a height of 80cm; silvery white leaves due to a dense covering of stellate hairs; purple-violet flowers up to 3.5cm diameter Nov-Feb; 1.5cm smooth globular green berry turning to yellow/orange and becoming dry & wrinkled as it ripens;
  • devil's claw
    • soft, pumpkin-like low-growing annual vine with an unpleasant odour. rounded to heart-shaped 5-25cm paired leaves;
    • purple flower version: creamy-white to purple spotted with dark purple and orange trumpet flowers Feb-Mar.
    • yellow flower version: yellow flowers with red or purple markings 2.5-5cm long trumpet shaped Feb-Mar
  • artichoke thistle
  • Scotch thistle
    • erect annual or biennial herb growing to 2m high; 1 main stem with numerous branches; purple or mauve florets in heads 2-6cm diameter Oct-Feb; a single plant can produce more than 20,000 seeds;
  • Illyrian thistle - erect annual or biennial herb growing to a height of 2m; purple florets with globular heads that grow to 8cm in diameter Sept-Nov;
  • hardhead thistle/knapweed - erect perennial herbs growing to a height of 30 to 90cm (mostly 45cm); leave a bitter tasting substance on hands when handled; florets are purple, pink or occasionally white and tubular flowers in Nov-Feb.
  • soldier thistle - erect annual herb growing to 1m high; leaves are covered with fine white hairs and yellow spines; pink or purple flower heads, growing 2 to 4cm long Sept-Jan;
  • morning glory Ipomoea indica trailing or climbing perennial to 10m high; purple-blue trumpet-like flowers ; heart shaped leaves;

pink flowers

  • cape tulip - salmon pink flowers with green centres
  • sweet briar / wild briar rose

white flowers

  • white clover leaves with three leaflets, and creeping stems that set roots at whatever point they touch the ground;
  • chickweed prostrate plant with shiny leaves on multiple stems which produce a single white flower on each stem
  • onion weed - drooping bell like flowers; all parts edible;
  • African boxthorn (see above)
  • devil's claw purple flower version - trumpet shaped (see above)
  • thorn apple (Datura inoxia) - low growing annual or perennial; broad leaves densely hairy, especially on the underside; 15 to 17cm long white, trumpet-shaped flowers Nov-Apr; seed heads are covered with numerous spines 5 to 10mm in length; found particularly in the irrigated cropping areas;
  • pearlwort dense low growing dicot weed with tiny white flowers
  • hoary cress Lepidium draba medium shrub with densely covered in small white flowers in Spring;https://weedsofmelbourne.org/hoary-cress-lepidium-draba
  • blackberry
  • hawthorn Tall, densely growing deciduous thorny shrub or small tree; white, cream or pink flowers in spring, which form into small, red, apple shaped berries.
  • Spanish heath Erica lusitanica - Medium sized shrub to 1-3 m; White bell-shaped flowers form in late winter to early spring;
  • hemlock erect annual or biennial herb with narrow, hollow multibranched stems; green leaves resemble those of the common carrot and give off an offensive odour when bruised; Flowers are white and clustered at the end of the stems. Has a large tap root that grows up to 3 m in length; Poisonous;
  • bridal creeper Asparagus asparagoides tenacious vine-like plant with shiny green leaves to 30mm length; small white flowers; 8mm red berries in Aug/Sept; highly invasive;
  • Wandering Trad / Creeper Tradescantia albiflora or T. fluminensis Sth American; small white flowers
  • ribwort plantain common in lawns as a weed; basal leaves have 3-5 strong parallel veins (“ribs”); long leafless flower stems 10-40cm high ending in an ovoid inflorescence of many tiny flowers

yellow flowers

yellow flowering ground cover / prostrate plants
  • capeweed - ground cover, flowers Winter, early Spring
  • caltrop / bindii - sprawling prostrate annual herb to 2m long; 8-15mm 5-petal yellow flowers Dec-Mar; woody burr with sharp rigid spines to about 6mm long, with the burr about 1cm in diameter (excluding spines)
  • burr medic low-growing, almost hairless, sprawling herb, yellow flowers with 3-5mm long petals; small, greenish-brown burr;
  • creeping oxalis / yellow wood sorrel little yellow flowers which help make the plant obvious
  • cats ear / flatweed a common garden weed to 400 mm wide with yellow daisy type flowers up to 30 mm diameter borne on simple or branched, leafless stalks at any time of the year with a flush in spring to early summer
  • cape ivy Delairea odorata light green ivy-like leaves; strong limey smell when crushed; clusters of bright yellow flowers in Autumn/Winter–making it more conspicuous and easier to find;
  • creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens erect flowering stems up to 50 cm high as well as prostrate running stems; yellow flowers; prefers damp areas;
yellow flowering small plants
  • African daisy Senecio pterophorus - 1-1.5m tall, flowers Nov-Mar in crown formation, leaves hairy on undersurface
  • Amsinckia - erect annual herb growing to 70cm. small 5 petalled 5-10mm flowers surrounded with green hairy segments in Aug-Nov. Found especially in Wimmera and Southern Mallee on roadsides where slashing spreads seeds.
  • buffalo spur - annual herb to 50cm high; hairy with prickles; 2-3cm yellow flowers Nov-Feb. Globular black berry fruit encased in a prickly calyx. Burrs can stick to wool and float on water. Strong wind blowing plant parts along the ground as tumbleweeds further spread seed.
  • devil's claw
    • soft, pumpkin-like low-growing annual vine with an unpleasant odour. rounded to heart-shaped 5-25cm paired leaves;
    • yellow flower version: yellow flowers with red or purple markings 2.5-5cm long trumpet shaped Feb-Mar
  • golden thistle - erect, perennial herb with many branches to 1m high; milky sap; golden-yellow florets on solitary flower heads of 2.5 to 4cm in diameter Nov-Feb;
  • prairie ground cherry - erect perennial herb 25 to 60cm high; 2-3cm diameter yellow, bell-shaped flowers Dec-Feb; orange coloured globular berry; infestations can be found in the Goulburn Broken, Mallee, Port Phillip and Westernport, Corangamite catchments;
  • ragwort- a biennial or perennial herb usually 45 to 60cm high but can grow to 1.8m; 2.5cm bright yellow flowers with daisy-like heads in large clusters at the ends of branches Dec-Mar;
  • skeleton weed - erect, branched perennial herb growing to a height of 90cm; downward-pointing bristles at the base of stems; strap-like yellow florets with 9 to 12 ray florets in each 1-2cm wide head Dec-Apr;
  • St Barnaby's thistle - erect annual herb; 4-15mm diam x 10-15mm long yellow dandelion-like flower heads encircled by rows of yellow spines that are 10 to 25mm long and protruding from the bracts Nov-Feb;
  • sow thistle / milk thistle Sonchus spp similar to dandelions as same family.
  • fennel Foeniculum vulgare feathery light green leaves; grows to 2-3m;
yellow flowering shrubs
  • English broom - deciduous shrub growing to 3m high; 15-25mm long flowers are bright yellow, pea-like and sometimes with red markings in the centre, mainly flowering Oct-Dec. Fruit are flat, brown or black pods which burst open in Summer heat.
  • flax-leaved broom - erect, evergreen shrub which can grow up to 3m high and can form dense thickets; 12mm long bright yellow and pea-like in Sept-Nov; grey to black silky pod in Jan-Feb;
  • spiny broom - perennial shrub; multi-branched from the base and armed with sharp, rigid spines to 75mm long; 12-15mm long bright yellow flowers Nov-Dec; 40mm long smooth, flattened pods
  • gorse - perennial shrub up to 4m high and 3m diameter.15-25mm long bright yellow pea-like flowers with a distinct coconut-like fragrance flowering all year except June and produce a 10 to 20mm long fine, densely-hairy oblong pod;

green-yellow flowers

  • Chilean cestrum - erect shrub that grows to 3m high. Greenish-yellow, sessile flowers are borne in loose clusters at the ends of branches in Dec-May. They have tubular corollas of 2.5cm length with five small terminal lobes. Purplish-to-black, shiny, ovoid berry about 1cm long

orange or red berry-like fruit

  • African boxthorn (see above)
  • prairie ground cherry - erect perennial herb 25 to 60cm high; 2-3cm diameter yellow, bell-shaped flowers Dec-Feb; orange coloured globular berry; infestations can be found in the Goulburn Broken, Mallee, Port Phillip and Westernport, Corangamite catchments;
  • hawthorn Tall, densely growing deciduous shrub or small tree; white, cream or pink flowers in spring, which form into small, red, apple shaped berries.
  • holly Berries ripening from green to bright red.
  • bridal creeper Asparagus asparagoides tenacious vine-like plant with shiny green leaves to 30mm length; small white flowers; 8mm red berries in Aug/Sept; highly invasive;

burrs

  • buffalo spur - annual herb to 50cm high; hairy with prickles; 2-3cm yellow flowers Nov-Feb. Globular black berry fruit encased in a prickly calyx. Burrs can stick to wool and float on water. Strong wind blowing plant parts along the ground as tumbleweeds further spread seed.
  • caltrop / bindii - sprawling prostrate annual herb to 2m long; 8-15mm 5-petal yellow flowers Dec-Mar; woody burr with sharp rigid spines to about 6mm long, with the burr about 1cm in diameter (excluding spines). These are the common ones that get you when you walk bare foot!
  • khaki weed - prostrate, creeping perennial herb and propagates from an underground organ; inconspicuous flowers; chaff-coloured 1cm prickly burrs;
  • Noogoora burr - erect annual herb that grows to 3m high; leaves are similar in shape to grape or maple leaves; inconspicuous flowers; 6-10mm burrs each containing two seeds;
  • spiny burr grass - erect or spreading annual summer growing grass; yellow to green, 3 to 7mm in diameter (excluding the spines which are purple-tinged, spreading or reflexed, slender but broadened at the base, and are sharply pointed, finely barbed and rigid) - these are the ones which stick to your socks by the hundreds when you walk through an infested field.
  • spiny emex - semi-prostrate annual herb; fruit is hard and woody, 7 to 11mm long, triangular in longitudinal cross-section each angle extending into a rigid, sharp spine with 4 pits on each face, initially green changing to brown
  • Burr Medic low-growing, almost hairless, sprawling herb, yellow flowers with 3-5mm long petals; small, greenish-brown burr;
  • Bathurst burr distinctive low branched annual shrub with sparse dark greenand pale yellow spikes growing from the base of leaf stalks
  • horehound perennial herb that grows as a clump of branches from a taproot. Leaves resemble mint; Brown burrs form along protruding stems.
australia/vic/weeds.txt · Last modified: 2020/09/27 22:20 by gary1