Lookfor dangerous or suspicious looking plants.

Have you seen these weeds? We need your help to identify HIGH PRIORITY weeds.

High priority weeds are those which have demonstrated their weediness in other areas similar to our own. Consequently, they pose a great danger to the North Coast region. High priority weeds are not present or are only present in very low numbers here. With your help, we believe we have a chance of successfully preventing their establishment before they have a chance to take hold.
Our approach to contemporary weed management involves a targeted approach to high priority weeds. These are listed below.

As well as these high priority weeds, there are many other weeds that are already widespread and need ongoing management.

For information about widespread weeds, please visit:

NSW Department of Primary Industries - Weeds


CECROPIA (Cecropia spp)

DESCRIPTION : A rapidly growing tree, usually 10-20 m tall, but can reach up to 25 m.

Leaves : Cecropia leaves resemble those or paw paw leaves and are large and with around 9-15 deep lobes. They are arranged alternately along the hollow stem. The underside is pale, nearly white, and covered in hairs.

Trunk & Branches : Smooth grey bark, with triangular leaf scars on younger branches. Stilt roots may descend from about 1 m up the trunk. The wood is soft and light, and the trunk and branches are hollow.

Flowers : Inconspicuous yellow flowers in clustered spikes up to 6 cm long.

Fruit : Cylindrical, ovoid, somewhat flattened with soft flesh around many small seeds.

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DESCRIPTION : Annual herb, usually up to 1-1.5 m tall.

Leaves : Pale to mid green, deeply lobed, and covered with fine soft hairs. Rosette leaves are 8-20 cm long, while the stem leaves shorter.

Trunk & Branches : One main stem, which branches in the upper half of the plant. It is grooved lengthwise, giving it a striped appearance, and becomes woody with age.

Flowers : Flowers are 4-10 mm across, creamy-white, and have a 5-sided diamond shape. They branch out from the stem in clusters.

Fruit : 4-5 wedge-shaped, black seeds; 2mm long with 2 thin white scales.

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PAPER MULBERRY (Broussonetia papyrifera)

DESCRIPTION : A deciduous tree usually less than 12 m, but can grow up to 15 m tall.

Leaves : 8-20 cm long, and variable in shape, with lobed leaves more frequent on young plants. The upper surface has a rough, sandpapery feel, and the underside is covered with soft hairs. Leaves exude a milky sap when broken.

Flowers : Paper Mulberry has separate male and female plants. Male flowers are yellowish white in a long (up to 8 cm) inflorescence. Female flowers are orange and form a round inflorescence.

Fruit : 1-4 cm diameter, red to orange/yellow when mature; green when immature.

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ALLIGATOR WEED <em>(Alternanthera philoxeroides)</em>

ALLIGATOR WEED (Alternanthera philoxeroides)

DESCRIPTION : Summer growing perennial herb, growing both land and water.

Flowers : White, papery and ball shaped, 8-10mm in diameter, attached to the stem on stalks 1-9cm long.

dispersal : Alligator weed does not produce viable seeds, and all reproduction is vegetative. New plants can form from any node on a stem; therefore infestations can spread when stem or root fragments break off.

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SENEGAL TEA <em>(Gymnocoronis spilanthoides)</em>

SENEGAL TEA (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides)

DESCRIPTION : Leaves - opposite, tapered and dark green. Stems - ribbed, pale green and erect, becoming prostate as they lengthen and age. Flowers - round, white, 1.5-2cm, borne on end of stem, strong fragrance.

Growth Habit : Aquatic weed. Tropical, sub tropical and temperate conditions.

dispersal : Reproduces via plant fragments and seed. Dispersal generally via flowing water and or flood waters.

impact : Highly invasive. Spreads easily from fragments - each fragment can form new plant. Multiple infestations recently found at Mullumbimby.

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ALEMAN GRASS (Echinochloa polystachya)

ALEMAN GRASS (Echinochloa polystachya)


DESCRIPTION : A highly invasive aquatic/semi-aquatic perennial grass 1–2.5m tall. In the right situation forms pure stands.

Leaves : Flat green leaves that are pointed at the apex; 20-60cm long and 1–1.5cm wide.

Flowers : Light green panicles 15–25cm long.

dispersal : Reproduction is vegetative; each node on the plant is capable of producing a new plant. No viable seed has been recorded in Australia.

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WATER LETTUCE <em>(Pistia stratiotes)</em>

WATER LETTUCE (Pistia stratiotes)

DESCRIPTION : A perennial free floating aquatic plant that can spread rapidly over still and slow moving water bodies.

Leaves : Lettuce-like rosettes up to six inches in diameter, and are a light, lime green with velvet-like hairs.

Flowers : Whitish-green (up to 1.5 cm long) and hidden in the centre of the plant amongst the leaf bases.

Fruit : A small green berry 5–10 mm in diameter. 4-15 oblong shaped seeds occur in each berry. They are green at first then mature to a brown colour and are about 2 mm long.

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HYMENACHNE <em>(Hymenachne amplexicaulis)</em>

HYMENACHNE (Hymenachne amplexicaulis)

DESCRIPTION : An erect grass which grows in swampy areas or in water up to 2 m deep. Grows up to 1.6 m tall.

Leaves : The base of the leaf blade clasps around the stem – this is a distinguishing feature. Leaf blades are bright green, with prominent light coloured veins and hairy margins, 20-35 cm long and 2-3 cm wide.

Flowers : Cylindrical spike-like flower heads up to 40 cm long and 8 mm wide in summer and autumn.

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KIDNEY LEAF MUD PLANTAIN <em>(Heteranthera reniformis)</em>

KIDNEY LEAF MUD PLANTAIN (Heteranthera reniformis)

DESCRIPTION : Aquatic plant with stalk 2-15cm long.

Leaves : Bright glossy green, kidney-shaped, 1-4cm long and 1-5cm across.

Flowers : Borne in clusters (racemes). Small white or pale blue, with 6 petals.

Fruit : Small capsule containing tiny winged seeds (less than 1mm).

dispersal : Seeds can last for many years. Vegetative reproduction from stem fragments.

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TROPICAL SODA APPLE <em>(Solanum viarum)</em>

TROPICAL SODA APPLE (Solanum viarum)

DESCRIPTION : Upright, branching, perennial shrub growing to 2 m in height. It has broadbased, straight, cream-coloured prickles to 12 mm long scattered on most plant parts.

Leaves : 10–20 cm long and 6–15 cm wide. The upper and lower leaf surfaces are densely covered in short hairs; mid-veins and primary lateral-veins are cream-coloured on both sides of the leaves.

Flowers : White flowers.

dispersal : Tropical soda apple reproduces via seed and can regenerate from root material. Most dispersal is via cattle movement.

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MICONIA <em>(Miconia calvescens)</em>

MICONIA (Miconia calvescens)

DESCRIPTION : Height - up to 15m. Leaves - up to 70cm long, 3 distinct veins, underside iridescent purple. Flowers - pink or white, each up to 5mm, occur in large panicle with 1000-3000 flowers. Fruit - black and purple, 6mm in diameter.

Growth Habit : Small tree. humid coastal sites.

dispersal : Fruit eating birds and mammals. Watercourses. Via mud on vehicles, machinery, footwear and animals. Sale via markets and gardeners.

impact : Highly invasive. Known as the "Purple Plague" of Tahiti and Hawaii. Can invade understory and shaded areas.

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SIAM WEED <em>(Chromolaena odorata)</em>

SIAM WEED (Chromolaena odorata)

DESCRIPTION : Height - 1.5-5m. Leaves - in opposite pairs, almost triangular, 3 prominent veins. Flowers - pale blue-lilac, May to October. Seeds - blackish with 4-5 pale ribs.

Growth Habit : Erect, perennial shrub. Humid coastal sites.

dispersal : Via wind and water. Via clothing, equipment and animals. Seeds can remain viable for 5 or more years.

impact : Prolific seeder. Not yet identified in NSW. Toxic to livestock/ native animals. Skin problems and asthma in allergy prone people. thickets can haarbour feral animals.

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KOSTER’S CURSE <em>(Clidemia hirta)</em>

KOSTER’S CURSE (Clidemia hirta)

DESCRIPTION : Height - 2m but can grow to 5m in shade. Leaves - hairy above and below, 5-14cm long, 4-7cm wide. Flowers - 1.5cm, white, clustered in leaf forks. Fruit - hairy blue black 4-5cm in diameter.

Growth Habit : Perennial shrub. Humid coastal sites.

dispersal : Fruit eating birds and mammals. Vegetative.

impact : Highly invasive. Not yet identified in NSW.

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