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

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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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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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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DESCRIPTION : Large scrambling shrub 3-4.5 m high, with sharp, hooked thorns

Leaves : Leaves are hairy and made up of 5-9 leaflets 2.5-6 cm long with toothed edges. The upper side is dark green while the underside is white

Flowers : Pink or mauve flowers, 10-15 mm in diameter, in dense clusters.

Fruit : Typical raspberry fruit, 10-15 mm in diameter, changing from red to purple black as they ripen.

Dispersal : Fruits are spread by birds, rodents and other animals.

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LONG-LEAF WILLOW PRIMROSE (Ludwigia longifolia)

DESCRIPTION : An erect annual shrub up to 3 m tall with a shallow, fibrous root system.

Leaves : Alternate linear leaves up to 35 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, becoming smaller up the stem.

Stems : Red, narrow stems, 4-angled and winged, usually branching towards the apex.

Flowers : Single yellow flowers, 2-2.5 cm long, in the junction of upper leaves. Flowering occurs from summer to winter.

Fruit : 1-3.5 cm long and 0.4-0.8 cm wide. Oblong to narrow-oblong and 4-angled with numerous brown-yellow seeds in each chamber.

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GUINEA GRASS (Pueraria Montana var lobata)

DESCRIPTION : Perennial grass that can form large clumps; commonly around 1.5 m tall, but can get to 3 m.

LEAVES : Long (up to 100 cm), narrow and finely tipped blades, with a prominent mid-rib; around 1-1.8 cm wide.

STEMS : May be branched and vary from hairless to quite hairy.

SEED HEADS : Mature seed heads are large (up to 40-60 cm long) and well spread, with numerous small flower spikelets, green or purplish in colour. Lowermost branches arranged in cluster.

SEEDS : Oblong in shape, often purple in colour.

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KUDZU (Pueraria Montana var lobata)

DESCRIPTION : Perennial, semi-woody, trailing or climbing vine climbing up to 30 m.

Leaves : Compound leaves with three broad leaflets, each 7-15 cm long and 5-13 cm wide; a dense covering of soft short hairs.

Flowers : Purplish-pink and fragrant, around 1-1.5 cm long; 4-90 flowers in an inflorescence 10-25 cm long.

Seed pods : About 5 cm long; flat, brown and hairy. Each pod contains 3-10 hard, oval seeds around 3.5-4 mm long.

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WATER STAR GRASS (Heteranthera zosterifolia)

WATER STAR GRASS (Heteranthera zosterifolia)

DESCRIPTION : An aquatic plant that can grow underwater, and may form dense mats in shallow water. From above it looks star-shaped and grass-like.

Leaves : Submerged leaves are stalkless and relatively narrow with pointed tips, and tend to be widely spaced. Floating leaves are more densely clustered, narrowly oval with rounded tips and on stalks about 8 cm long.

Flowers : Small, at or above the water surface and usually in pairs. Six bluish, long narrow petals, three stamens with yellow anthers ending in tiny stigma.

Fruit : Small capsule containing numerous tiny seeds.

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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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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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GIANT DEVIL'S FIG <em>(Solanum chrysotrichum)</em>

GIANT DEVIL'S FIG (Solanum chrysotrichum)

DESCRIPTION : Giant Devil’s Fig is an erect perennial shrub up to 4m high.

Leaves : Large leaves with 7-13 lobes divide halfway up.

Flowers : Star shaped and hairy on the outer surface. Autumn through to Spring.

Fruits : Globular fruit, yellow to yellow-orange when mature.

dispersal : Spread by birds and bats.

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COCKSPUR CORAL TREE (Erythrina crista-galli)

DESCRIPTION : A deciduous shrub or tree, usually 5-8 m but up to 10 m high with cone-shaped prickles on trunks branches and stems.

Leaves : Three leaflets 3-6 cm long and 2-5 cm wide.

Flowers : Conspicuous scarlet to dark red flowers in large loose clusters at the tips of branches. Flowering occurs from spring to early autumn, and is when infestations are most obvious.

Fruit :Sickle-shaped seed pods 8-22 cm long, turning from green to dark brown or blackish as they mature. Pods contain 3-12 brown to black seeds which are large, hard and slightly kidney-shaped.

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SALVINIA (Salvinia molesta)

DESCRIPTION : Free floating aquatic fern with slender stems, floating leaves and root-like structure.

Leaves : Paired and round to oval with dense, waxy hairs on their upper surface. Flat and well-shaped during early growth; folded, with only the midrib touching the water surface in more dense infestations.

Stem : Submerged, green, branched, and covered with fine hairs. Axillary buds are located at each node along the stem.

Roots : Trailing, hairy strands up to 25 cm long. Under crowded or mat conditions, up to 4 stalks develop among the roots, each bearing a chain of sterile sporocarps (the spore-producing part of the plant).

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Coolatai grass Hyparrhenia hirta)

COOLATAI GRASS (Hyparrhenia hirta)

DESCRIPTION : Long-lived summer active perennial. Produces short rhizomes and forms dense tussocks up to 1.5 m high.

Leaves : Leaf blade is flat, 2-3 mm wide and harsh to touch. Greyish-green in colour, turning orangey-red in winter, especially after frost. Sheaths are usually hairless and keeled.

Seed Head : False panicle with paired racemes, 5-8 awns per raceme. Each raceme is up to 35 mm long, and arises from 3-8 cm long flower bracts.

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MADEIRA VINE (Anredera cordifolia)

MADEIRA VINE (Anredera cordifolia)

DESCRIPTION : Succulent climbing vine.

Leaves : Fleshy, waxy-green and heart shaped, usually around 4-5 cm in length.

STEMS : Slender, twining and hairless, up to 30 m long; initially herbaceous and green to pinkish-red, but can become woody with age and up to 2-3 cm diameter.

FLOWERS : Fragrant, greenish to creamy-white inflorescence, with numerous small flowers along drooping central stem giving a “lambs tail” appearance.  Infestations are most conspicuous during flowering, which is from late summer through autumn (usually Feb-April)

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CAT'S CLAW CREEPER (Dolichandra Unguis - cati)

DESCRIPTION : Perennial woody vine with numerous stems up to 15 cm thick.

Leaves : Leaves are opposite and compound with a basal pair of lance-shaped leaflets. The third leaflet is modified into three-pronged tendril with stiff tips that form hooks and aid in climbing.

Flowers : Large, yellow and trumpet shaped. Produced in spring.

Fruit : Seed pods are long, narrow and flat.

SEED : Produces many seeds, 2-4 cm long, and with 2 papery wings

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CHINESE CELTIS (Celtis sinensis)

DESCRIPTION : Large tree up to 20 m tall with spreading, moderately dense crown. Deciduous or semi-deciduous in northern NSW.

Leaves : Alternate and elliptical shaped. 4-7 cm long. Margins are finely serrated in upper half of leaf.

Trunk & Branches : Smooth mottled silvery-grey bark.

Flowers : Inflorescence of few flowers; 4 purplish sepals and 4 cream petals. Flowers in late winter-early spring

Fruit : Thousands of fleshy, globular fruits approximately 7-8 mm in diameter; reddish brown to orange when ripe in autumn and early winter.

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Chinese Tallow (Triadica sebifera)

CHINESE TALLOW (Triadica sebifera)

DESCRIPTION : A fast growing, deciduous tree that can form dense thickets. Usually 6-10 m high, but can reach up to 15 m. Its canopy can extend 4-5 m.

Leaves : Simple, alternate and heart shaped with a pointed tip. Dark green turning different shades of orange, yellow and red before falling in autumn.

TRUNK : Rough grey bark with longitudinal furrows. Branches begin relatively low on trunk and are often drooping.

FLOWERS : Slender inflorescences 8-14 cm long at branch tips, each with many small greenish-yellow flowers.

FRUIT : Capsule up to 1.2 cm long and 1.4 cm wide. Green when young, turning black when mature. Splits into 3 sections, with 3 seeds per fruit.

SEEDS : Pea-shaped and whitish, covered in chalky coating.

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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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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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