Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Specific weed information

Weed menu

Select from the links below to find out how to identify and manage invasive weeds on your property.
African Boxthorn
Artichoke Thistle
Bathurst Burr
Blackberry
Bluebell Creeper
Boneseed
Briar Rose
Bridal Creeper
Brown-top Bent
Cape Tulip
Chilean Needle-grass
Cootamundra Wattle
Cotoneaster
Early Black Wattle
English Broom
Fennel
Fruit tree
Galenia
Gazania
Golden Thistle
Gorse
Great Mullein
Hawthorn
Heliotrope
Hemlock
Hoary Cress
Horehound
Illyrian Thistle
Inkweed
Lombardy Poplar
Montpellier Broom
Olive
Pampas Grass
Paterson’s Curse
Peppercorn tree
Periwinkle
Phalaris
Pine tree
Prickly Pear (erect)
Privet
Reed Sweet-grass
River Sheoak
Saffron Thistle
Scotch Thistle
Skeleton Weed
Slender Thistle
Soursob
Spanish Heath
Spear Thistle
Spiny Broom
Spiny Rush
Stinkwort
St John’s Wort
Texas Needle-grass
Topped Lavender
Tree Lucerne
Variegated Thistle
Wattle, non-indigenous
Wheel Cactus
Wild Watsonia
Willow

 

African Boxthorn

African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a prickly shrub to small tree which produces berries eaten and spread by animals such as birds. The best time to control this species is when it is actively growing, before seed production, in spring to summer. Manual removal mixed with registered systemic herbicide is the most common methods of control.

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Artichoke Thistle

Artichoke Thistle (Cynara cardunculus) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a perennial herb which creates competition and shades out indigenous species. It propagates itself from seeds which germinate most of the year, and en masse after the autumn rain. This plant is invasive and the best time to treat it is when it is actively growing, but before seed production, in Spring.

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Bathurst Burr

Bathurst Burr (Xanthium strumariam) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an erect annual herb which is a threat to agricultural and environmental values. The plants actively grow in spring and summer, after rain, and produce seed around February. Manual removal or chemical application before this time are common control methods.

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Blackberry

Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus spp. aggregate) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment, and is also listed as a Weed of National Significance. It is a quick growing, prickly, woody plant. It grows from seeds (summer to autumn), spread by animals and propagates itself vegetatively, from aerial stems and underground roots. It is a strong competitor and difficult to control. Recommended methods of control include manual removal and application of a registered systemic herbicide in spring, although an integrated approach is most successful.

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Bluebell Creeper

Bluebell Creeper (Billardiera heterophylla) is not listed as a noxious weed but it has the ability to spread into bushland. It is a shrubby creeper from Western Australia which competes with indigenous plants for light and nutrients. It produces blue flowers and fleshy seeds which can be spread by birds and animals. The most common forms of treatment include hand pulling or digging, spraying, or the ‘cut and paste’ method. Care should be taken to remove all roots if hand pulling to reduce regrowth.

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Boneseed

Boneseed (Chrysanthemoides monilifera) is listed as a Regionally Prohibited weed in the North Central Catchment, and is also listed as a Weed of National Significance (WONS). It is a shrub which produces yellow daisy like flowers and masses of seed in summer. Small plants may be hand pulled while larger infestations may be treated with a registered chemical herbicide.

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Briar Rose

Briar Rose (Rosa rubiginosa) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a prickly woody perennial which can colonise areas quickly. It produces large amounts of seed which is often eaten and spread by animals. Treatment options include manual removal, at any time of year, and the application of a registered herbicide, when actively growing in spring.

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Bridal Creeper

Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment and is also listed as a Weed of National Significance. It is a creeping plant which propagates itself from mat-forming underground tubers, and also through berries spread by birds and animals. The extensive root system makes this species difficult to eradicate. The best time to control this plant is when it is actively growing (autumn to spring) but before seed production in summer.  Common control methods include manual removal, and registered herbicide application.

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Brown-top Bent

Brown-top Bent (Agrostis capillaris) is an invasive species which was introduced to Australia as a turf grass. While it is not a declared noxious species, it has the potential to smother native vegetation. The best time for control is when it is actively growing but not producing seeds (spring). It is difficult to control but slashing, manual removal or application of a registered herbicide, are generally acceptable methods.

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Cape Tulip

Cape Tulip (Moraea sp.) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a perennial herb which is poisonous to stock. It grows and reproduces from corms and/or seeds which germinate after the autumn rains. The best time to control this species is from July to September, by manual removal or application of a registered herbicide.

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Chilean Needle-grass

Chilean Needle-grass (Nassella neesiana) is a tussocky perennial in the speargrass group of grasses growing to about 1 metre high. It is a declared noxious weed and is classed as a restricted weed in all Victorian catchments.

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Cootamundra Wattle

Cootamundra Wattle (Acacia baileyana) is a small evergreen tree to 3-4m high. It is native to 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 indigenous wattles. It is usually seen on road verges and in drier bush close to towns and gardens, where it competes with local native shrubs and shades 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. This seed may germinate profusely after a disturbance such as cultivation or fire. Hand pull seedlings. Larger plants do not usually re-sprout if cut down.

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Cotoneaster

Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.) is not currently listed as a noxious species in the North Central Catchment, but is considered an invasive weed. Cotoneaster is an evergreen shrub up to 4 metres in height that produces fleshy red fruit. This invasive garden plant is spread by birds, also by fruit washed along watercourses. It is considered a threat to native flora and fauna, shading out and competing with understorey species for resources. Control by removing smaller patches manually or apply systemic herbicide to larger infestations when the plant is actively growing.

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Early Black Wattle

Early Black Wattle (Acacia decurrens) is a small evergreen tree indigenous to New South Wales. It is not a listed weed in the North Central Catchment but is considered a threat due to its ability to spread and cross pollinate with indigenous wattle species. It produces large crops of hard-coated seed which can persist in a viable condition in the soil for many decades. This seed may germinate profusely after a disturbance such as cultivation or fire. Hand pull seedlings. Larger plants do not usually re-sprout if cut down.

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English Broom

English Broom (Cytisus scoparius) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a woody perennial which produces masses of seeds and creates competition with indigenous species. It propagates from seeds produced over summer. The best time to control this species is when it is actively growing but before it produces seed. Treatment methods include manual removal or treatment with a registered herbicide.

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Fennel

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a restricted weed in the North Central catchment. It is an edible herbaceous perennial growing to 2.5m tall. The plant can forms thick stands especially in disturbed areas and has the capacity to chemically exclude other plants from establishing nearby. It is spread by seed falling close to the parent plant or travelling in water or other vectors such as machinery or clothing. Pieces of root may also re-sprout. Recommended control methods include application of a registered herbicide when actively growing prior to flowering, and manual removal anytime.

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Fruit tree

Fruit tree (Prunis sp.) is not currently listed as a noxious species in the North Central Catchment, but is considered an invasive weed. The plant reproduces from seed spread by animals such as birds and foxes. It is considered a threat to native flora and fauna, shading out and competing with understorey species for resources. Control manually using cut and paste method when the plant is actively growing.

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Galenia

Galenia (Galenia pubescens var. pubescens) is not listed as a weed in the North Central Catchment, but is recognised as a new and emerging threat around Riddles Creek. It is a prostrate perennial which forms dense mats. Manual removal of the plant (including the tap root), or chemical control, is recommended.

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Gazania

Gazania (Gazania linearis) is not a listed weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a herbaceous perennial to 30cm tall which has the ability to withstand harsh conditions. It grows from underground stems or rhizomes and reproduces from seed which is dispersed by wind and water. The best time to control this species is when it is actively growing in autumn or spring, with a registered herbicide or manual removal can be used as long as the fleshy roots are removed.

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Golden Thistle

Golden Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a spiky perennial herb which is not eaten by animals. It can reduce the quality of pasture and make land impassable, with sharp spines and persistent aerial growth. It flowers late spring through to summer. The best time to control is from early spring. Recommended control includes manual removal and application of a registered herbicide.

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Gorse

Gorse (Ulex europaeus) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment, and is also listed as a Weed of National Significance. It is a prickly, woody perennial which produces large amounts of seed and has the ability to infest areas quickly. Its persistent seed bank makes eradication difficult without a long-term strategy. Treatment is best undertaken in spring before seed production in summer. The most effective control methods use an integrated approach mixing grazing, slashing, burning, and spraying or ‘Cut and Paste’ where the main stems are cut and then painted with a systemic herbicide.

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Great Mullein

Great Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a large herbaceous plant which produces a basal rosette of leaves and then extends an erect flower stork to around 2 metres tall. It reproduces from numerous tiny seeds which germinate in spring. Control options include manual removal of plants either by hand pulling or by ‘chipping’ (ensuring as much root is removed as possible), or by the application of a registered herbicide.

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Hawthorn

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a woody shrub or tree which reproduces by seed in summer. It is spread by wind and water but mainly by animals. It provides harbour and food for pest species. Control options include manual removal and application of a registered systemic herbicide.

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Heliotrope

Heliotrope (Heliotropium sp) is not listed as a weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an annual herb which is poisonous to stock. It produces sticky seeds which are spread by animals and germinate in spring or summer, depending on moisture levels. Manual removal and chemical control are recommended methods of removal.

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Hemlock

Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a herb which grows in moist situations and is often found around water. It is highly toxic to humans and stock. It produces by seed which germinates in autumn. Control options include manual removal or chemical control.

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Hoary Cress

Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a herbaceous perennial growing in a rosette to 75cm high. Hoary Cress reproduces by root fragments or seeds. Each plant is capable of producing 1,000 to 5,000 seeds annually with a germination rate of up to 80%. The seeds live for up to 3 years. The most effective control techniques are physical removal and herbicide application. Take care to remove all root material as the plant re-grows readily from root fragments. Herbicide application is best undertaken in cooler months (winter) prior to flowering.

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Horehound

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an aromatic herbaceous perennial which reproduces and spreads from seed. It is an agricultural and environmental weed, colonising disturbed areas. The best time to control this species is in autumn when it is actively growing but has not seeded.

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Illyrian Thistle

Illyrian Thistle (Onopordum illyricum) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. This thistle is a strong competitor and is rarely eaten by animals. It seeds prolifically, and germinates at any time of year, with flowering occurring in spring. The recommended time to treat this plant is in winter by application of a registered herbicide or by physical removal.

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Inkweed

Inkweed (Phytolacca octandra) is an erect branching perennial herb to around 1m high. It produces small white flowers along dense spikes in spring and summer with fruit a dark purple when ripe. Animals such as birds and foxes spread the seeds which establish most commonly in disturbed areas.

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Lombardy Poplar

Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra ‘Italica’) is not listed as a noxious weed in the North Central Catchment but is considered an environmental weed, especially near water or in damp situations. It is a tall upright deciduous tree which reproduces mainly by suckering and rooting where branches touch the ground. Its dense foliage shades out native plants and decreases habitat for fauna. Control is undertaken when the plants are actively growing. ‘Cut and Paste’ smaller plants or ‘Drill and Fill’ established specimens using a registered systemic herbicide.

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Montpellier Broom

Montpellier Broom (Genista monspessulana) also known as Cape Broom, is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a woody perennial which produces masses of seeds and creates competition with indigenous species. It propagates from seeds produced over summer. The best time to control this species is in spring when it is actively growing but before it produces seed (mostly in summer). Treatment methods include manual removal or treatment with a registered herbicide.

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Olive

Olive (Olea europaea) is not listed as a noxious weed in the North Central Catchment but it is considered an environmental weed. It is an evergreen shrub or tree growing around 2-10 metres which is often planted for its agricultural production value. The seeds are spread by animals such as birds and foxes and the dense foliage shades out native plants and decreases habitat for native fauna. Control is best undertaken in late spring to summer and autumn. ‘Cut and Paste’ smaller plants or ‘Drill and Fill’ established specimens using a registered systemic herbicide.

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Pampas Grass

Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana) is not currently a listed species but has the potential to spread and invade landscapes quickly. It is a perennial tussock forming plant which grows to 1.5m and reproduces from seed and rhizomes. Control options include manual removal or application of a registered herbicide.

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Paterson’s Curse

Paterson’s Curse (Echium plantagineum) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an annual to biannual herb which produces masses of seeds in spring and can be poisonous to stock. Plants outcompete indigenous vegetation and it is recommended that treatment occurs from late autumn to winter, when at the rosette stage of development. Treatment options include manual removal and application of a registered systemic herbicide.

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Peppercorn tree

Peppercorn tree (Schinus molle) is not currently listed as a noxious weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a large spreading tree to around 12 metres which produces large amounts of seed and is known to spread both by seed and vegetatively. It is considered a threat to native flora and fauna, shading out and competing with understorey species for resources. Control is generally undertaken by hand pulling small specimens and application of a registered systemic herbicide.

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Periwinkle

Periwinkle (Vinca major) is not currently listed as a noxious species in the North Central Catchment, but is considered an invasive weed. Periwinkle is a creeping woody perennial plant that bears underground runners up to 1m long. The plant generally reproduces vegetatively via underground suckering however it can produce seeds. It is considered a threat to native flora and fauna, shading out and competing with understorey species for resources. Control by removing smaller patches manually or apply systemic herbicide to larger infestations when the plant is actively growing.

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Phalaris

Phalaris (Phalaris aquatica). This species is considered an important agricultural plant and as such is not listed as a noxious weed but has the ability to spread into bushland quickly. The dense growth habit smothers native vegetation and prevents recruitment. The recommended time to treat this plant is when it is actively growing in winter by application of a registered herbicide.

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Pine tree

Pine tree (Pinus radiata) is a tall evergreen conifer growing up to 50m tall in high quality plantation areas. The form of the tree in closely-spaced plantations is narrow, while open-grown trees become spreading. Pine trees are native to small areas in coastal California. Pine trees readily invade native bushland if mature pine trees are nearby. Viable seed may remain in the cones for several years and are often shed abundantly after fire. Pines have winged seeds which can aid their dispersal into bushland where they compete with native species. Treatment options include cutting down below the lowest branch, ringbarking, or injecting herbicide into the trunk.

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Prickly Pear (erect)

Prickly Pear (erect) (Opuntia stricta) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment and a Weed of National Significance (WONS). It is an erect, clump-forming shrub to 1m high which forms large succulent ‘disks’ and juicy fruit. It propagates itself both vegetatively and by seed eaten and spread by animals. Effective control is generally undertaken using stem injection with a registered herbicide or manual removal being sure to remove all vegetative growth.

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Privet

Privet (Ligustrum sp.) is not currently listed in the North Central Catchment. It is a shrub or small tree to 5 metres tall. It produces black berries which are eaten and spread by birds and rabbits. It shades and outcompetes native vegetation especially in riparian and moist conditions. Plants also have the ability to spread vegetatively. Control options include the manual removal of small plants or the application of a registered herbicide for larger plants, when actively growing. The cut and paste method is successful.

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Reed Sweet-grass

Reed Sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima) is not listed as a noxious weed but has the ability to invade waterways and wetlands. It is a rhizomatous perennial grass growing between 90-250cm in height. A single plant is capable of producing 100 shoots and 30m of rhizome in its first two years of growth. Flowering in its second year, Reed Sweet-grass produces seed that may germinate immediately or remain viable in the soil for several years. The most common forms of treatment for larger infestations are revegetation to shade and out-compete the plant, herbicide application and manual removal. Total removal is a long-term proposition and will require an integrated approach.

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River Sheoak

River Sheoak (Allocasuarina cunninghamiana) is not listed as a weed in the North Central Catchment, but is considered invasive, especially along waterways. It is a tall tree which reproduces by seed and suckers. Recommended control includes manual removal or ‘cut and paint’ with a registered herbicide.

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Saffron thistle

Saffron thistle (Carthamus lanatus) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. This thistle outcompetes indigenous plants and produces lots of seeds. It germinates in autumn and flowers in spring. The best time for treatment is in autumn and winter. Control options include manual removal of individual plants or application of a registered herbicide.

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Scotch Thistle

Scotch Thistle (Onopordum acanthium) is listed as a Regionally Prohibited weed in the North Central Catchment. This thistle is a strong competitor and is rarely eaten by animals. It seeds prolifically, and germinates at any time of year, with the bulk of germination occurring in late Summer-Autumn and late Winter-Spring. The recommended time to treat this plant is from September to December by application of a registered herbicide or by physical removal.

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Skeleton Weed

Skeleton Weed (Chondrilla juncea) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a rosette forming perennial plant which dies down in autumn. It produces yellow flowers in summer and can reproduce from an extensive tap root or by seed. Treatment options include manual removal of plants (including the tap root) or by use of a registered systemic herbicide applied in late winter to early spring, when plants are actively growing.

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Slender Thistle

Slender Thistle (Carduus tenuiflorus/Carduus pycnocephalus) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. This thistle is a strong competitor and is rarely eaten by grazing animals. It seeds prolifically, and germinates in Autumn. The recommended time to treat this plant is in Winter by application of a registered herbicide or by physical removal.

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Soursob

Soursob (Oxalis pes-caprae) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a perennial herb which grows and propagates from underground bulbs. The best time to control this species is when it is actively growing, before flowering occurs, around winter. The most effective control is with chemicals. Manual removal is not recommended.

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Spanish Heath

Spanish Heath (Erica lustianica) is not currently listed as a noxious species, but is considered an invasive weed. It is an erect shrub to 2.5m high and produces large amounts of small seed in winter to spring. It readily re-grows from the base of the plant when broken or after fire. The most common form of treatment is manual removal when plants are small, and registered herbicide application using the ‘cut and paste’ method for larger plants.

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Spear Thistle

Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an annual to biennial herb, which forms rosettes followed by purple flowers to 1.5m high. It produces lots of seed and germinates after rain, mainly in autumn and late winter. Treatment is best undertaken in spring or autumn with control options including manual removal or application of a registered herbicide.

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Spiny Broom

Spiny Broom (Calicotome spinosa) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. This perennial shrub to 2.5 metres high is a legume with sharp rigid spikes to 7.5cm long. It produces abundant seed which remains viable for many years, and mainly germinates in autumn. The best time to control this species is from August to December, by manual removal or the application of a registered herbicide.

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Spiny Rush

Spiny Rush (Juncus acutus) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a spiky, perennial, tussock- forming rush. It prefers moist situations and can be indicative of saline situations. It produces large persistent seed banks and is a very competitive species. The most common form of treatment is manual removal or slashing, and herbicide application during winter, when actively growing.

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Stinkwort

Stinkwort (Dittrichia graveolens) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an annual herb which seeds prolifically and is a rapid coloniser. Seeds germinate in spring and by March plants are flowering. Stock will only graze it when plants are young and tender. Infestations can be controlled by manual removal of plants or application of a registered herbicide.

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St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a deep rooted, perennial herb which produces bright yellow flowers in spring. It seeds prolifically and can be poisonous to stock. Control is recommended before flowering in spring, using an integrated control program, including options such as slashing, grazing, biological, and chemical controls.

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Texas Needle-grass

Texas Needle-grass (Nassella leucotricha). This species is not listed as a noxious weed but has the ability to invade pasture and bushland quickly.

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Topped Lavender

Topped Lavender (Lavendula stoechas) is not on the registered list of weeds in the North Central Catchment. However, it is considered to be an environmental weed, with the potential to impact native vegetation. It is an aromatic, erect shrub with purple flowers mostly in spring. It reproduces mainly from seed. Control options include manual removal or to minimise soil disturbance, application of a registered herbicide.

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Tree Lucerne

Tree Lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis) is not currently a listed species but is considered an environmental weed. It is a woody perennial which produces masses of seeds and creates competition with indigenous species. It propagates from seeds produced over summer. The best time to control this species is when it is actively growing but before it produces seed. Treatment methods include manual removal or treatment with a registered herbicide.

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Variegated Thistle

Variegated Thistle (Silybum marianum) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is a spiky annual or biannual herb, which is unpalatable to stock. It is a strong competitor and can outcompete most grass and herbaceous species. It produces large amounts of seed. The best time to control this plant is in autumn, when actively growing in rosette stage. Methods for control include manual removal and application of a registered herbicide.

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Wattle, non-indigenous

Non-indigenous Wattles (Acacia sp.) are plants which are growing outside their natural range. These plants are often introduced to an area as garden specimens. Wattles are known as pioneer species as they reproduce and grow quickly. In their natural environment they drop lots of organic matter and add nitrogen to the soil, improving growing conditions for the other plants in their community. Introduced wattles often grow more vigorously than their indigenous relatives and complete with indigenous plants for food, water and light. In some cases they can cross-pollinate with indigenous plants creating hybrids.  All wattles produce large crops of hard-coated seed which can persist in a viable condition in the soil for many decades. This seed may germinate profusely after a disturbance such as cultivation or fire. Hand pull seedlings. Larger plants are unlikely to re-sprout if cut down.

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Wheel Cactus

Wheel Cactus (Opuntia robusta) is listed as a Regionally Controlled weed in the North Central Catchment. It is from the cactus family, producing large ‘disks’ which are prickly, and when dense, impenetrable. It produces succulent fruit which is eaten by animals and distributed across the landscape. It is very difficult to control, with manual removal and application of a registered systemic herbicide the best options.  The Cactus Warriors website also has further information regarding the control methods for this species (www.cactuswarriors.org).

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Wild Watsonia

Wild Watsonia (Watsonia meriana) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment. It is an erect perennial herb which grows from underground corms. The plant actively grows from late autumn and flowers in spring. Manual removal or chemical application are common methods of control. Chemical application is most effective when plants are actively growing, just before flowering, when corms energy is depleted.

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Willow

Willow (Salix sp.) is listed as a Restricted weed in the North Central Catchment and is listed as a Weed of National Significance. It is an invasive species which affects waterways by blocking the water flow and shading out native vegetation. The species offers little habitat value or food for indigenous animals. The plant can grow from seed but more commonly it propagates itself from stems and roots. The main treatment methods include stem injection or cutting the stem/trunk and painting it with a registered systemic herbicide at any time of year.

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