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Priority weeds

We work hard to keep our environment safe and as free from weeds as possible, so everyone can enjoy the incredible natural environment that Port Stephens has to offer.

Report the sales of weeds

Buying and selling priority weeds is illegal in NSW. Help us protect our natural environment by reporting sellers of priority weeds.

Chinese violet

(Asystasia gangetica subspecies micrantha)

Chinese Violet is a national priority weed and is the subject of a Council eradication project. Almost all recorded infestations in Australia occur in Port Stephens. For more information:

Pampas grass (cortaderia species)

While it is not yet a major weed in NSW, our efforts are focused on ensuring this weed does not take hold.

In many cases, garden plants are the seed source for infestations. Individual plants have the ability to produce vast quantities of windborne seed — up to 100,000 per flower head, which can infest areas within a 25km radius.

Once established, the plant is very competitive and restricts the establishment of native trees while harboring vermin. Its root system can stretch up to 3.5m deep and the tussock produces large quantities of flammable material, making it a fire hazard.

Pampas grass is a significant weed for forestry operations but thankfully, has not yet become a major problem in NSW forests due to preventative efforts.

Pampas grass is readily grazed by stock when it is young, before it becomes too abrasive. This prevents the development of flowers and seed set.

Residents can use a registered herbicide to control this weed, such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

Port Stephens Council weeds officer will assist with identification, control information and removal of this weed.

Prickly pears (Opuntia species)

There are many different Prickly pear species — in Port Stephens, our focus is on the Opuntia species. This Weed of National Significance must not be sold in NSW.

Most spread in Australia has been by humans — either as garden plants and hedges — or through dumping in rubbish tips or bushland.

Vegetative spread is the most common form of dispersal. This can happen year round when segments, immature fruit or flowers detach and make ground contact. Segments can easily spread by attaching to clothing, footwear or the fur of animals.

Large stands of cacti can harbour pest animals like foxes and rabbits. They compete with native vegetation, limiting the growth of small shrubs and groundcover species.

Due to their spines, these weeds can also limit access to land for stock mustering or recreation. The spines are capable of causing serious injury to animals and humans.

Common pest pear is largely controlled by cactoblastis — a cactus moth. In areas where cactus moths cannot complete 2 generations per year, the weed can be controlled using cochineal — a scale insect.

Residents can use a registered herbicide to control this weed, such as; Triclopyr 600 g/L Garlon® 600 and Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L Grazon Extra®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

Port Stephens Council weeds officer will assist with identification, control information and removal of this weed.

Mother of millions (Bryphyllum species)

Mother of millions is a drought hardy succulent garden plant. It rapidly produces tiny plant-lets that quickly form new colonies. All species and hybrids of Bryophyllum are declared noxious weeds.

As the name suggests, Mother of millions reproduces rapidly — producing hundreds of tiny plantlets which quickly form new colonies.

Mother of millions is poisonous to humans, household pets and livestock. Poisoning generally occurs when the plants are flowering — between May and October.

Livestock are at a greater risk of poisoning if they have been moved to a new paddock, there is a feed shortage or during droving because they are more likely to eat the plant.

It's unlikely that humans or pets would eat enough plant material to become poisoned but dogs are particularly at risk.

Preventing the spread of mother of millions is the best control measure. Regularly check for it in winter when the plants are in flower and are easier to see.

If found, remove immediately by hand and apply herbicide. Hand removed plants should be stored in black plastic bags until decayed or buried.

Residents can use a registered herbicide to control this weed, such as Fluroxypyr 333 g/L Starane™ Advanced or Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L Grazon Extra®. Always refer to the label prior to use. Always add a wetting agent.

Port Stephens Council weeds officer will assist with identification, control information and removal of this weed.

Report a weed

If you have problems with weeds or pests on your property, our highly-skilled team can provide advice on the best treatment. If you're not sure if you have a pest or weed on your property, report it to us and we can help with identification.