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The Department of Primary Industry has determined weed species that are considered a 'priority' in terms of eradication or control in NSW. Of this list, there are 27 species that Council has identified as being a priority for the Port Stephens local government area. Read the Local Weed Prioritisation Policy on our Policies page.

Weeds impact biodiversity, environmental health and affect agriculture as well as animal and human health. If you see or know the location of any of these please note the location, take a picture or two and report it to Council.

For any further information or if you are unsure on how to control a weed please contact:

Invasive Species Team
Phone: (02) 4988 0392
Email: weeds@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

African Olive

(Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata)

African Olive is related to the edible European olive however the fruit is not edible and has no commercial value. It is currently not wide spread in Port Stephens but due to outbreaks in some suburbs and neighbouring Local Government Area's, Port Stephens Council are treating this weed as a priority.

For more

The small black fruits are consumed by birds and spread into bushland areas.

African olive is an aggressive woody weed that invades native bushland, creating a dense shady canopy that excludes the growth of native understorey plants. African olive is a very long-lived tree and permanently changes the plant diversity and structure of bushland. It is a tropical wild olive that comes from eastern Africa. It is related to the edible European olive however the fruit is not edible and has no commercial value.

The small black fruits are often consumed by birds and other fauna and spread into surrounding bushland areas.

Treatment is much easier during the earlier stages of it's growth cycle, with juvenile specimens often being able to be simply hand removed. However carpets of juvenile African olive can occur, in this circumstance employing the use of a registered herbicide is often required, such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup®. Mature specimens can be treated by employing the 'cut stump' technique and applying a registered herbicide, such as Roundup®. Alternatively, mature specimens can be treated by employing the 'basal bark' technique with a registered herbicide, such as Triclopyr 600 g/L eg Garlon® 600.

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

Alligator Weed

Alligator Weed is a summer growing perennial herb (non woody plant). It has small white flowers that appear mainly between November and March. The plant has hollow stems with shiny, spear-shaped, opposite paired leaves.

Of the total Alligator Weed recorded in Australia about three quarters (3500 Ha) are located in Port Stephens.

For more on Alligator Weed, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Alligator Weed does not produce seeds in Australia and spreads only from plant fragments. These fragments can be very small and are able to survive extreme conditions. Alligator Weed spreads naturally when fragments float downstream; this is exacerbated during flooding when mat sections are deposited on the floodplains.

Spread assisted by human activity is responsible for moving Alligator Weed between catchments and into new areas. Examples of human assisted spread include movement on contaminated machinery and in soil supplies.

Alligator Weed disrupts the aquatic environment by blanketing the surface and reducing light penetration. It competes with native flora, contaminates grazing pastures, threatens our drinking water supplies and renders valuable land unfit for cropping. The weed mat impedes stream flow promoting sedimentation and flooding problems as well as providing a habitat for mosquitoes. Also limits water vessel movement and access to waterways, and creates a hazard for swimmers.

Has eliminated small crops and turf farming from parts of the Lower Hunter. It is illegal to sell turf from land affected by Alligator Weed.

Reproduces vegetatively with new plants being able to occur at any stem or node. Spread occurs plant fragments attach to animals, machinery or watercraft, or are dispersed by wind or water. As such good hygiene practices, such as washing down boats before leaving the area, play an essential role in controlling this weed.

Alligator weed is difficult to control. Any infestations should be reported immediately to your local council weed officer. Do not try to control alligator weed without their expert assistance. Control effort that is poorly performed or not followed up can actually help spread the weed and worsen the problem.

Residents can mitigate the spread of Alligator weed by practicing good hygiene measures for machinery and water vessels in affected areas.

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

B

Bitou Bush

Bitou Bush affects mostly coastal areas, but is slowly moving inland.

Council and various other agencies undertake control programs on land under their control and expect owners and occupiers of private land to also control the weed.

To find out more about Bitou Bush, head to the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Spread by birds eating the fruits, control programs should attempt to prevent seeding of large plants and establishment of new plants.

Dense stands of bitou bush exclude other indigenous plants leading to decreasing floral biodiversity and changes in the diversity of fauna and birds. Stands of bitou bush also reduce the aesthetic appeal of natural environments and reduce recreational access to beaches and along walking trails. Stands of bitou bush may also foster sites that harbour pest animals, such as foxes and introduced birds, which feed on and disperse the seeds or shelter under bitou bush canopies.

It is important to keep uninfested areas clear of bitou bush. Once an infestation is established, preventing its spread into surrounding areas should be a priority.

Herbicides registered for bitou bush can be applied in winter at low rates that effectively kill the weed, yet have minimal impacts on coastal vegetation. Herbicides can be applied by a 'cut-and-paste' method or 'foliar spray' application utilising a registered herbicide such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup Biactive®.

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

Blackberry

(Rubus fruticosus species aggregate)

Blackberries are semi-deciduous, scrambling shrubs with prickly stems. Recognised as one of the worst weeds in Australia, blackberries are a Weed of National Significance.

For more information on Blackberry, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

All blackberries can reproduce both vegetatively and by seed.

  • Each berry can contain from 20 to 30 seeds. At the end of the blackberry season, there may be up to 13,000 seeds/m2 under a blackberry bush.
  • Where the tips of the primocanes touch the ground, roots may sprout in autumn and become new plants.

Birds, mammals (including foxes and humans), water and contaminated soil can all act as vectors for blackberry seeds, sometimes spreading them a long way from the mother plant.

Grows vigorously and can infest large areas quickly. Degrades natural environments by displacing native plants and reducing habitat for native animals. Provides harbour for vermin such as rabbits and foxes, and seasonal food for exotic animals such as starlings, blackbirds and foxes. These pest species also disperse blackberry seed, spreading blackberry infestations.

All blackberries can reproduce both vegetatively and by seed. Physical control alone is rarely successful because of the root structure of blackberry. These techniques are best used in combination with herbicides.

Herbicides are the most reliable method for achieving local eradication of blackberry. Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg Grazon Extra® or Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

Bridal Creeper

(Asparagus asparagoides)

Bridal creeper is a garden plant with climbing stems and  is Weed of National Significance. It is currently spreading throughout NSW and has the potential to spread.

For more information on Bridal Creeper, check out the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Bridal creeper plants can produce more than 1000 berries per square metre. Birds feed on the berries and later excrete the seeds at perch sites, usually within 100 m of source plants. However, seed dispersed by birds has helped spread the weed along roadsides and into native vegetation patches further afield. Rabbits and foxes also eat fruit and disperse seeds. The plant can spread as the root system slowly expands in area. Movement of soil containing roots (eg by grading) can spread plants further. Dumping of garden rubbish containing bridal creeper seeds or roots also spreads the weed.

The Bridal Creeper's climbing stems and foliage smother native plants and it forms a thick mat of underground tubers which impedes the root growth of other plants and often prevents seedling establishment. Rare native plants, such as the rice flower Pimelea spicata, are threatened with extinction by bridal creeper.

It also causes losses to primary industries (eg by shading citrus and avocado trees and interfering with fruit picking),.

Bridal creeper has a number of features which make it difficult to control in particular its underground tuber reserves provide a buffer against adverse seasons. However, it has a relatively short-lived seedbank, seed production only occurs on early emerging stems, and the seed output in old infestations is small, as such control before seed set is essential.

Hand removal can be achieved on small infestations of juvenile plants, removing all tubers and disposing of appropriately. Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup® or Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg eg Brush-off®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

C

Cats-Claw Creeper

(Dolichandra unguis-cati)

Cat's claw creeper was introduced to Australia as a garden plant, and has escaped to become a major weed of native forests and riparian areas in eastern Australia.

For more information on Cats-Claw Creeper, check out the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Cat's claw creeper produces numerous seeds with papery wings that aid dispersal, particularly by water and wind. Although seed viability is low, seed production is high and some seeds produce multiple seedlings. Established plants can reproduce vegetatively from tubers and creeping stems. Detached tubers and cuttings may resprout in moist conditions.

Has escaped gardens to become a major weed of native forests and riparian areas in eastern Australia. It competes with native plants by forming a dense above-ground mat and numerous underground reproductive tubers. It's climbing woody stems (lianas) cling to tree trunks, enabling it to grow into the forest canopy. In native rainforests it can overtop and kill mature trees, opening up the canopy for light-loving weeds.

Dense infestations of cat's claw creeper are very difficult to control due to its numerous lianas, abundant seed and ability to resprout from the tubers, sometimes for years. Even seedlings and small plants have tubers that are difficult to dig out. Weeding should proceed gradually as creation of large gaps can lead to further weed invasion. Follow up is essential.

Cats claw creeper can be most effectively controlled by employing the 'cut stump' technique and applying a registered herbicide such as, Picloram 44.7 g/kg + Aminopyralid 4.47 g/L eg Vigilant II ®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

Chinese Violet

(Asystasia gangetica subspecies micrantha)

Already a major weed overseas, Chinese Violet is a pretty garden plant that the commonwealth Bureau of Rural Sciences has recommended be eradicated from Australia before it can spread further into agricultural and environmental areas.

Of the recorded infestations in Australia, almost all occur within the Port Stephens area. Chinese Violet is a national priority weed that is the subject of an eradication project being conducted by Council.

For more:

The rapidly growing plant has a smothering habit and can outcompete most crops for water and nutrients. It is mostly spread by seed but can also send down roots from the sprawling stems, smothering native and other desirable plants.

Chinese Violet is a class 1 notifiable noxious plant throughout New South Wales which makes spreading it through the movement of soil, machinery and plant material for example, an offence.

The Biosecurity Act 2015 control requirement is "The plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant".

Your local council weeds officer will assist with identification, control information and removal of this weed. Infestations can be spread by inappropriate control activities. New infestations can develop from any rhizomes that are moved or dropped during control activities. Early detection and eradication will prevent the spread of this weed.

Seedlings can be hand pulled if all the roots can be removed.

For established plants use herbicides containing Dicamba and MCPA eg Yates Bindii spray.

Crofton Weed

(Ageratina adenophora)

Crofton weed is a rapid-spreading weed that has become a nuisance in many areas along the eastern coast of Australia. It is particularly invasive on cleared land that is not grazed, such as public reserves, and causes particular problems for horse owners. The weed is an aggressive invader of public amenity land such as State forests, national parks and nature reserves, as well as public utility easements such as railway embankments.

For more information on Crofton Weed, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Mature Crofton weed plants can produce between 10 000 and 100 000 seeds per year. Seeds are very light (25 000 seeds/g) and are windborne over long distances to invade previously non-infested areas.

The seeds require light to stimulate germination so that invasion commonly takes place on bare, disturbed sites and only rarely on heavily vegetated areas.

Crofton weed is particularly invasive on cleared land that is not grazed, such as public reserves, and can cause particular problems for horse owners. Crofton weed reduces the ecological value of bush land, lowers crop yields and reduces the carrying capacity of grazing land.

Crofton weed is extremely dangerous if consumed by horses as it is poisonous. If exposed animals are not removed from the infested area, lung and heart damage can occur with death resulting. Treatment of Crofton weed poisoning is unlikely to reverse the damage, so early detection of poisoning and removal from the weed infestation is essential. If you suspect poisoning, seek veterinary advice.

Small areas of scattered plants can be dug out with a mattock. Crowns must be removed to prevent regrowth. Slashing is often used to control heavy infestations on accessible land. Mature Crofton weed plants can produce between 10 000 and 100 000 seeds per year. Seeds are very light (25 000 seeds/g) and are windborne over long distances to invade previously non-infested areas.

Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as Fluroxypyr 333 g/L eg Starane™ Advanced or MCPA 340 g/L + Dicamba 80 g/L eg Kamba® M.

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

G

Giant Parramatta Grass

(Sporobolus fertilis)

Giant Parramatta grass is a tall, aggressive perennial grass. It invades pastures and replaces more productive types of grass, especially after overgrazing or soil disturbance.

In Port Stephens the grass has the potential to invade pasture of primary producing areas of the shire, reducing stock carrying capacity and increase property management costs. It is easily spread by human and animal disturbance.

For more information on Giant Parramatta Grass, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Giant Parramatta grass produce a large amount of seed that is dispersed by water, wind and machinery. At maturity seeds become sticky and can attach to hair or fur.

Giant Parramatta grass can dramatically decrease economic viability of grazing land and lower land values. It invades pastures and replaces more productive types of grass, especially after overgrazing or soil disturbance. Current distribution in Australia is from northern Cape York to the southern coast of New South Wales, with isolated infestations in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Produces a large amount of seed that is dispersed by water, wind and machinery. At maturity seeds become sticky and can attach to hair or fur. Plants are capable of producing 85,000 seeds per square metre. Vehicle and stock movement should be limited in contaminated areas to prevent this weeds spread to unaffected areas.

Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as Flupropanate 745 g/L eg Tussock® or Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup®. Always refer to the label prior to use. Be aware that Glyphosate will affect turf.

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

Giant Parramatta Grass 1
Giant Parramatta Grass 2
Giant Parramatta Grass 3
Giant Parramatta Grass 4
Giant Parramatta Grass 1
Giant Parramatta Grass 2
Giant Parramatta Grass 3
Giant Parramatta Grass 4

Glory Lily

(Gloriosa superba)

Glory Lily is widely-cultivated as garden plants around the world, including in Australia. Glory Lily has subsequently become naturalised along parts of the Australian coast.

For more information on Glory Lily, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

The dumping of garden waste in bushland is one of the main methods by which the Glory Lily spreads.

Can form dense understorey carpets in dune systems along the coast, competing strongly with native flora. Glory lily also compromises bitou bush (Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata) control programs because, once the bitou bush is removed, glory lily can form a dense understorey.

All parts of the glory lily are highly toxic and has been responsible for the poisoning of both humans and livestock. The poisonous nature of the weed causes multiple physiological effects and can even cause death. In humans, symptoms include tingling and numbness of the lips, tongue and throat, nausea, vomiting, giddiness, respiratory distress and irregular heartbeat. The tubers are also a contact irritant causing numbness and tingling of the skin.

Dumping garden waste in bushland and allowing these garden plants to spread out of control in gardens close to natural bushland areas creates a major threat of further infestations. Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as; Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup® and Glyphosate 360 g/L with Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg (Various products). Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

Green Cestrum

(Cestrum parqui)

Green cestrum is large poisonous shrub and is toxic to animals including cattle, sheep, horse, pigs, poultry and humans.

For more information on Green Cestrum, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

Green cestrum originally spread from gardens where it was grown as an ornamental plant. It is spread most commonly in droppings from birds that have eaten the berries.

Green Cestrum is a highly poisonous weed to animals including cattle, sheep, horse, pigs, poultry and humans. Green cestrum frequently causes ‘sudden death’ in livestock and is highly toxic to humans, capable of causing serious illness or death. It also produces a pungent aroma which can negatively impact on public and recreational areas.

Predominantly spread  by droppings from birds that have eaten the berries. Mature plants will flower and seed each year. It will also sucker freely from its base if stumps are not treated with a registered herbicide such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup Biactive® after cutting. It will also grow from sections of the root which remain after a plant has been partly dug or pulled out.

Herbicides are often the most effective and economical way of controlling green cestrum. However, only a registered herbicide should be used to control green cestrum infestations such as Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg Grazon Extra®

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

Groundsel Bush

(Baccharis halimifolia)

Groundsel Bush a poisonous and invasive shrub or tree and is spreading in Port Stephens.

For more information on Groundsel Bush, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

Plants seed prolifically and the light seeds spread over long distances through human activity or by wind.

Each seed weighs about 0.1 gram and is designed to fly on the wind or stick to animals, earth and equipment.

Plants are considered poisonous to stock and can form dense thickets that prevent vehicular and animal passage. It can also block drains and transform open wetlands into densely wooded bogs.

Advise Council of plants or to request confirmation of suspect plants. Carefully remove seeds heads and bag, and contact Council about what to do with them. Kill plants by using an overall spray for small plants or by cutting at the base and poisoning the stump for larger plants. Young plants are easy to pull out as they have a shallow root system. Care should be taken, however, to remove all the roots to prevent regrowth.

At the moment, it has not spread to its potential range, but threatens to do so. If coordinated control programs are not maintained it may rapidly fulfil this potential. A number of techniques can be used to apply the herbicide, including cut-stump, basal bark and foliar spraying. In NSW several herbicides are registered for controlling groundsel bush, such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup® or Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg Grazon Extra®.

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

H

Hygrophila/Glush Weed

(Hygrophila costata)

Hygrophila is a highly invasive aquatic weed that forms dense mats on the waters surface and outcompetes other vegetation. With the abundance of waterways in Port Stephens, aquatic weed such as Hygrophila is important to control.

For more information on Hygrophila/Glush Weed, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

Reproduction is by either seed or stem fragments. Spread occurs when seeds and plant fragments attach to animals, machinery or watercraft, or are dispersed by wind or water.

It grows up to 1.5 m high in shallow water, forming mats of dense growth around the margins of freshwater lakes, rivers and watercourses where it can dominate and out-compete other vegetation. Dense infestations are likely to displace native flora and fauna by destroying their natural habitat. Hygrophila can also interfere with recreational activities such as boating and access to the water’s edge.

K

Kidney-leaf mud Plantain

(Heteranthera reniformis)

Kidney-leaf mud plantain is an aquatic weed most commonly found along roadside ditches, streams, ponds, drains, freshwater tidal mudflats and riverbeds.

For more information on Kidney-leaf mud plantain, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

Kidney-leaf mud plantain's main method of dispersal is through vegetative reproduction. Plant fragments can be washed downstream or moved to a new location in mud stuck to animals or vehicles.

Seeds are winged and small, allowing them to be dispersed by wind and water.

Kidney-leaf mud plantain is a sprawling annual or perennial aquatic plant. It is able to form dense mats and colonise open shallow water. Such characteristics make this weed a potential threat to native vegetation and freshwater aquatic habitats.

Kidney-leaf mud plantain is capable of spreading from plant fragments and strict hygiene procedures are required for the control of this plant.

Residents can employ the use of a herbicide registered for aquatic use by aquiring a permit from the APVMA in order to control this weed through the use of Glyphosate 360g/L eg Roundup Biactive® or Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg eg Brush-off®. Always refer to the permit before use.

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

L

Lantana

(Lantana species)

Lantana is a major weed in coastal and sub-coastal areas. Lantana is one of Australia’s most debilitating invasive weeds and is prevalent in much of the Port Stephens LGA. This highly toxic plant is easily spread a number of ways and dangerous if ingested to both animals or humans.

For more information on Lantana, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

This once-innocent garden plant has since escaped and thrived under the favourable tropical, sub-tropical and temperate conditions of eastern Australia. Lantana's invasiveness is largely in part to the many ways it which it can be spread. Movement of water, contaminated soil and machinery, deliberate planting and poorly disposed garden waste helps Lantana spread. However, fruit eating birds are the main cause of lantana spread. Birds and some mammals eat the fruit and the seed in their droppings produces new plants.

Widespread lantana infestations regularly impact on agriculture, the environment, forestry management, recreation and transport. All forms of lantana are thought to be toxic, with the red-flowered forms being the most dangerous to stock.

Lantana is also highly toxic to humans, and can cause serious illness and death. All parts of the plant, particularly the green berries, are poisonous if ingested, causing vomiting, diarrhoea, muscular weakness and respiratory distress. The plant is also a skin and eye irritant.

Movement of water, contaminated soil and machinery, deliberate planting and poorly disposed garden waste contribute largely to the spread of lantana. While the main cause of lantana spread is by fruit eating birds and fauna. Manual control methods are effective for small infestations or scattered clumps over large areas, especially where machinery and vehicles cannot access. Manual control minimises soil disturbance and damage to desirable vegetation.

Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup®or Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg Grazon Extra®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

Long Leaf Willow Primrose

(Ludwigia longifolia)

A relatively new weed, the Long Leaf Willow has been declared a class 4 and 5 noxious plant. This means that the sale of plants is banned and existing plants must be controlled.

For more information on Long Leaf Willow Primrose, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

Research has found that juvenile Long Leaf Willow plants can produce 25 million seeds per square metre. Seeds are easily spread by water, wind, human activity and animals, resulting in rapid spread.

An invasive aquatic weed threatening NSW waterways and wetlands which can form dense colonies in slow moving and static waterways. If no control action is taken it will dominate temperate and tropical wetland and riparian systems throughout Australia. Each capsule contains 1000–4000 seeds with about 80% viability. Seeds are able to germinate in as little as 4 days in shallow clear water,  floating or in mud. The Long Leaf Willow has the ability to invade and dominate shallow wetlands.

Prevention is the best control for ludwigia, controlling seedlings in the first 18 months of growth, before flowering to manage the amount of seed in the soil. Small ludwigia plants can be manually pulled or hoed from the ground ensuring to remove as much of the root as possible and bagging before being disposed of appropriately.

Residents can employ the use of a herbicide which is registered for aquatic use to control this weed, such as Glyphosate 360g/L eg Roundup Biactive®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

Ludwigia

(Ludwigia peruviana)

Also known as: peruvian primrose, water primrose, primrose willow; Ludwigia is an invasive shrub and has the potential to become problematic in Port Stephens.

For more information on Ludwigia, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Seed is mostly spread by flowing water and birds. The sticky seeds are also spread by attaching to clothing, feathers, hair and machinery.

Ludwigia can choke waterways and dominate all aquatic vegetation within a short timeframe. Dense stands can interfere with the natural flow of the waterway. The thick canopy reduces the amount of light entering the water and decreases water temperature. This ultimately affects the native aquatic flora and fauna communities.

M

Mother of Millions

(Bryophyllum species)

All species and hybrids of the Bryophyllum genus are declared noxious weeds. This includes B. daigremontianum (Mother of Millions), B. delagoense (Mother of Millions) and B. pinnatum (Resurrection Plant). It is a hihgly toxic plant to livestock and humans. As it can be found in household gardens, domestic pets are also at risk if the plant is ingested. It is a hard to eradicate plant because of how easily it is spread.

For more information on Mother of Millions, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise has excellent information on all the Byrophyllum species.

As the name suggests, Mother of Millions reproduces rapidly, producing hundreds of tiny plantlets which quickly form new colonies. Mother of Millions is of the succulent family, and as the name suggests, it easily spreads when small plantlets along the edges of its leaves detach and form new plants.

Mother of millions is toxic when ingested by livestock; it is also poisonous to humans and household pets. 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.

Mother of millions is also toxic to humans and household pets with dogs being particularly susceptible. It is unlikely that humans or pets would eat enough plant material to become poisoned. However, because mother of millions can be found in many gardens, the likelihood of human or pet poisoning is increased.

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 using a combination of control methods including hand removal and herbicide application. Hand removed plants should be stored in black plastic bags until decayed or buried.

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

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

P

Pampas Grass

(Cortaderia species)

Pampas Grass is not yet a major problem in NSW therefore efforts are focused on ensuring that the plant does not take hold.

For more information on Pampas Grass, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise has more information.

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 25 km radius.

Once established, the plant is very competitive, restricting the establishment of native trees, and can become a fire hazard and harbour vermin. Pampas grass is of greatest potential weed significance to forestry operations. However, it has not yet become a major problem in NSW forests, as such preventative measures are essential. Has a root system up to 3.5m deep. the tussock produces large quantities of flammable material. It is very competitive with native plants.

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 employ the use of a registered herbicide in order 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.

Paterson's Curse

(Echium plantagineum)

Paterson’s curse is a winter annual herb that now occurs in all States and Territories in Australia.

For more information on Paterson's Cures, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise has more information.

Paterson's curse reproduces by seed. It is commonly spread via contaminated hay and grain, livestock droppings and machinery.

Paterson’s curse is considered a weed because:

  • It reduces pasture productivity and is toxic to livestock.
  • It can degrade the natural environment, compromising habitat values by crowding out and suppressing native vegetation.
  • Hay and grain infested with it fetch lower prices.
  • It affects human health. Some people are allergic to the pollen and the rough hairy texture of the leaves and stems causes skin irritation in people having close contact with the plant.

Preventing Paterson’s curse from spreading to uninfested areas should be given a high priority. Once it becomes established in an area it is extremely difficult to eradicate. Paterson’s curse spreads only through the movement of seeds; therefore methods which prevent seed moving to uninfested areas should be employed. It is a prolific seeder that can produce more than 5000 seeds per plant per year.

Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as; Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg Grazon Extra® and Dicamba 500 g/L eg Kamba® 500. 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 Pear

(Opuntia species)

There are a variety of differing Prickly Pear species, however, the focus in Port Stephens is on the Opuntia species. A member of the cacti group, the Opuntia species of Prickly Pear has been declared a Weed of National Significance with species found throughout most Australian states and territories and there is potential for further spread. The cost of control often exceeds the value of the land where the infestation is present.

For more information on the Opuntia species of Prickly Pear, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise outlines more on the Opuntia and other Prickly pear species.

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, and can occur year round when segments, immature fruit contact. or flowers detach and make ground contact. Segments of many opuntioids will attach easily to clothing, footwear and the fur and limbs of animals, aiding their spread.

Large stands of cacti provide harbour for pest animals, such as foxes and rabbits and, due to their spiny nature, can limit access for stock mustering and recreational activities. The spines are capable of causing serious injury to animals and humans. Dense infestations compete with native vegetation, limiting the growth of small shrubs and groundcover species.

Spreads by seed or vegetatively by segments which root where they contact the ground. The plant invaded large areas of northern NSW and central Queensland in the early 1900s and was infesting some 25,000,000 hectares.

Currently only minor occurrence exist within the Port Stephens LGA, as such preventative measures are essential.

Common pest pear is largely controlled by the biological control cactoblastis, Cactoblastis cactorum. In areas where cactoblastis cannot complete 2 generations per year, it can be controlled by the biological control cochineal, Dactylopius opuntiae. Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as; Triclopyr 600 g/L eg Garlon® 600 and Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg 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.

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Rattlepod

(Crotalaria lunata)

Rattlepod is a small tree or shrub with bright yellow flowers. It grows along roadsides in south to central coast regions of NSW.

For more information on Rattlepod, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise has more information.

Rattle pods are considered poisonous to livestock. A few have escaped cultivation and have spread quickly along roadsides.

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

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Sagittaria

(Sagittaria platyphylla)

An aquatic weed, Sagittaria is now widely dispersed in southern NSW, particularly in the Murray Irrigation District and is common in waterways around Sydney and Newcastle and here in Port Stephens.

For more information on Sagittaria, visit the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Sagittaria can reproduce via several methods. It is a prolific seeder and can reproduce from underground rhizomes and corms. These reproductive options allow both species to spread rapidly, survive adverse conditions and resume growth when conditions are more favourable.

The 'choking' nature of Sagittaria  impacts native aquatic and fauna as well as blocking irrigation channels, impeding water flows and choking natural watercourses and wetlands. Dense infestations restrict water flow and can substantially alter the flow regime of catchments and waterways affecting biodiversity and stream health.

Salvinia

(Salvinia molesta)

Salvinia is a serious, free-floating aquatic weed. It is problematic Australia-wide and is a Weed of National Significance.

For more information on Salvinia, visit the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Salvinia has largely been spread by humans as the plant has to be physically transported from one aquatic to another because it cannot transport itself. Animals and water birds are therefore also a significant  means of spreading the weed.

Salvinia has the potential to spread to much of Australia and is regarded as a serious threat to waterways and irrigation areas because it:

  • disrupts aquatic ecosystems, seriously affecting native animals and plant life;
  • decreases the quality of water by causing odours, accumulation of organic matter and stagnation of streams;
  • degrades the aesthetic value of waterways;
  • reduces or prevents the use of waterways for recreation and transport;
  • interferes with the functioning of river control structures, especially during flooding.

Salvinia has been spread in Australia mostly by humans through poor hygiene measures after boating or performing other recreational water activities. Adequate wash down procedures are essential in preventing new infestations from occurring.

Successful management of Salvinia relies on early detection and action. Floating booms or nets on waterways have been used to help contain salvinia infestations and limit the spread of the plant to other areas or waterways. Residents can employ the use of a herbicide which is registered for aquatic use in order to control this weed, such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup Biactive® or Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg eg Brush-off®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

Spiny Burr Grass - longispinus

(Cenchrus longispinus)

Spiny burrgrass is a weed because of its sharp and clingy burr, ability to spread rapidly and tendency to develop into dense infestations in favourable conditions.

For more information on Spiny Burr Grass, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

The barbed spines on the burr detach easily from the mature plant, making the major spread of this weed by seed.

Mature burrs cause a range of problems such as:

  • injury to stock causing swellings and ulcers in the mouth
  • injury to people and dogs
  • clinging to wool and penetrating the skin of stock, reducing the value of both
  • shearing difficulties, which often attracts penalty rates as working with contaminated wool requires leather gloves and/or aprons.
  • inconvenience and discomfort to workers in irrigated crops such as vegetables, vines and citrus, and
  • contamination of dried fruit and hay.

A range of techniques can be used to control Cenchrus spp. including hand removal on smaller infestations prior to seed fall and foliar spraying. Care should be taken when hand removing Cenchrus spp. as the spines on the seed are very sharp, as such gloves are essential.

Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide for the control of Cenchrus spp. such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup®.

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

St. John's Wort

(Hypericum perforatum)

St. John's wort is small perennial shrub or herb. It is an invasive, toxic plant largely found on farming property.

For more information on St John's Wort including signs to look out for in the case of your livestock being poisoned, the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise fore more information.

The sticky seed capsules adhere to animals – hence its spread along roads, travelling stock reserves and animal tracks. Seeds are also carried in the digestive tracts of animals, and seedlings have been observed in cattle dung. Seed is spread over short distances by wind, but over long distances by water, machinery, humans, livestock or feral animals.

St John’s wort competes with useful plants in pastures, and large infestations reduce property values. The plant is poisonous and if ingested by stock animals, the toxin causes a reaction in the bloodstream that causes the skin to become sensitive to sunlight. This reaction results in weight loss, reduced productivity and, in extreme cases, death.

A single plant may produce up to 33 000 seeds per year.

Preventing the invasion of St John’s wort is the cheapest and most effective way of controlling it. Preventing St. John's Wort from spreading to uninfested areas should be given a high priority. Residents can employ the use of a registered herbicide in order to control this weed, such as Picloram 100 g/L + Triclopyr 300 g/L + Aminopyralid 8 g/L eg Grazon Extra®. The residual component of this herbicide can assist in controlling emerging seed stock. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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

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Water Hyacinth

(Eichhornia crassipes)

Water hyacinth is one of the world’s worst aquatic weeds. It is a free-floating perennial water plant that forms large, dense mats on the water surface.

For more information on Water Hyacinth, visit the Department of Primary Industries WeedWise for more information.

Most spread can be attributed to human activity such as the deliberate planting of water hyacinth in ornamental ponds or dams. Unwanted aquarium plants that are discarded into waterways are a major form of spread. Water hyacinth can also be spread by contaminated boating equipment.

Seeds are the main source of new infestations and are carried in water, mud (e.g. on machinery or boots) and by birds.

It infests rivers, dams, lakes and irrigation channels on every continent except Antarctica. It devastates aquatic environments and costs billions of dollars every year in control costs and economic losses.

In Australia, it forms dense, impenetrable mats over the water surface. Specific impacts include:

  • blocking irrigation channels and rivers
  • restricting livestock access to water
  • destroying natural wetlands
  • eliminating native aquatic plants
  • reducing infiltration of sunlight
  • changing the temperature, pH and oxygen levels of water
  • reducing gas exchange at the water surface
  • increasing water loss through transpiration (greater than evaporation from an open water body)
  • altering the habitats of aquatic organisms
  • restricting recreational use of waterways
  • reducing aesthetic values of waterways
  • reducing water quality from decomposing plants
  • destroying fences, roads and other infrastructure when large floating rafts become mobile during flood events, and
  • destroying pastures and crops when large floating rafts settle over paddocks after flood events.

Most spread can be attributed to human activity such as the deliberate planting of water hyacinth in ornamental ponds or dams.  Water hyacinth can also be spread by contaminated boating equipment.

Early detection and rapid response offer the greatest likelihood of successful control and the opportunity for eradication. It is essential that any new infestations are controlled as soon as possible.In NSW, a number of herbicides are registered for the control of water hyacinth such as Glyphosate 360 g/L eg Roundup Biactive® or Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg eg Brush-off®. Always refer to the label prior to use.

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