Priority weeds of the Murray & Riverina - Bridal creeper

PRODUCTION ADVICE & NRM NEWS -  APRIL 2022 - INVASIVE SPECIES

By Tara Pitman, Regional Weeds Coordinator
P:  02 6051 2250  | M:  0448 390 288  | E:  tara.pitman@lls.nsw.gov.au

Bridal creeper. Colin G Wilson

The name may sound like something from a bad horror film, but Bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) is a very real risk to farmland across the Murray region.

Bridal Creeper causes losses to primary industries, by shading citrus and avocado trees and interfering with fruit picking.

Originally entering the country as a garden plant, it is now a major bushland weed in southern Australia, where its climbing stems and foliage smother native plants.

The plant forms a thick mat of underground tubers which impedes the root growth of other plants and can prevent seedling establishment. Sadly, rare native plants, such as the rice flower (Pimelea spicata) are threatened with extinction by bridal creeper.

How can I tell if it’s on my property? 

Bridal creeper is widespread in south-western Western Australia, southern South Australia and eastern Victoria and is now spreading through New South Wales and Tasmania. It has long, twisting stems up to 3 metres in length, which branch extensively. Above ground growth is annually produced from its perennial underground root system of tubers.

Bridal creeper has soft, shiny green 'leaves' 4-30 mm wide and 10-70 mm long which occur along the length of wiry green stems. Stems emerge annually in autumn from a mat, 0-10 cm deep, of branching rhizomes that bear numerous fleshy tubers. White flowers with 6 petals, 5-8 mm in diameter appear in early spring. Green berries turn pink then red/burgundy in late spring-early summer.

What can you do?

If you see it, report it! Call your local council weed officer or contact NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244, or send an email (including a photo if you have one) to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Successful weed control relies upon follow up after the initial efforts. This means looking for and killing regrowth.

For more information - NSW WeedWise

Thanks to Petaurus Education Group and our local council weed officers at Albury City Council for this feature video:

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