Weeds Calendar

00 Introduction

00 Introduction

A weed is a plant growing where it's not wanted. That doesn't mean it's bad, just bad here. Some weeds can be beautiful. In the suburbs, where most weeds have escaped from gardens into the bush or along waterways, they were once highly-prized...

01 January Celtis sinesis (ULMACEAE) Chinese Elm

01 January Celtis sinesis (ULMACEAE) Chinese Elm

Description Fast-growing semi-deciduous large tree with smooth bark and scalloped leaves. Native to China, Korea and Japan. Leaves have three main veins at the base. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad Creates monocultures where little else will grow....

02 February Anredera cordifolia (BASELLACEAE) Madeira Vine

02 February Anredera cordifolia (BASELLACEAE) Madeira Vine

Description A soft, fast-growing vine with heart-shaped leaves. Large numbers of tubers form along stems and from the roots, producing many more plants when they sprout. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad It can engulf native species, reducing light...

04 APRIL Senna pendula (CAESALPINIACEAE) Easter Cassia

04 APRIL Senna pendula (CAESALPINIACEAE) Easter Cassia

Description Easter Cassia is a native of South America. Around Easter it produces showy yellow flowers, then masses of seed in long pods. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad It “jumps the garden fence” and spreads throughout bushland, outcompeting local...

05 May Pennisetum purpureum (POACEAE) Cane Grass

05 May Pennisetum purpureum (POACEAE) Cane Grass

Description A giant grass resembling sugar cane introduced as fodder for cattle, quickly colonising creek edges when the farms became suburbs. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad Cane Grass forms dense thickets offering little of value to native fauna. It...

06 Tithonia diversifolia (ASTERACEAE) Japanese Sunflower

06 Tithonia diversifolia (ASTERACEAE) Japanese Sunflower

Description Large, fast-growing semi-woody shrub. Not a native of Japan or anywhere near it - in fact a native of Central America. Flower-heads resemble sunflowers. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad Invades disturbed, moist, nutrient-rich sites soon...

07 July Emilia sonchifolia (ASTERACEAE) Emilia

07 July Emilia sonchifolia (ASTERACEAE) Emilia

Description A member of the highly successful daisy family. Similar to Thickhead but with pink flowerheads. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad A common weed of gardens, footpaths, roadsides and disturbed areas. Widespread but fairly harmless. Control The...

08 August Cardiospermum grandiflorum (SAPINDACEAE) Balloon Vine

08 August Cardiospermum grandiflorum (SAPINDACEAE) Balloon Vine

Description Smothering climber with light green compound leaves, native to tropical Asia, Africa and America. Nine leaflets arranged in three groups of three. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad This vine's rampant growth blocks out light needed by native...

09 September Lantana camara (VERBENACEAE) Lantana

09 September Lantana camara (VERBENACEAE) Lantana

Description A straggly, prickly shrub commonly in dense thickets. Native to tropical South America. Multicoloured flowers, pleasant spicy aroma. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad Not as serious for urban creeks as it is for agriculture. Easy to control...

10 October Cinnamomum camphora (LAURACEAE) Camphor Laurel

10 October Cinnamomum camphora (LAURACEAE) Camphor Laurel

Description Medium to large tree native to Taiwan, Japan and China. Crushed leaves and cut branches have a distinct camphor smell. Green branchlets. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad Camphor Laurel's toxic chemicals poison local fauna and suppress...

11 November Ipomoea cairica (CONVOLVULACEAE) Mile-a-minute

11 November Ipomoea cairica (CONVOLVULACEAE) Mile-a-minute

Description Fast growing smothering climber with from tropical America and tropical Asia. Leaves heart-shaped to three lobed, flowers tubular, bright blue to blue-purple, fade to pink. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad With its close relative Morning...

12 – December Ligustrum lucidim (OLEACEAE) Privet

12 – December Ligustrum lucidim (OLEACEAE) Privet

Description Small tree native to China and Japan. Leaves somewhat waxy-leathery, dark-green above, lighter below. Flowers Spring to Summer. Photo: Mark Crocker Why it’s bad The leaves and fruit are poisonous and if eaten can result in severe stomach...