How to identify weeds (invasive plants)
Weeds (called invasive plants in the Biosecurity Act 2014) are able to spread rapidly and have unwanted economic, environmental or social impacts.
They can be very difficult to identify, and may be confused with plants that are not invasive, including native or endangered species.
Some weeds plants also look very different in their juvenile and mature stages.
It's important to correctly identify the weed to ensure that control methods are effective and appropriate. Some factors to consider when identifying weed are where and when the plant grows, its shape, size, leaf form and flower colour.
Tools to help identify weeds
You may find the following online tools useful in the identification process.
- Biosecurity Queensland's listings of restricted, prohibited and other invasive plants
- Brisbane City Council weed identification tool
- Weed Australia online tool.
Identifying weeds from specimens
If you cannot identify the plant using online tools or invasive plant identification publications, you can take a sample to your regional Weed Spotter coordinator or send a sample to the Queensland Herbarium for analysis. Their website provides information on collecting and preparing weed specimens for identification.
Alternatively, you can submit a photo of the plant using Biosecurity Queensland's identify invasive plants form.
- Subscribe to our e-newsletters and alerts for the latest information on weed (invasive plant) issues in Queensland.
- Get more information and support from the National Landcare Directory.
- Last reviewed: 13 Nov 2018
- Last updated: 17 Aug 2020