Native to west and central Africa, brillantaisia is a small shrub 20cm to 2m tall. It can invade cleared roadsides and moist areas.

Brillantaisia is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Brillantaisia lamium


  • Small shrub 20cm-2m tall.
  • Stems are hairy and square in cross-section.
  • Leaves are heart-shaped, up to 11cm long, 7cm wide, arranged in opposite pairs along stem.
  • Flowers are purple (sometimes white), pea-like.
  • Seeds are produced in long, cigar-shaped pods.


  • Thrives in full sun as well as partial shade, provided the soil is moist.
  • Found in orchards, on creek banks and in sugar cane.


  • Found in north-east Queensland.

Life cycle

  • Flowers throughout the year, but most commonly in summer.
  • Reproduces by seed and sometimes by stem fragments.



  • Invades moist areas, especially creek banks and farmland.


  • Invades roadsides where original native vegetation has been disturbed.

How it is spread

  • Spread from seeds and broken stem fragments.


Physical control

  • Hand-pull isolated plants and small infestations, making sure that all roots and stem fragments are removed, bagged and disposed of at your local waste facility.

Herbicide control

  • Treat larger infestations with herbicide.
  • There is no herbicide currently registered for control of brillantaisia in Queensland; however, an off-label use permit (Permit No. PER11463) allows the use of various herbicides for the control of environmental weeds in non-agricultural areas, bushland, forests, wetlands, and coastal and adjacent areas.

See the Brillantaisia fact sheet (PDF, 566KB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Legal requirements

  • Brillantaisia is not a prohibited or restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014. However, by law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risks associated with invasive plants under their control.
  • Local governments must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants in their area. This plan may include actions to be taken on Brillantaisia. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local government for more information.

Further information