Bridal veil

Native to the Western Cape region of South Africa, bridal veil has been present in Australia as an ornamental plant since 1870. Naturalised populations were recorded on Kangaroo Island in 1954 and has since naturalised in coastal and inland regions of South Australia, Western Australia and Victoria.

Bridal veil is very similar to bridal creeper and has become a highly invasive and aggressive invasive plant. All invasive species of asparagus ferns are listed as Weeds of National Significance.

You must manage the impacts of bridal veil on your land.

You must not give away, sell or release bridal veil into the environment.

Scientific name

Asparagus declinatus


  • Fern with long, smooth stems, twining up to 2.5m.
  • Leaves are soft, needle-like, grey-green to 20mm long, occurring in groups of 3.
  • Flowers are small, greenish-white, solitary or in pairs on short stalks.
  • Fruit are spherical or ovoid, up to 8–15mm in diameter.
  • Fruits ripen from green to pale bluish-grey or whitish-translucent, containing 2–14 seeds.
  • Roots are a dense mat of fibrous rhizomes, with clusters of thick bulb-like ribbed tubers to 6cm long; stems arise from the length of the rhizomes.


  • Found in temperate climates.
  • Grows in a wide range of environments, including exposed rocky outcrops and pine forests to woodlands and coastal habitats.


  • Not yet recorded in Queensland.
  • Visit Weeds Australia and click on the distribution tab to access the distribution map.

Life cycle

  • Usually flowers July–October.
  • Fruit appears in late winter to midsummer.
  • Germinates March–August.



  • Becomes dominant at both ground and shrub layer, displacing native plants, even in undisturbed systems.

How it is spread

  • Spread by fruit-eating birds and possums, foxes, rodents and lizards.


Physical control

  • Remove berries, seeds and entire crown of underground stem with sharp knife to prevent regrowth.
  • Follow up to control seedling germination and regrowth from missed tubers.

Herbicide control

  • Herbicide control is effective.
  • Use spot spray and cut-stump methods.

Read the asparagus fern fact sheet (PDF, 1.5MB) for herbicide control and application rates.

Biological control

  • No known biological control agent.

Legal requirements

  • Bridal veil is a category 3 restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • It must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment. Penalties may apply.
  • You must take all reasonable and practical measures to minimise the biosecurity risks associated with dealing with African boxthorn under your control. This is called a general biosecurity obligation (GBO).
  • At a local level, each local government agency must have a biosecurity plan that covers invasive plants in its area. This plan may include actions to be taken on bridal veil. Some of these actions may be required under local laws. Contact your local council for more information.

Further information