How to identify weeds

In simple terms, a weed is a plant out of place. Weeds are able to spread rapidly and have unwanted economic, environmental or social impacts.

Weeds can be very difficult to identify, and may be confused with plants that are not weeds, including native or endangered species.

Some weeds also look very different in their juvenile and mature stages.

It is important to correctly identify a weed to ensure that control methods are effective and appropriate. Some factors to consider when identifying a weed are where and when the weed grows, its shape, size, leaf form and flower colour.

Tools to help identify weeds

There are several tools to help you identify weeds on your property. You may find the following online tools useful in the identification process.

Weeds of Australia identification tool

The Biosecurity Queensland edition of the Weeds of Australia identification tool helps you easily identify a weed based on the features of a particular plant. The tool includes over 1000 current and potential weeds.

Once you have confirmed the identity of a weed, you can then access information about how to control it.

Other weed identification tools

Alternative online weed identification tools include:

Identifying weeds from specimens

If you cannot identify the plant using online tools or weed 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 pest plants form.

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