Bridal creeper

Alert

Have you seen Bridal creeper?

Be on the lookout for Bridal creeper and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling Bridal creeper.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to southern Africa, bridal creeper is a glossy green plant that can smother native vegetation and form a thick mat of underground tubers. A weed of national significance, it is widespread in south-western West Australia, southern South Australia and eastern Victoria.

Although it is not climatically suited to most of Queensland, bridal creeper has the potential to become a pest in cooler parts of southern Queensland such as around Stanthorpe and Warwick.

Bridal creeper is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Asparagus asparagoides

Other names

Bridal veil creeper, gnarboola

Description

  • Creeping plant with twisting stems up to 3m long.
  • Leaves are glossy green, solitary, alternate, broadly ovate 1-7cm long, 8-30cm wide.
  • Numerous shoots grow from 1 patch of roots and entwine with native vegetation.
  • Berries are pea-sized and green when young, ripen to be red, sticky, 6-10mm in diameter, usually contain 2-3 black seeds.
  • Flowers are white, dainty, 8-9mm in diameter.
  • Stems are covered with heart-shaped green leaves.
  • Seeds are black, shiny, 3-4mm in diameter.

Habitat

  • Grows well in citrus orchards and pine plantations.
  • Can grow in most soils but is most common near coast where it invades woodlands and open coastal vegetation.
  • Thrives in areas high in nutrients such as drainage lines and roadsides next to farms.
  • Tolerates frost and drought.

Distribution in Queensland

  • Found in Crows Nest, north of Toowoomba.

Life cycle

  • Seeds germinate in autumn to early winter.
  • Produces more than 1000 berries per square metre.
  • Becomes dormant in November.
  • New growth begins February-March.
  • Flowering occurs August-September.

Impacts

Environmental

  • Smothers native plants.
  • Forms a thick mat of underground tubers, impeding root growth of other plants and preventing seedling establishment.
  • Invades undisturbed habitats.
  • Threatens low shrubs and ground cover plants in mallee, dry sclerophyll forest and heath vegetation.

Economic

  • Causes losses to primary industries (e.g. by shading citrus and avocado trees and interfering with fruit picking).

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by birds, rabbits and foxes that eat fruit.
  • Also spread by movement of soil containing roots.

Control

Physical control

  • Difficult to control.
  • Keep uninfested areas clear.

See the WONS bridal creeper weed management guide for more control methods.

Herbicide control

  • Herbicides are most effective method of control.

Biological control

  • Biological control agents have been released in southern Australia. These agents are giving good control in many areas.

Legal requirements

  • Bridal creeper is a restricted invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • All sightings of bridal creeper must be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours of the sighting.
  • By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of spread of the plant until they receive advice from an authorised officer.
  • It must not be kept, moved, given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.

More information