What weed is that?





This very useful quick guide to ways to recognise, identify, and deal with some of the most common or troublesome weeds found in Brisbane is excerpted from the BCC Habitat Brisbane group’s February 2023 newsletter:

Getting to know your weeds

If you’re new to bushcare then the prospect of trying to tell the ‘desirable’ plants on your site from the ‘undesirables’ can be quite daunting. 

The best way to get to know the plants on your bushcare site is experience, and focusing on learning just a few new ones each time you go. Learning the weeds first is often easier than trying to learn the native plants, as there are usually less different types of weeds at sites than there are natives . A good rule of thumb is if you aren’t sure what it is, leave it be.    

That said, there’s some great resources online to help you learn the common bushland weeds. Save Our Waterways Now(SOWN) have a very useful website, including a Weeds to Whack page, featuring their Dirty Dozen –  the worst weeds in the Enoggera Creek catchment.  If you got familiar with those twelve you’d be off to a good start, although not all may be present at your bushcare site.        

The Moggill Creek Catchment Group have a similar resource for their catchment here.

Brisbane City Council also has a very helpful on-line weed ID tool.  You can use various filters, like plant type, flower or foliage colour and leaf shape, to help narrow down what weed you may have.

If you get really stuck trying to identify something then you can always ask the experts on Social Media. We know that sounds like a recipe for misinformation, however there’s a couple of very useful Facebook groups where you can post photos of the plant you are interested in, and other members will help you ID it. Just look up Queensland Plant Identification and / orBushcarers & Regenerators SEQ on Facebook. If you are on social media, these groups are worth following, as there’s always new images of plants (natives, exotics and weeds) being posted, and lots on very knowledgeable people there willing to ID them.   

You could also sign up to iNaturalist, post a record of your ‘unknown’ weed and not only will it be identified by the amazing online community, the record will become part of the Atlas of Living Australia. AND you can use it to help create your own personalised weed (and native!) species list for your bushcare site. See the past Habitat Brisbane updates for more information on how to sign up for and use iNaturalist.      

Before you race in there to remove your newly identified weed, keep in mind that in some situations weeds can also be playing an important role in providing habitat, preventing erosion, shading the soil and feeding the soil microbiome. Each site and situation will be different, so its important to consider things in context and manage your weeds accordingly.


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