St Lucia Golf Course Bush Care Group

Weed identification and non-weed lookalikes

Balloon vine

Blue heliotrope

Brazilian pepper tree

Callisia fragrans – this is a garden escapee – very attractive but only in the right place.

Cats Claw creeper – this is widespread. It has large tubers and simply cutting if off is not effective. Painting the stump with glyphosate is needed.

Chinese Elm – very common weed that can grow into a large tree. The seeds are spread by birds.

Coral Berry Ardisia crenata

Dyschoriste depressa

Giant Devil’s Fig Weed

Glycine creeper (Neonotonia wightii) is widespread and rapidly invades the tree canopy.

Ochna is a garden escapee. In its right place it is an attractive shrub but now is a highly invasive weed.

Parthenium weed (also known by the common names – false ragweed, bitter weed, carrot grass, congress grass, parthenium, Santa Maria). Care is required in removing it as it can cause quite serious allergies. Gloves and mask are recommended.

Sanservieria is now grouped with Dracaena and has a range of common names – snake plant, mother-in-laws tongue. It is a widely grown ornamental but a plague in the bush.

Thickhead (also known as redflower ragweed) Crassocephalum crepidioides

The good guys… Some plants look like weeds but are in fact desirable natives.

It climbs from left to right when viewed from above. The leaves have a prominent central vein.

This is parsonia (Parsonsia stamina) commonly known as Monkey rope. It can easily be confused with Moth vine or Snake vine neither of which are natives and are often problematic.

Snake vine (left), Monkey vine (centre) and Moth vine (right).

There is an excellent web site – Distinguishing weeds from natives – which is a valuable resource. It includes many examples of plants which can be confused with natives.








This is the scrambling lily (Geitonoplesium cymosum). It has alternating leaves, white flowers and black berries when mature.

Useful references

Weeds of the north coast of NSW. This is an extremely extensive review of environmental weeds many of which are found in the Brisbane region. Download the PDF and have a good read!