Residential weeds

Residential Weed Control for the City of Cockburn

Environmental weed invasion has been identified as one of the major threats to biodiversity conservation across Western Australia and on a national scale. Weeds compete with native plants for space, water and nutrients and can alter the vegetation in our bushland reserves.  The City of Cockburn encourages all residents to help control weeds on their properties.  This educational brochure provides you with basic information on recognising problem weeds within the City and methods of their control.  For more information please contact the City’s Environmental Services team.

What is a weed?

Weeds are plants that grow in sites (not necessarily non-native) where they are not wanted and have detectable environmental or economic impacts. Many garden plants have the potential to ‘escape’ and become environmental weeds in local bushland.

Some weeds are listed as Declared Plants (DP) and Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) under state legislation and therefore there’s a legal requirement to manage them.

Why are weeds a problem?

Weeds compete with native plants for space, water and nutrients and can alter the vegetation in our bushland reserves. Weeds can also increase the frequency and intensity of bushland fires. Weeds are a major threat to Australia’s biodiversity by reducing habitat and available food sources for native fauna.

What can you do?

To reduce the spread of weeds follow these steps on your property:

  • Remove weeds before seed sets. Seeds remain viable for several years
  • Dispose of garden waste responsibly in your general waste or garden organics bin, compost bin or at Henderson Waste Recovery Park
  • Monitor weeded areas to ensure they do not re-establish
  • Mulch or plant a dense groundcover which can eliminate weeds
  • Ask nurseries for soil and landscaping materials that are free of weed seed
  • Avoid planting weeds in your garden but opt for native plants from your local area instead. Sometimes plants from eastern Australia are labelled as ‘native’ but may be invasive weeds in WA.

See our ‘grow local plants’ brochures for ideas on suitable native species.

Common garden escapees in the City of Cockburn

Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) and Declared Pest (DP) plants

Blackberry (Rubus sp)

Forms dense thickets. The prickly stems take root where they touch the ground.
Provides food and shelter for rabbits and foxes.

*Control: CH
Declared pest

Bridal Creeper (Asparagus asparagoides)

Extremely invasive climber. Smothers vegetation. Seeds are quickly spread by birds. Dies back over summer.

*Control: CH - when flowering
Declared pest

Arum Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica)

Poisonous to people and animals. Renewed annually from corms. Can form large clumps. Spreads from seed and tubers.

*Control: CH
Declared pest

Paterson’s Curse (Echium plantagineum)

Poisonous to mammals. May cause skin irritation. Can produce many seeds.

*Control: CH – when most seed has germinated
Declared pest

Other environmental weeds

Caltrop (Tribulus terrestris)

Rapid mat-forming annual. One plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds and up to 1,000 fruit. The fruit is covered in sharp and rigid spines. Punctures bicycle tires and penetrates animal paws.

*Control: CH
Declared pest

Geraldton Carnation (Euphorbia terracina)

Noxious weed. Forms dense thickets. Poisonous and irritating milky sap when cut.

*Control: MA, CH

Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

Fast growing. Each plant has an average of 100 seeds. Can increase fire fuels.

*Control: MA, CH

Castor Oil (Ricinus communis)

Very fast growing. Seeds are poisonous to humans and stock. Spreads by seed.

*Control: CH

Perennial Veldt Grass (Ehrharta calycina)

Serious weed. Supresses other plants germination. Sets large amounts of seed. Usually dies during summer months. Significant fire hazard.

*Control: CH – when actively growing

Japanese/Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolia)

Reproduces by seed and suckers. Interferes with growth of surrounding plants.

*Control: CH

Gladiolus (Gladiolus caryophyllaceus)

Annual renewed corm. Spreads by seed and corm. Dominant weed in native bushlands.

*Control: CH – just on flowering for corm exhaustion

Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia)

Grows rapidly in different soil types and conditions. Reproduces prolifically by seed.

*Control: MA, ME, CH

Fumitory Sp (Fumaria sp)

Can be difficult to control. Reproduces by seed. Seed vialble for 20 years.

*Control: CH, MA – when young       


Weed control methods

  • MA – Manual Control: hand pulling, hand tools (weeding knife, trowel)
  • ME – Mechanical Control: brushcutting, slashing, felling
  • CH – Chemical control: herbicide spraying and herbicide injection. Ensure you always read the labels and wear personal protective equipment (PPE)

Further Information 

More Information and Contact

Please contact Environmental Services for more information on 08 9411 3444 or at [email protected]



City of Cockburn
Whadjuk Boodja
9 Coleville Crescent,
Spearwood 6163

PO Box 1215, Bibra Lake DC,
Western Australia, 6965

Office opening hours:
8.30am to 4.30pm
Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)

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Cockburn Nyungar moort Beeliar boodja-k kaadadjiny. Koora, yeyi, benang baalap nidja boodja-k kaaradjiny.
Ngalak kaadatj dayin boodja, kep wer malayin. Ngalak kaadatj koora koora wer yeyi ngalang birdiya.

City of Cockburn acknowledges the Nyungar people of Beeliar boodja. Long ago, now and in the future they care for Country.
We acknowledge a continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to the Elders, past and present.