What does it look like?
Bathurst bur is a spiny plant that grows up to 1m tall; it has well-branched upright stems with triple spines grouped in opposite pairs. The leaves are three-pronged, narrow and pointed with a white midrib above and a whitish colour on the underside. Bathurst bur has inconspicuous flowers and the fruit are bur-like with hooked spines.
Bathurst bur can adapt to a wide range of climatic conditions, although it prefers moist soil, as it has a high water requirement. It is usually found on fertile, disturbed or bare ground, particularly in pasture and cultivated areas.
Why is it a problem?
Bathurst bur is a highly invasive weed and can quickly dominate large areas, out-competing crops, forage plants and native flora. It spreads entirely by seeds, which are within the spiny burs. Seed may lie dormant for many years before germinating, forming a very long-lived seed bank.
- Avoid soil disturbance and bare ground.
- Maintain good pasture cover to prevent re-establishment.
- Replant with native species where appropriate.
- Grub out plants before flowering (March to April).
Spray before plants set seed with either:
- 1g metsulfuron + 20ml penetrant per 10L water.
- 120ml Tordon Max per 10L water.
- 25ml clopyralid per 10L water. *Do not use clopyralid in home gardens*.
- 100ml glyphosate per 10L water.