Origin: South Africa
Size: Climber to 4 metres
Best removal time: Autumn—Winter
Spray: July to September
Flowers: August to October
What it does
This creeper is highly invasive and aggressive. It can form large mats on the ground and large masses in the canopy of trees. It smothers trees and shrubs. It is listed as a ‘Weed of National Significance’ - one of the 20 worst weeds in Australia.
Bridal Creeper is a declared Noxious weed across Victoria as it has the potential to spread widely and cause serious economic loss to agriculture or have some detrimental effect upon people, animals, the environment or the local community.
What it looks like
Bridal Creeper grows rapidly in autumn/winter and dies back to the roots over summer. The leaves are bright green to 3cm long, broad and round at the base, coming to a point at the tip (similar to Wandering Trad). Stems are thin (like a dress pin) and wiry. A round green berry develops after the white flowers, ripening to red. It grows in drier areas such as ridges or open grassy forest and paddocks.
How it spreads
This plant spreads rapidly from bird and animal dispersed seed or from parts of the roots. Dumped garden waste, contaminated soil and machinery also contribute to its distribution.
Remove by Hand
Bridal Creeper grows from fibrous roots which have storage tubers - these must be dug out for best results. The above ground portion of the plant can be cut and left to die - this should be done before it fruits. The roots must be dug out and disposed of carefully.
Spray with herbicide
Bridal Creeper is best sprayed when the plant is just starting to flower. Use a registered product and ensure you check the label and follow instructions. Ring the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning on 136 186 for full details.
Indigenous alternatives to plant
Many plant alternatives exist that are indigenous to the Yarra Ranges region and would make great substitutes for this weed species. Some alternatives include:
Common Apple-berry, Billardiera mutabilis
Mountain Clematis, Clematis aristata
How to dispose of weeds
By disposing of environmental weeds correctly you can prevent re-infestation on your property and elsewhere.
- Landfill (Weed Wipeout Tip vouchers available for some species).
- Green waste bins ensure that weeds are not able to spread.
- Woody weed stems can be bundled for green collection twice per annum.
- Composting (excluding seed heads or species with vegetative reproduction, e.g. Wandering Trad).
- Burning in accordance with Council and the Country Fire Authority (CFA) prescribed burning periods and regulations.
- Recovery and transfer stations available for weed tipping are Healesville, Wesburn, Coldstream, Lysterfield and Montrose.
Non-chemical treatment is often the most effective and safe option especially on smaller scale infestations.
Where chemical use is undertaken:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when using chemicals.
- Wear protective clothing and eyewear.
- When purchasing your herbicide, always ask for a Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or refer to the manufacturer’s website for specific safety guidelines and information.
- Some herbicides will kill other plants and not just the target species.
- When used near waterways herbicides can be very poisonous to aquatic life.
- Use chemicals sparingly and be sure that you are using the right chemical and application technique.
- Ensure the weather conditions are suitable (e.g. minimal wind and no rain expected).
- Apply herbicides at the correct time during the plant’s growth cycle so you get the best results.