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Bridal Creeper: (Asparagus asparagoides) What does it look like?

Bridal creeper is a perennial climber growing to 3m tall with a tuberous root system growing rapidly in autumn/winter, dying back to roots over summer. The glossy leaves are a distinct bright green colour 3cm long. A mass of scented white flowers appear in late winter, followed by small green berries in spring. The berries ripen to red during summer.

Bridal creeper is a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) as it readily invades disturbed and undisturbed vegetation across a wide range of habitats.

Where did it come from?
Bridal creeper comes from South Africa. It entered the country as a garden plant and was first recorded in a nursery catalogue in 1857. It proved very popular in bridal bouquets and as a plant for hanging baskets.

Why is it a problem?
Left uncontrolled, it can have significant impacts on natural ecosystems. The plant can dominate ground flora forming dense curtains that smother shrubs and the lower canopy of trees. Bridal creeper has a number of features that make it difficult to control – its tuber reserves provide a buffer against adverse seasons, it has a wide germination range and it can invade undisturbed areas.

What can I do about bridal creeper?
Hand removal All underground tubers need to be removed. A small mattock to get leverage is the best way to go. All removed material should be double bagged and disposed of appropriately as removed tubers have been shown to survive without light for two years.

Herbicide application Care must be taken to avoid damage to surrounding vegetation. Follow all labels.

How is Bridal Creeper managed in Dog Rocks Flora & Fauna Sanctuary in Batesford?
BFS Landcare group received funding from the State Government  - Communities for Nature Small Grants 2013-2015, to assist in the restoration of the sanctuary and the protection of regional diversity. Specifically the grant funds weed control and pest animal control.

Annually we engage an accredited weed control contractor to undertake control of severe infestations of Bridal Creeper in DRFFS. Boneseed and Serrated Tussock, also Weeds of National Significance, we endeavour to remove by hand.

Photo-points have been established to monitor the success of herbicide application and a weed map has been generated,


      Bridal creeper infestation                                                       Bridal creeper foliage

Photos: Mark Imhof

Source of information:  Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources