Ernwag & Wrnwag

Devastating noxious weed discovered in Wagga Wagga

Wagga Wagga City Council has made a positive identification of the potentially environmentally devastating noxious plant, Alligator Weed, within the urban area of the City and is now alerting residents to report any sightings to Council so appropriate action can be taken.

Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) grows in water and on land, affecting both waterways and floodplain areas. It is listed as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS).

Alligator Weed is listed as a Control Class 2 Noxious Weed within the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area, which means “The plant must be eradicated from the land and the land must be kept free of the plant”.

It is a native of South America and a major problem in south-eastern United States, China, New Zealand, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia and India. Alligator weed is considered one of the world's worst weeds because it impacts on both aquatic and terrestrial environments.

Through vigilant detection and eradication, Alligator Weed has not reached its potential distribution in Australia or within NSW, but has the ability to devastate the environment and agriculture if left unchecked.

Alligator weed has extremely vigorous growth and great tolerance of normal control measures, which makes it a major threat to wetlands, rivers and irrigation systems. It is declared a noxious weed throughout NSW and is one of the highest priority weeds for detection and management in NSW.

Alligator weed is a summer growing perennial herb. It has small white papery flower heads 8–10 mm in diameter, generally appearing from November to March. The flowers grow at the end of short stalks which rise from the leaf axils.

If you believe you have Alligator weed please contact Wagga Wagga City Council Vegetation Management staff on 1300 292442 and they will advise you on the appropriate action to take.  Please do not dig it out and put it in the green waste as this will cause further spread.