Wireweed

Polygonum aviculare
Family: Polygonaceae

Growth Habit: Wireweed is a scrambling, prostrate weed able to grow in a wide range of soils. It has small alternate leaves that are hairless like the stem. This tough stem which can grow up to 1m in length has longitudinal ridges. There is quite a deal of variation between plants growing in different conditions. Some plants may be a darker green or blue/ green and have smaller leaves (15 to 29mm), whilst others may have leaves that measure 30 to 50mm and be much lighter in colour.

Type of Plant: Wireweed is an aggressive, fast growing annual.

Flowers: There are 2 to 5 tiny flowers per cluster which are white with a possible hint of pink. These measure about 2mm in diameter and are located along the stems.

Fruit/Seed: A few tiny seeds are produced per flower.

Dispersal: Reproduction occurs purely by seed, with germination mainly in spring and early summer.

Distribution: Widespread throughout the State, including cropping and grazing lands, gardens, roadsides and waste places.

Status: Undeclared in Tasmania.

Weed Impact:

  • A major weed of arable crops. Its tough wiry stems often interfere with harvesting operations.

For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment, Tasmania.

Control Methods:

  • Herbicide. For roadsides, waste areas and pastures, herbicides registered for use include glyphosate, metsulfuron, MCPA and dicamba. Contact DPIWE for specific recommendations for in-crop use.

N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.