Growth Habit: Wireweed is a scrambling, prostrate weed able to grow in a wide range of soils. Very young plants look like fine grass. Young plants may be erect, but this species usually has a spreading and scrambling habit, overgrowing surrounding vegetation. It has small alternate leaves that are hairless like the stem. This tough stem, which can grow up to 1 m 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 29 mm), whilst others may have leaves that measure 30 to 50 mm 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.
- A major weed of arable crops. Its tough wiry stems often interfere with harvesting operations.
For further information contact the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmania.
- Herbicide. For roadsides, waste areas and pastures, herbicides registered for use include glyphosate, metsulfuron, MCPA and dicamba. Contact DPIPWE for specific recommendations for in-crop use.
N.B. Always check the herbicide label before use.