Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Tickweed (513)

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  • Widespread. In Australia, and most Pacific island countries.
  • Annual, often perennial, fast-growing, found in many soil types - woodlands, open forests, monsoon forests, grasslands, fallow land, wasteland, along roadsides. Mostly, weed of rice and sugarcane. Invasiveness assisted by seeds without dormancy and rapid reproduction.
  • Stems up to 1.5m, hairy, sticky, possibly woody at base. Leaves, 3-5 oval leaflets, with long stalks, hairy, round or pointed at ends. Three to six flowers on unbranched stalks, up to 40cm, each with four rectangular to oval yellow petals (8-16mm long), and leaf-like sepals behind. Flowers open in mornings only. Fruits, hairy, sticky, ridged, up to 10cm.
  • Spread: seeds dispersed by wind and water, on machinery/vehicles, livestock, clothes. Sent internationally and used in traditional medicines.
  • Biosecurity: risk from sticky fruits easily moved on animals/people/vehicles. Declared noxious weed in USA. Seed is available for purchase on the Internet.
  • Biocontrol: none.
  • Cultural control: hand-weed; mulch (5-10cm) to prevent seedling growth; clean soil and seeds from machinery/vehicles; check clothing; prevent access to livestock.
  • Chemical control: CABI - monolinuron, trifluralin, metribuzin, diuron, oxadiazon, chlorbromuron, atrazine, prometryne, terbutryne. Only metribuzin registered in EU. In Australia, first five registered. Other suggestions - 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPA, (registered in Australia and EU). In Fiji, glyphosate.
Common Name

Tickweed; it is also known as Asian spider-flower, dog mustard, wild mustard, yellow cleome.

Scientific Name

Cleome viscosa. Previously, it was known as Polanisia viscosa. It is a member of the Cleomaceae, a family closely related to the Brassicaceae.

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson & Makereta Ranadi
Information from Cleome viscosa L. Atlas of living Australia. (; and CABI (2021) Cleome viscosa (Asian spiderflower). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Cleome viscosa (2021) Wikipedia. (; and Unknown (2007) Cleome viscosa. Electronic flora of South Australia. Department of Land and Water, Government of South Australia. (; and Fern K (2021) Cleome viscosa L. Tropical Plants Database. (; and CSIRO (2020 Cleome viscosa. Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants. (; and Cleome viscosa (PROTA) (2021) [email protected] Use. (; and from CABI (2015) Cleome viscosa (Asian spiderflower). Invasive Species Compendium. ( Photo 1 Plague (2021) Flower buds and fruits of Cleome viscosa. ( Photo 2 Kevin Thiele (2012) KRT4566. From Perth, Australia. ( Photo 3 Plague (2021) Leaf of Cleome viscosa. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland, in association with the Pacific Community and Koronivia Research Station, Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji.

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