Creeping Yellowcress

(Rorippa sylvestris)
Creeping Yellowcress - flowering plant, Christian Goninon

What is creeping yellowcress?

  • Creeping yellowcress is a native of Europe, West Asia and North Africa. It is known to be a weed of horticulture and riparian areas.
  • Creeping yellowcress is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of creeping yellowcress are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify creeping yellowcress

  • Creeping yellowcress is a perennial (long-lived) herb with a mat-forming habit. The stems are erect and branching from the base, and grow to 70 cm high. The leaves are dark green and divided into fine toothed lobes. The flowers are bright yellow and the fruit is three times longer than wide and has a short beak. Creeping yellowcress has an extensive spreading system of rhizomes (underground stems).
  • Spread is via rhizomes and rhizome fragments; fertile seed is not produced. Rhizome fragments can be spread in contaminated soil, on machinery and in horticultural material.
Creeping yellowcress infestation, photo: Chrisian Goninon
Image top: Creeping yellowcress flowering plant, © Christian Goninon.
Image above: Creeping yellowcress infestation, © Christian Goninon.

Creeping yellowcress in Tasmania

  • Creeping yellowcress has been detected as a weed of several ornamental bulb enterprises in southern Tasmania, and the weed has been recorded as naturalised in the Huon Valley municipality. It has also been recorded in South Australia.
  • It can be an extremely persistent weed. Rhizomes intertwine with the roots of desired plants and selective control is very difficult. Experience in the United States, where creeping yellowcress has spread along riparian areas indicates its potential to impact upon natural areas.

What you need to do

  • If you locate creeping yellowcress anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be creeping yellowcress, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.
  • Control of creeping yellowcress will depend on the situation where it occurs. Contact DPIPWE to discuss control options.

What is the legal status of creeping yellowcress in your area?

See also
Creeping Yellowcress Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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