False cleavers

(Galium spurium)

False cleavers

Status of false cleavers in Tasmania

  • False cleavers is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of false cleavers are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with false cleavers are laid out in the Statutory Management Plan for False Cleavers.

What does false cleavers look like?

  • False cleavers is an annual herb with either a climbing or prostrate (ground-hugging) growth habit. The stems grow to 40 cm long, are square with short, backward-pointing hairs at the base of each leaf. The stem leaves are narrow and occur in whorls of 6 to 8 leaves around the stem. The leaves are pointed and covered with bristly hooked hairs. The greenish-cream flowers are saucer-like and arise in clusters of 3 to 5 from branchlets in the leaf axils. The seeds are carried in paired nutlets which are also covered in short, hooked hairs.
  • Spread is by seed. Seed can be spread as a contaminant of agricultural products.

False cleaversFalse cleavers

Image top: False cleavers in flower, © Leo Michels.
Image above L-R: False cleavers foliage, © Leo Michels.

Impacts of false cleavers

  • False cleavers is a serious crop weed.

Where does false cleavers occur

  • False cleavers s is a native of continental Europe. On mainland Australia, false cleavers has naturalised in Western Australia and South Australia.
  • False cleavers has not naturalised in Tasmania. It is recorded as an occasional contaminant of imported agricultural products, in particular Canadian clover seed.

What you need to do

  • If you locate false cleavers anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be false cleavers, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Statutory Management Plan for False Cleavers
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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