False Yellowhead

(Dittrichia viscosa)

False Yellowhead, photo Luigi Rignanese 

Status of false yellowhead in Tasmania

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

What does false yellowhead look like?

  • False yellowhead is an erect, bushy perennial (long-lived) shrub growing to 1.5 metres high. Young stems are covered in sticky hairs that give out a foul smell when crushed. The leaves are grey-green and serrated at the edges. The flowers are yellow and daisy-like and occur in clusters of 4-12 flowers. The root system is large and robust, making the plant difficult to pull out.
  • Germination occurs mostly in autumn after rain, but can occur at any time when moisture is available. Flowering occurs from mid-summer to mid-autumn.
  • False yellowhead spreads by seed. The seed has a bristly pappas (like a small parachute) which catches the wind or allows the seed to float in running water. Seed is also spread in contaminated soil and on machinery.
False Yellowhead, photo: Luigi Rignanese False Yellowhead, photo Luigi Rignanese
Images: false yellowhead flowers, leaves, and seeds, all © Luigi Rignanese.

Impacts of false yellowhead

  • False yellowhead is a potentially serious environmental weed. In south-west Western Australia, the weed grows on road verges, firebreaks, walking tracks and around wetlands. False yellowhead often establishes after mechanical disturbance or fire, but may also be able to spread into undisturbed bushland.

Where does false yellowhead occur?

  • False yellowhead is native to southern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.
  • False yellowhead has naturalised in Britain, and in Australia the weed has established in south-west Western Australia.
  • False yellowhead has naturalised in Tasmania.

What you need to do

  • If you locate false yellowhead anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be false yellowhead, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.
See also
Statutory Management Plan for False Yellowhead
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie
Weeds in Australia - Weed Management Guide

Important Disclaimer
To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website.