Bridal creeper is a Declared Weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999 and is a high priority for the Southern Tasmanian Weed Strategy.
Currently it is found at a limited number of sites across the region. Bridal creeper entered Australia as a garden plant in the 1870s.
With its spray of white flowers and tear drop-shaped leaves, bridal creeper was a favourite for wedding bouquets. The marriage went terribly wrong! Bridal creeper is now a Weed of National Significance and is regarded as one of Australia’s 20 worst weeds.
It invades coastal areas, creeklines, wet and dry forests, irrigated citrus orchards and pine plantations.
It out-competes understorey species and seedling trees with its carpet of thick lush foliage and can also climb and eventually smother taller plants.
The vines appear above ground in late winter through to late spring. Summer sees the above ground growth die off, leaving the tuberous mat under the ground that will nourish the plant until the leaves reappear in the following winter.
Bridal creeper has sharply pointed, shiny green leaves about 1-4cm long and up to 2cm wide with fine parallel veins. Leaves alternate on small branchlets, positioned off a slender central stem.
At each node or joint the stem changes direction, and slightly zig zags. Once well established, the plant will flower in late winter to early spring.
The white 6-petalled flowers are scented and hang individually from the stem. It then produces rich burgundy-red berries that are readily dispersed by birds and other animals.
About 1000 berries are produced per square meter/ mature plant each holding up to 9 seeds.
Below ground tubers are fleshy, up to 4cm long and 2cm wide and ending in thin roots, being grouped together like a bunch of pointy grapes. This root mass can account for up to 90% of the total plant weight.
Bridal creeper is recorded from a limited number of sites at Granton, Richmond, Montagu Bay, Droughty Point, Gordon’s Hill, Dowsing Point, Pearces Reserve Hobart, Jordan River, Dodges Ferry, Coningham, Penna, Hobart, Lauderdale, Cygnet, Dulcot, Coles Bay, Triabunna and Swansea.
For the best control method(s) for bridal creeper contact DPIPWE Weed Management Branch on 1300 368 550.
Please report all plants to the DPIPWE or email STCA Project Manager Weeds Sandy Leighton or phone 0437 450 143.