What is tumbleweed?(Amaranthus albus)
- Tumbleweed is a weed of roadsides and waste areas.
- Tumbleweed is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of tumbleweed are prohibited in Tasmania.
How to identify tumbleweed
is an annual herb (living for one year) with pale green to white stems
and growing to 30 to 90 cm high. Clusters of small, greenish flowers are
carried in the axils of the leaves (note that other common species of Amaranthus
in Tasmania produce flowers in clusters at the end of branches). Seeds
germinate in late spring to early summer. Flowering is between
mid-summer and autumn, and plants die off in autumn. Tumbleweed can have
two flowering events in a season, and a single plant can produce
several hundred thousand seeds.
- Tumbleweed plants grow in a
bushy, semi-globular form. At the end of the growing season the plant
withers and detaches from its base, and the dried bush is then blown
along the ground in a 'tumbling' manner. Seeds can be scattered over
wide distances by the tumbling bush.
Image top: Tumbleweed (Image: L Rignanese)
Image above left: Tumbleweed (Image: S Matson)
Image above right: Tumbleweed (Image: P Martin II)
Tumbleweed in Tasmania
- In Tasmania
tumbleweed is found mostly in association with railway lines. Tumbleweed
has been recorded from the north-west between Forest and Stanley, at
Deloraine in the north, at Bridgewater and in the Derwent Valley in the
south, and in the Midlands (see map).
In Tasmania, all infestations have been associated with railway lines,
suggesting seed may have been transported in or on rail cars.
is a serious weed of roadsides and waste areas, crops, and unimproved
pasture. Tumbleweed does not appear to invade undisturbed sites.
What is the legal status of tumbleweed in your area?Detailed management and control guidelines for tumbleweed can be found in the Tumbleweed Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Tumbleweed Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.
Tumbleweed Control Guide
Statutory Management Plan for Tumbleweed
Weed Links and Resources
Other useful links
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