Elisha's Tears Control Guide

Spread of Elisha's tears

Elisha's tears flower cluster, photo: T. Rudman

  • Elisha's tears reproduces by seed and stem layering.
  • Mature plants can produce hundreds of fruit over summer and autumn, with each fruit containing up to 100 seeds. Seed is dispersed by birds and possibly by foxes and possums, in water, by slashing and during removal of the weed.
  • Stem layering occurs where stems contact moist soil and send down roots. Dislodged fragments of stem that fall on moist soil may also regenerate. Vegetative (stem) material can be spread by slashing and during removal of the weed.

Physical removal

  • Seedlings or small plants can be hand-pulled or dug out, taking care to remove any crown that has developed, as well as any layered stems.
  • The material should be disposed of by burning where safe to do so, or by piling plants where they cannot layer.
  • Care should also be taken to remove fruit to prevent accidental seed dispersal during disposal.
  • Large plants can have extensive root systems, and digging out or mechanical removal may lead to soil erosion. Alternative control options should be considered for larger plants.


  • Elisha's tears is not killed by shading from other plants, so the establishment of competition is not an effective means of control.
  • Where Elisha's tears has been removed, re-establishing native vegetation can inhibit the germination of Elisha's tears seed.
  • Re-establishing native vegetation can also be useful in stabilising stream-banks after weed removal.

Chemical control

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