What is whiteweed?

(Cardaria draba)
Flowering whiteweed, image: Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaGeneric Weed Distribution Map
  • Whiteweed (also known as hoary cress) is a weed of crops.
  • Whiteweed is a declared weed under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of whiteweed are prohibited in Tasmania.

How to identify whiteweed

  • Whiteweed is closely related to crop plants such as cabbages and rapeseed. It is an erect, herbaceous (non-woody) plant growing to 90 cm high with white, umbrella shaped flower heads which appear in October and November. Individual flowers are 4mm in diameter with 4 white petals.
  • For help in identifying whiteweed, search the Dennis Morris Weeds and Endemic Flora Database for whiteweed illustrations. If you are still in doubt about the weed you are dealing with, contact your Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.
Whiteweed flowering, image:  Saint Mary's College of CaliforniaWhiteweed, image: Luigi Rignanese
Image top: Flowering whiteweed, image: Saint Mary's College of California
Images above, left to right: Flowering whiteweed, image: Saint Mary's College of California; Whiteweed, image: Luigi Rignanese

Whiteweed in Tasmania

  • Whiteweed is common in the south-eastern and Midlands areas of Tasmania and occurs occasionally in the north of the State (see map). White weed appears to be spreading in the Midlands and Derwent Valley, especially along roadsides.
  • Whiteweed is a significant weed of crops in Tasmania, reducing yields through competition with crop plants for moisture and nutrients. It is very difficult to control once it has become established in cropping paddocks. White weed is also thought to taint the meat and milk of grazing animals.

What is the legal status of whiteweed in your area?

Detailed management and control guidelines for boneseed can be found in the Whiteweed Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Whiteweed Control. For further information see DPIPWE's Weed Links and Resources.

See also
Whiteweed Control Guide
Herbicides for Whiteweed Control
Statutory Management Plan for whiteweed
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie

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