Bathurst Bur

Also known as:
Spiny Cocklebur
South America

General description

Erect, much-branched annual herb <1m high, branched taproot. Small creamy green flowers (Mar-Apr). Alternate, lobed leaves <7cm in length, shiny, dark green topside, downy, pale green underside. Straight spines on greenish-yellow stems & hooked spines on burs. Plants die off in early winter after producing burs.

Prefers high fertility, moderately warm situations: pasture, wasteland, coastal areas, disturbed sites. Common around stockyards, gates, races.

Burs catch in wool, hides, clothing, also via waterways 50% of seeds remain dormant for 2-3 years.

Burs contaminate wool, break shearing combs. Plant spines damage feet of stock. Burs cause skin irritations & dermatitis in some people. Seedlings poisonous to stock. Fungal host in horticultural crops. Contaminates maize & sorghum seed.

Site management

Avoid soil disturbance & bare ground. Maintain good pasture cover to prevent re-establishment. Replant with native species where appropriate.

Recommended approaches

1. Grub out plants before flowering (Mar-Apr).
2. Spray before plants set seed (1g metsulfuron + 20ml penetrant/10L or 120ml Tordon Gold/10L or 25ml clopyralid/10L or 100ml glyphosate/10L). Do not use clopyralid in home gardens.

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

Noogoora bur
Xanthium occidentale

Noogoora bur has much larger leaves and lacks the three spines at the base of each leaf.

RPMS status

Containment (removal) - Whole Region
Surveillance - Whole Region
bathurst bur - Main species image