CLEAVERS (Galium aperine)
Blackwood Biosecurity Inc. is concerned about increasing infestations of the invasive weed, Cleavers (Galium aparine), in the Bridgetown-Greenbushes Shire and needs your help.
We are mapping Cleavers along roadsides and in reserves, but we can’t reach everywhere and ask that you look for it on your property and elsewhere and let us know where you see it.
Cleavers is an annual scrambling herb which dies down in summer and germinates again about now with winter rains. It is highly invasive, with potential to infest large areas of the southwest, causing environmental and economic damage. It has small sticky hooks along its stems, at the tip and along the edges of leaves and even on its fruit, which readily catch on animals, birds, clothing and machinery. It often likes damp, partly shaded areas.
Cleavers is a highly invasive declared weed with potential to infest large areas of the southwest, causing environmental and economic damage. It is a robust annual sprawling herb with small sticky hooks along its stems, at the tip and along the edges of leaves and even on its fruit, which readily catch on animals, birds, clothing and machinery…..prompting common names such as velcro weed, sticky weed, bedstraw
Sticky, hooked cleavers seeds are dispersed by wind, water and by attaching themselves to people, machinery and animals (especially foxes, wild rabbits and feral pigs).
Cleavers is regarded as a threat to agriculture and the natural environment and is highly competitive, smothering other vegetation.
Plants seed several times a year and survive for up to 3 years in the soil. Cleavers dies down over summer but re-emerges in Spring, quickly sending up stems which grow to around 2 metres.