Macquarie Valley Weeds Committee & Lachlan Valley Weeds Advisory Committee


Noogoora Burr

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Botanical Name: Xanthium occidentale
Other Common Names:


Class Regions
Class 4Bland Shire Council,Bogan Shire Council,Bourke Shire Council,Brewarrina Shire Council,Cabonne Council,Castlereagh Macquarie County Council,Cobar Shire Council,Cootamundra Shire Council,Cowra Council,Forbes Shire Council,Lachlan Shire Council,Mid-Western Regional Council,Narromine Shire Council,Orange City Council,Parkes Shire Council,Upper Macquarie County Council,Weddin Shire Council,Wellington
Landholder Responsibilities: The growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority
Why Is It Bad?: Noogoora Burr is spread easily because of the burr's hooked spines, which cling firmly to wool or fur of animals, to their tail or mane, to bags and to clothing. Burrs can also spread in flood waters and this accounts for the plants spreading along rivers and streams. Noogoora Burr is toxic to most livestock at the seedling stage. They can cause contact allergy, dermatitis and mechanical injury both to humans and animals. They can also be a major source of vegetable fault in wool, thereby reducing its value.


Habit: Herb
Leaves: Leaves are large and grape like and alternate on stems. They are 7 to 15 cm in diameter and have prominent veins. Veins are purplish.
Flowers: The flowers are inconspicuous. They form in clusters containing both male and female flowers along slender branchlets and in leaf axils. The male flower grows at the end of the branchlet. Female flowers develop to become the fruit (burr). Flowering occurs from late February to April.
Fruit: The burr is hard and woody, densely covered with hooked spines and terminal breaks, and is brown when mature. There are two seeds in each burr, one slightly larger than the other.
Roots: Noogoora burr has a stout taproot.

Control Methods

Manual Removal: Hand hoeing or chipping is only economical in small areas or sparsely populated situations. It is very labour intensive.
Chemical Use: Noogoora burrs are susceptible to herbicides suited to a range of situations and regualtions. Chemicals are most effective if the plants are young and actively growing. Plants under severe moisture or weather stress are difficult to kill.
Slashing & Cutting:
Biological Control: Since 1932 there have been four species introduced for controlling Noogoora burr in Queensland: * Euaresta aequalis (1932 - 40) * Mecas saturnina (1962 - 63) * Nupserha vexator ( 1964 - 1965; and in NSW - 1971) * Epiblema strenuana a stem galling moth which was introduced in Australia in 1982 for the control of Parthenium weed in Queensland and was found to be also affecting Noogoora burr. These species of insects have had little of no effect in controlling Noogoora burr within NSW.
Grazing: Grazing of Noogoora burr plants is an option, using sheep before flowering and after the cotyledon leaves have dried. A number of researchers and graziers have maintained that adult plants are not easily eaten by livestock, becasue of the roughness of the leaves and stems. Care needs to be taken with grazing to ensure there are no seedling plants, which could kill animals.
Cultivation & Scalping:


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Image Credit: Lucas Hayes

Image Credit: Lucas Hayes

Image Credit: Don Mackenzie

Image Credit: Don Mackenzie

Image Credit: Don Mackenzie

Image Credit: Lucas Hayes

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