Form: herbaceous climber — annual
Status: present in WA
Native to Europe and western Asia.
Cotyledons: Oval and wider towards the base. The apex is notched.
Stems: Sprawling stems sometimes greater than one metre long. Stems are square (if cut across) and have minute backward pointing prickles on the corners
Leaves: Mature leaves are narrow, with a soft pointed tip, arranged in whorls of six to eight (that is, they are all attached at the same point or node). In mature plant, leaves have fine backward pointing prickles on the margin.
Flowers: Small, four white petals.
Fruit: Globular and densely covered with hooked bristles and produced in pairs; each fruit is three millimetres in diameter.
Agriculture and economic impact
Cleavers (Galium aparine) is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales. It invades a variety of native habitats including dry coastal vegetation, coastal sand dunes, rocky sites, open woodlands, temperate rainforests, wetlands and riparian areas.
This weed commonly occurs in vegetable crops, beets, pastures, vineyards and plantation crops, however it is most troublesome in cereals, where it may cause large yield reductions, interfere with harvesting, cause lodging, and in some instances smother the entire crop.
Declared pest category
The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Search for cleavers in the WAOL usinng the scientific name Galium aparine.
Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons
Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.
Search > detect > report
Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
Report: the presence of this organism before undertaking a control measure. Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the cleavers control link.
Further information on cleavers can be found on the cleavers: what you should know page.