Burr - Bathurst burr (Xanthium spinosum)

Profile

Impact

Bathurst burr is amongst the most common and economically serious weeds in Australian agriculture. The burrs readily adhere to the wool of sheep. Wool contaminated by Bathurst burrs represents a substantial cost as additionally processing is required to separate the burrs. Bathurst burrs are also a significant weed of summer crops and horticultural crops.

Distribution

Bathurst burr is an annual weed which grows through the summer months in warm and temperate regions of the world. It has naturalised in New South Wales and currently ranges from the coast to the western plains. Bathurst burr was one of the first plants declared noxious in NSW in Urana Shire in 1907.

Description

Bathurst burr is a compact annual, summer growing herb. Stems produce many groups of 3-pronged, stiff, yellowish spines at the base of each leaf or branch. Leaves are dark green with prominent white veins, lighter underneath due to a covering of fine hairs. Leaves are divided into three irregular lobes. Burrs are 1 to 1.5 cm long, covered in numerous hooked spines. 

References

Auld BA and Medd RW (1999). Weeds. An illustrated botanical guide to the weeds of Australia. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

Parsons WT and Cuthbertson EC (2001). Noxious weeds in Australia 2nd Edn, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

back to top

Control

Cultivation

Cultivation is an effective method of controlling the seedlings of these weeds. Successive flushes of seedlings during the summer may require follow up control. Inter-row cultivation is commonly used in row cropping such as sorghum, corn and cotton to control seedlings that have germinated after irrigation events.

Slashing

Slashing or mowing are useful in clean-up operations after spraying with herbicide or if infestations are small and scattered. Any burrs from the plant should be removed from the equipment to prevent spread.

Chipping

Chipping or hand hoeing is only economical for small areas, individual plants or isolated populations. It is an effective follow up control method for plants not controlled by other methods to prevent seed set.

Surveillance

After controlling burr plants it is important to monitor these sites for further germination events. High risk areas for new infestations include flood prone areas or areas where stock from burr infested areas have been.

Pasture management

Maintaining ground cover in pastures is vital. Pasture gaps result in an increase in burr germination and seedling survival. It is important to ensure that pastures are not overgrazed in spring and summer to reduce the potential for the establishment of burrs and other weeds.

Grazing

Adult plants are not easily eaten by livestock, due to the roughness of the leaves and stems. Care needs to be taken when grazing to ensure there are no seedling plants, which are toxic to animals and could result in death.

Herbicides

Bathurst burrs are susceptible to a range of foliar and residual herbicides. 

Foliar herbicides are most effective if the plants are young and actively growing. Plants suffering from moisture stress are difficult to kill. Older plants may require repeat applications. Late control with some herbicides, when the burrs are green, can result in seed sterility – however this is not recommended as the primary form of control.

In crops, residual pre-emergent herbicides are useful, although there are sometimes problems as the burr can germinate and emerge from relatively deep in the soil, below the residual herbicide band. Follow-up control in the form of chipping or inter-row cultivation may be required. Spot spraying is an important tool for areas that are difficult to access and for scattered plants.

Herbicide options

WARNING - ALWAYS READ THE LABEL
Users of agricultural or veterinary chemical products must always read the label and any permit, before using the product, and strictly comply with the directions on the label and the conditions of any permit. Users are not absolved from compliance with the directions on the label or the conditions of the permit by reason of any statement made or not made in this information. To view permits or product labels go to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority website www.apvma.gov.au

See Using herbicides for more information.


2,4-D 300 g/L + Picloram 75 g/L (Tordon® 75-D)
Rate: 1 L per Hectare
Comments: Boom spray application
Withholding period: 1-8 weeks (see label).
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


2,4-D amine 625 g/L (Amicide® 625)
Rate: 80–110 mL per 150 L water
Comments: Spot spray. Seedlings only, actively growing.
Withholding period: 7 days.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


2,4-D LV ester 680g/L (Estercide® Xtra)
Rate: 1.7 to 3.3 L per hectare
Comments: Boom spray application, use higher rates on mature plants
Withholding period: 7 days
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 200 g/L (Starane™)
Rate: 75 mL per 100 L of water
Comments: Apply to actively growing plants.
Withholding period: 7 days.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


Fluroxypyr 333 g/L (Starane™ Advanced)
Rate: 45 mL per 100 L water
Comments: Apply to actively growing plants.
Withholding period: 7 days.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


MCPA 500 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 1-2 L/ha
Comments: Apply at seedling stage.
Withholding period: 7 days.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate


back to top

Legal requirements

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Noxious Weeds Act 1993.

All species in the Xanthium genus are declared.

Area Class Legal requirements
Albury 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Bega Valley 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Bellingen 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Bland 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Blue Mountains 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Cabonne 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Camden 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Campbelltown 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Carrathool 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Castlereagh Macquarie County Council 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Central Murray County Council 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Clarence Valley 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Cobar 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Coffs Harbour 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Cootamundra-Gundagai 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread only in the area formerly known as Cootamundra Shire Council
Cowra 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Eurobodalla 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Federation 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread only in the area formerly known as Urana Shire Council
Forbes 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Glen Innes Severn 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Goulburn Mulwaree 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Greater Hume 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Gunnedah 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Kempsey 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Lachlan 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Leeton 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Liverpool Plains 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Lockhart 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Mid-Coast 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Mid-Western Regional 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Moree Plains 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Murray River (formerly Wakool) 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Murrumbidgee 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Nambucca 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Narrandera 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Narromine 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
New England Tablelands County Council 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Orange 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Parkes 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Port Macquarie-Hastings 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Rous County Council 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Shoalhaven 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Snowy Monaro Regional 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread only in the areas formerly known as Cooma-Monaro Shire Council and Snowy River Shire Council
Snowy Valleys 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread only in the area formerly known as Tumut Shire Council
Southern Slopes County Council 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Tamworth Regional 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Tenterfield 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Upper Lachlan 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Upper Macquarie County Council 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Wagga Wagga 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Weddin 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Wentworth 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread
Western Plains Regional 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread only in the area formerly known as Wellington Council
Wollondilly 4 Locally Controlled Weed
The growth of the plant must be managed in a manner that continuously inhibits the ability of the plant to spread

back to top


For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW Invasive Plants and Animals Enquiry Line on 1800 680 244 or send an email to weeds@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Reviewed 2016