Tobacco weed (Elephantopus mollis)

Tobacco weed is a fast-growing herb up to 1.5 m, with rough hairy leaves and small white flowers.


How does this weed affect you?

Tobacco weed is a fast-growing herb from 30 to 150 cm in height, with rough, hairy, toothed or wavy-edged leaves, and small white (rarely pink) flowers. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions with fertile soils and rainfall over 1400 mm per year.

It spreads quickly and can form a dense ground cover, smothering and outcompeting pastures and native plants. It currently poses a weed threat to the beef and dairy industries in north Queensland, and has been found in northern New South Wales.


PlantNET, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, 

The State of Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, (2016) Tobacco weed Elephantopus mollis, Restricted Invasive Plant. 

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Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Tobacco weed (Elephantopus mollis).

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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
North Coast Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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Reviewed 2017