Bridal veil creeper (Asparagus declinatus)

PROHIBITED MATTER: If you see this plant report it. Call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline 1800 680 244

Bridal veil creeper is a fern-like scrambler or low-climber originally introduced as an ornamental plant. It is an environmental weed that can quickly dominate surrounding vegetation.


How does this weed affect you?

Bridal veil creeper is a highly invasive environmental weed that that produces thick tuberous root masses and dense foliage, smothering and out-competing surrounding vegetation.

Its impacts are similar to bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides), however bridal veil creeper has proven more difficult to control.

It currently infests coastal environments and urban bushland, and is a potential weed of roadsides, waterways, waste areas, open woodlands and closed forests.

If not controlled, bridal veil has the potential to become a severe threat to biodiversity in coastal areas of southern Australia.

Where is it found?

Bridal veil creeper is a native of the south-west region of South Africa. It was introduced into Australia around 1870 as an ornamental plant and first naturalised on the mainland in 1966.

Although currently known only from Western Australia and South Australia, its potential distribution is most of southern coastal Australia. It is not currently known to occur in NSW.

Maps and records

  • Recorded presence of Bridal veil creeper during property inspections (Map: Biosecurity Information System - Weeds, 2017-2020)
    These records are made by authorised officers during property inspections under the Biosecurity Act 2015. Officers record the presence of priority weeds in their council area and provide this to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Records reflect the presence of the weed on the date of inspection.

How does it spread?

Bridal veil creeper reproduces from seed, and vegetatively from underground tubers and rhizomes.

Shoots begin to appear in autumn and scramble across the ground. With the onset of winter, shoots develop dense foliage. Foliage begins to wither and die as temperatures rise, usually in late spring. Over the hot summer months the underground tuberous roots survive without above ground foliage. 

Flowering occurs from mid to late winter. Green berries begin to form from late winter to early spring, maturing to pale green in late spring and early summer.

Fruit are primarily spread by birds, with possums and other ground-dwelling animals are potential means of spread. Fruit are also spread in water and garden waste.

Tubers and rhizomes are primarily spread by people dumping garden waste and on earth moving equipment.

What does it look like?

Bridal veil creeper is a scrambler or low climber with short-lived, thornless stems up to 3 m long.

The root system is extensive and long-lived, and consists of tubers and long rhizomes.

Leaf-like cladodes (modified stems) are densely arranged in groups of 3 along short, finely-branched side shoots off a wiry, main stem. The cladodes are blue-green, soft, needle-shaped, 3–10 mm long and less than 1 mm wide.

Flowers are greenish-white and 5-8 mm in diameter.

Berries are about 10 mm in diameter; initially light green, but turning pale white as they mature. There are 3-9 seeds in a berry; each about 3 mm wide and black when ripe.


Text compilation: Harry Rose

Technical review: Rod Ensbey

Editing: Elissa van Oosterhout


Invasive Species Compendium (2014) Asparagus declinatus. Available at 

Lawrie S (2004) Biology, Ecology and Dispersal Vectors of Bridal Veil (Asparagus declinatus). School of Geography, Population and Environmental Management, Flinders University and Asparagus Weeds Working Group - Southern Hills Region, Adelaide, South Australia. Available at 

Lawrie, S. (2006) Bridal Veil. In National Asparagus Weeds Management Committee, Asparagus Weeds - Best Practice Management Manual. Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, South Australia. Available at 

Office of Environment and Heritage (2013) Asparagus weeds management manual: current management and control options for asparagus weeds (Asparagus spp.) in Australia. Office of  Environment and Heritage (NSW)

Weeds in Australia: Asparagus declinatus. 

More information

back to top


Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of this weed yourself. Report this plant if you see it anywhere in NSW by calling the helpline listed at the top of this page immediately.

NSW DPI will lead an initial response for the treatment and disposal of the plant to stop it from spreading.

Physical control

Bridal veil creeper seedlings or small plants can be hand pulled in small to medium sized infestations. Plants can be dug out, but the entire root system needs to be removed.

Physical removal can be difficult, due to the way in which its root system can spread beneath the roots of nearby vegetation as well as other objects such as rocks, logs and other structures.

Herbicide control

Herbicide applications are recommended for medium to large infestations, but can also be used for small infestations.

For best results, use a foliar spray during the winter to early spring flowering period when plants are actively growing.

Foliage often mingles with desirable vegetation, making off-target damage from foliar spraying problematic. The foliage also provides little surface area for chemical uptake.

Herbicide options

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

See Using herbicides for more information.

PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2025
Glyphosate 360 g/L (Roundup®)
Rate: 1 part glyphosat to 50 parts water
Comments: Spot spray application
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: M, Inhibitors of EPSP synthase
Resistance risk: Moderate

PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2025
Glyphosate 360 g/L (Roundup®)
Rate: 1 part glyphosate to 1.5 parts water
Comments: Cut stump / scrape stem application
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: M, Inhibitors of EPSP synthase
Resistance risk: Moderate

PERMIT 9907 Expires 31/03/2025
Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg (Brush-off®)
Rate: 1 - 2 g in 10 L of water plus a non-ionic surfactant
Comments: Spot spray application
Withholding period: Nil (recommended not to graze for 7 days before treatment and for 7 days after treatment to allow adequate chemical uptake in target weeds).
Herbicide group: B, Inhibitors of acetolactate synthase (ALS inhibitors)
Resistance risk: High

Picloram 44.7 g/kg + Aminopyralid 4.47 g/L (Vigilant II ®)
Rate: Undiluted
Comments: Cut stump / stem injection application
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: I, Disruptors of plant cell growth (synthetic auxins)
Resistance risk: Moderate

back to top

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.
All of NSW Prohibited Matter
A person who deals with prohibited matter or a carrier of prohibited matter is guilty of an offence. A person who becomes aware of or suspects the presence of prohibited matter must immediately notify the Department of Primary Industries

back to top

For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.
For further information call the NSW DPI Biosecurity Helpline on 1800 680 244 or send an email to

Reviewed 2017