Pellitory (Parietaria judaica)

Also known as: asthma weed, pellitory of the wall

Pellitory is a an upright or spreading plant with hairy stems and leaves that feel sticky. It can cause asthma and skin irritations.


How does this weed affect you?

Pellitory is mildly toxic to humans, causing skin irritation when plant hairs cling to clothing, and allergic reactions through the pollen which is produced throughout the year but copiously in spring. Reactions include asthma, conjunctivitis, hay fever and severe skin irritation. 

What does it look like?

Pellitory is a much-branched perennial herb, that grows up to 1.0 m. It may be upright or spreading. The stems have four-angles and are greenish-brown or reddish-brown. The leaves and stems are covered in curled hairs that feel sticky. Leaves are green, soft, oval shape with pointed ends, and are 2cm to 8cm long. They are arranged alternately along the stems. Flowers are very small, light green in colour, and clustered long the stems. Flowers may turn red or reddish-brown when they mature.

Where is it found?

Pellitory common weed on roadsides and in gardens and thrives in cracks especially against walls. It is a common weed in Sydney suburbs. 

 Native of Europe, central and western Asia and northern Africa.

How does it spread?


Plants grow and produce seed very rapidly (within 2-3 weeks under favourable conditions). Regrowth is persistent, and plants can flower and set seed most of the year. The seeds are dispersed by wind, water and by attachment to humans and animals by sticky hairs.

More information

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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.

Glyphosate 360 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 1.0 L in 100 L of water
Comments: Apply to actively growing plants before flowering. Re-treatments may be required to control seedlings.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: 9 (previously group M), Inhibition of 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3 phosphate synthase (EPSP inhibition)
Resistance risk: Moderate

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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 pest 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.

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For technical advice and assistance with identification please contact your local council weeds officer.

Reviewed 2020