Singapore daisy (Sphagneticola trilobata)

Singapore daisy is a creeper with yellow or orange flowers. It smothers and outcompetes plants, reducing food and habitat for native animals.


How does this weed affect you?

Singapore daisy spreads quickly and:

  • smothers other low growing plants
  • competes with vegetable crops, reducing yields
  • outcompetes native plants, especially in forests
  • reduces food and habitat for native animals.

What does it look like?

Singapore daisy is a creeping, perennial herb that forms dense mats. It can be up to 70 cm tall when flowering.

Leaves are:

  • glossy dark green above, paler underneath
  • 3–11 cm long and 2–8 cm wide
  • fleshy
  • usually with 3 pointed lobes
  • toothed along the edges
  • in opposite pairs along the stem.

Flowers are:

  • yellow–orange daisies
  • up to 3 cm wide
  • made up of 4–14 petals with finely toothed tips
  • on stalks 3–14 cm long (one per stalk)
  • present year round (mostly spring to autumn).

Seeds are:

  • 4–5 mm long with short, fringed scales at one end
  • rough on the surface.

Stems are:

  • green or reddish
  • hairy
  • rounded
  • up to 2 m long and root from the node.

Similar looking plants

Singapore daisy looks like native beach sunflower (Wollastonia uniflora), which has unlobed leaves, hairy upper leaf surfaces and the flowers are often in small clusters.

Where is it found?

Singapore daisy grows in coastal areas in the North Coast, Hunter and Greater Sydney regions. It is native to Mexico and Argentina.

What type of environment does it grow in?

Singapore daisy is a garden escape often found in bushland including forests near urban areas. It is an Invasive weed:

  • along waterways and in wetlands
  • in disturbed areas such as drains and roadsides
  • coastal areas including sand dunes
  • along rainforest edges.

Maps and records

  • Recorded presence of Singapore daisy during property inspections (Map: Biosecurity Information System - Weeds, 2017-2024)
    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?

Singapore daisy is spread by people planting it as a garden ornamental and also to stabilize soil erosion.

By seed

The number of viable seeds produced is highly variable and if seed are produced it is likely that viability will be low. Seeds can remain dormant in the seedbank for a year before sprouting. 

By plant parts

Most spread is from plant fragments. New plants can grow from very small stem fragments, which readily take root where they contact the ground. Plant parts are spread by people dumping garden waste, mowing, slashing, and by flowing water especially during floods.


Hernández-Aro, M., Hernández-Pérez, R., Guillén-Sánchez, D., & Torres-Garcia, S. (2016). Allelopathic influence of residues from Sphagneticola trilobata on weeds and crops. Planta daninha, 34(1), 81-90.

Identic Pty. Ltd and Lucid. (2016) Weeds of Australia Fact Sheet: Sphagneticola trilobata (L.) Pruski. Retrieved 18 March 2024 from:

PlantNET (The NSW Plant Information Network System). Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney. Retrieved 11 December 2023 from:

Rojas-Sandoval, J. & Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. (2013). CABI data Sheet Sphagneticola trilobata (wedelia), Retrieved: 18 March 2024 from:

Thaman, R. R. (2009). Wedelia (Sphagneticola trilobata)-daisy invader of the Pacific Islands: the worst weed in the Pacific?. In Proceedings of the 11th Pacific Science Inter-congress and 2nd Symposium on French Research in the Pacific.

More information

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Successful weed control relies on follow up after the initial efforts. This means looking for and killing regrowth or new seedlings. Using a combination of control methods is usually more successful.

Physical removal

By hand

Hand pull or dig out as much of the plant as possible. Dispose of the material carefully as new plants can grow from very small parts and from seeds in the soil. Repeated hand pulling or follow up with a registered herbicide is often necessary.


Contact your local council for information about how to dispose of Singapore daisy.

Chemical control

Spot spraying

Spray actively growing plants. Apply herbicide to all of the foliage to the point of visible wetness.

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 with Metsulfuron-methyl 600 g/kg (Various products)
Rate: 200 mL glyphosate plus 1.5 g metsulfuron-methyl per 10 L water
Comments: Spot spray application.
Withholding period: Nil.
Herbicide group: 9 (previously group M), Inhibition of 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3 phosphate synthase (EPSP inhibition)
Resistance risk: Moderate

Glyphosate 360 g/L (Various products)
Rate: 200 mL per 10 L of water
Comments: Spot spray. Foliar application.
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.
Greater Sydney Regional Recommended Measure* (for Regional Priority - Asset Protection)
Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread of the plant from their land. A person should not buy, sell, move, carry or release the plant into the environment.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfil the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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

Reviewed 2024