Bridal Creeper - threat and eradication

12th April 2024 | 

Find out about Bridal Creeper - identification, the threat it poses and eradication methods. This project is funded by the Tasmanian Government through the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund facilitated by NRM North with support from NRM South and the Cradle Coast Authority NRM.

The following information has been provided by Raelene Mibus, Enviro-Dynamics. 


We need your help to eradicate bridal creeper from Tasmania.

Bridal creeper (Asparagus asparagoides) is one of several ‘asparagus weeds’. Initially introduced to Australia as an ornamental garden plant, bridal creeper has been spread far and wide by birds and other animals that eat the small, fleshy fruits.

Bridal creeper is an aggressive, vine-like plants that grows quickly to form tall thickets of foliage that climb over and smother other vegetation. It is difficult to control because of the large, dense, and long-lived clumps of tubers formed by the root systems. Soil disturbance can result in tubers or root fragments being spread to new areas, creating new infestations.

In northern Tasmania records show bridal creeper in the Central North Coast, Tamar Valley and Cataract Gorge, the upper east coast, King Island and Flinders Island group; in southern Tasmania in the Derwent and Huon Valleys. It is likely to occur in other locations, so please keep a lookout and record your sightings using iNaturalist – it’s easy see below.

It has been found in a range of habitats including coastal foreshore, bushland, roadside reserves and often in the gardens of older homes, or under trees where birds roost.

With continued treatment and follow-up surveillance bridal creeper can be eradicated from Tasmania.


  • Twining stems up to 3m long
  • Small, hard and pointy leaves that grow alternately (not opposite each other)
  • Small white flowers produced in late winter to early spring.
  • Pea-sized fruits form in spring, first green then maturing to red.

Record your sightings on the go with the iNaturalist app on your smart phone. Share your sighting with the project Bridal Creeper in Tasmania - one of the projects listed in the iNaturalist app.


The iNaturalist can be used to record sightings of bridal creeper you spot when you are out and about.

Recording an observation is as easy as taking a photo, selecting the name of what you see - bridal creeper - and ‘share’ it, which uploads the information in the app. This information is added to national and state records. You can even do this when out of phone reception.

A quick search in the projects section of iNaturalist for ‘bridal creeper’ shows a project called Bridal Creeper in Tasmania. You can join this project and see all bridal creeper sightings in Tasmania. We’d love you to join the Bridal Creeper in Tasmania Project and contribute to our understanding of bridal creeper’s distribution in Tasmania.

Once registered, you can see all your observations and well as other’s records of bridal creeper, or sightings of any other organism for that matter - plant or animal!

It is a free app available for use on Android and Apple devices.



-           Large, established infestations should be controlled using a herbicide or fire. This removes the above ground parts, but tubers may persist to resprout.

-           The best method of control of smaller plants (not present for more than three years) is to dig up and bag plant material, making sure to get all tubers.

-           Bridal creeper must be disposed of without causing further spread: dry and bag tubers, bag material with flowers and seed (in black plastic bags) and dispose of material appropriately.

-           Timing of control is important: if rust is present on leaves, treatment should be delayed so the actively spreading rust is not removed.


Shared responsibility - we need your help – we will win if we work together. You can:

-           Assist or join a local group that is supporting efforts to control and monitor bridal creeper.

-           Share information and tell others about this nuisance plant.

-           Be vigilant and if you spot bridal creeper record sighting using the iNaturalist app.

-           Or contact Biosecurity Tasmania to report a sighting by phone: (03) 6165 3777, email: [email protected], or call the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.


Common names for plants are confusing as there can be many common names for a single plant species. Bridal creeper is a good example - it is also known as Cape smilax or smilax, or bridal veil creeper, which is almost the same as the common name for Asparagus declinatus - bridal veil.


Wandering creeper, formerly known as wandering Jew (Tradescantia species) is sometimes mistaken for bridal creeper. Unlike bridal creeper, wandering creeper has much larger leaves, the leaves and stems are soft and can be crushed in your hand.


When above ground bridal creeper can be recognised by the combination of the following characters: climbing soft green leaves and stem, leaves with parallel venation; individual pale flowers in leaf axils; red round small fruit.

Once it has died back over dry summer months, a wiry straw-coloured stem is all that remains. Follow the wiry dead stem to the ground to find the connection to the tuber mat just beneath the surface. The tubers radiate from the plant’s underground rhizomes. Each tuber has the potential to regenerate into a new plant if disturbed and spread further afield.



In Tasmania, seasonal stem growth from the bridal creeper tuber-mat begins in March after the first rains, with the first flowers appearing in August-September. By early November, green berries are beginning to ripen and turn red, whereas the leaves are beginning to yellow and fall. By early December, most shoots have died back. Heavy rainfalls in summer may modify the timing of these growth characteristics (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Growth calendar of bridal creeper under a typical winter rainfall climate. Source: Weed Management Guide, 2004 CRC Weed Management


Fruit: small (6-10 mm diameter) soft berries with many seeds; leaves: bright green and alternate along the stem.

Photo source: © 2020 Centre for Invasive Species Solutions


Late-season leaves,  starting to yellow.

Photo source: Raelene Mibus, Enviro-dynamics

Tuberous root system - a dense, long-lived clump of tubers. Each tuber can form a new plant. Photo source Lizzy Doyle, SE South Australia


Image credits:
- flowers: 6-10mm wide – credit Neil Tucker
- tuber cluster - credit Sheldon Navie

Rust-infected leaves of bridal creeper; don’t remove these leaves so the rust can spread.

Credit: Break O’Day Council

For further assistance and information on the Bridal Creeper in Tasmania project please contact Raelene on 03 6295 3262, or email [email protected].

This project is funded by the Tasmanian Government through the Tasmanian Weeds Action Fund facilitated by NRM North with support from NRM South and the Cradle Coast Authority NRM.