Image: Lynne Huggins | DOC


Weeds are smothering our native plants and destroying our native landscapes.

Invasive weeds are destroying our native plant communities and transforming the natural landscapes that make New Zealand unique. Weeds can provide hiding places for pest animals, which is a risk to our native bird species. Weeds can also carry diseases, alter the soil pH and use more water than native plant species.

    Identifying weeds

    Common types of weeds

    Trees and shrubs (woody plants)

    Weeds that are trees or shrubs grow over or replace other plants.

    Weed trees include holly, tree privet, sycamore, wattles, willows, and wilding pines. 

    Examples of weed shrubs are barberry, boneseed, broom, buddleia, cotoneaster, gorse, heather and privet.

    Herbs (non-woody plants)

    Herbs or perennials are non-woody plants. They can grover over small plants, crowding and preventing the regeneration of native seedlings.

    Examples include Chilean rhubarb, montbretia, Mexican daisy, pampas, purple loosestrife and wild ginger

    Weeds can grow in aquatic habitats, eg oxygen weed that grows in lakes.


    Vines climb and scramble, smothering trees and forest canopies.

    Examples include banana passionfruit, bomarea, Chilean flame creeper, climbing spindleberry, ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, old man’s beard, mothplant and wonga wonga vine.


    DOC works with other agencies on invasive marine plant species, eg undaria.

    Find out more about marine weeds:

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