Grass-roots community organisation that aims to improve the natural condition of the Derwent catchment

Patersons curse


The following page is a brief summary of information available on the DPIPWE website regarding Paterson's Curse control. For more information view here

Non-chemical control

Physical removal

  • Hand hoeing, pulling, and cutting can be used to remove isolated plants provided the growing tip and the top 20 to 40 cm of the tap root are removed, otherwise regrowth may occur.
  • Flowering plants should be destroyed because seed may continue to mature on hand-pulled, hoed or cut plants.


  • Both weeds can be controlled in arable areas by cultivation, especially if followed by cropping with either root or cereal crops, or establishment of a vigorous smothering pasture.


  • Heavy grazing can be used to control Paterson's Curse. Sheep are the most effective grazing animals to use. Grazing should be carefully managed given the potential for Paterson's Curse to cause liver damage.
  • Grazing should be concentrated when plants are young, continued at regular intervals during the year and concentrated again at the end of the year when plants are flowering.
  • Plants that escape grazing should be hand-pulled or cut to prevent seeding.
  • Viper's bugloss is less palatable and is not so effectively controlled by grazing.

Biological control

  • Biological control is the use of a living species, usually an insect, mite or disease, to control a weed;
  • The biological control agent Dialectica scarlariella was released in Tasmania but has failed to establish field populations. Other agents are available from the mainland and will be considered for release in Tasmania in the future.
  • For more information on biological control programs in Tasmania contact the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.

Chemical control

Use herbicides in accordance with label. Refer to APVMA permit PER13160 where herbicide is to be used in non-cropping and bushland areas

1. Boom spraying

  • Stage of growth - rosette prior to flowering
  • Location - Non-legume pasture
  • Suggested herbicide - Brush-Off, Brush Controller®

2. Spot spraying

  • Stage of growth - rosette prior to flowering
  • Location (a) - Pasture and non-cropping
  • Suggested herbicide - Dicamba
  • Location (b) - Non-legume pasture
  • Suggested herbicide - Brush-Off, Brush Controller®

Derwent Catchment Project

PO Box 22 Hamilton TAS 7140  |  Phone (03) 6286 3211  |