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Parietaria judaica


Sticky Weed, Pellitory, Asthma Weed


Parietaria Judaica.jpg 


Sticky Weed arrived in Sydney by ship as seeds in clay clinging to Italian marble to be used for fireplace surrounds. Consequently, the weed is most common around the harbour foreshores and the old established suburbs.

It is often found growing thickly in and around rock walls and along footpaths. The plant is not very distinctive in appearance and is often hidden in amongst other plants. It is a small perennial herb growing about half a metre high, with pink-reddish stems. The leaves and small green flowers are covered in sticky hairs, attaching themselves readily to skin, clothing and pet fur. The seeds are spread either by being carried by people and pets or by being washed down hill.


Sticky Weed is covered in fine hairs, which can irritate sensitive skin. As well, the fine pollen can irritate the lungs of people who suffer asthma. Sticky Weed produces large amounts of pollen in spring, summer and autumn. People sensitive to Sticky Weed may find that their skin itches, their nose becomes swollen and irritated and they may have difficulty breathing.

Control & Removal Methods

Wear gloves when handling Sticky Weed. The small seedlings can be pulled out easily and left to dry out and die in the sun. Mature plants require a strong garden tool to dig out the roots. If you try to pull out larger plants, the stems may break leaving the roots to regrow. Spray large areas of Sticky Weed with glyphosate and follow up by removing or spraying any seedlings for several months at least.

Sticky Weed is very invasive. Avoid spreading it to new areas.