Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

Key to the weed species of New Zealand

Gorse (Ulex europaeus). Image - Trevor James

A key for the identification of weeds in New Zealand.

M Dawson, S Navie, T James, P Heenan, P Champion & others

This Lucid 3 key is for the identification of more than 500 taxa (species, subspecies, varieties, hybrids and cultivars) including the Department of Conservation consolidated list of environmental weeds in New Zealand (Howell, 2008), the National Pest Plant Accord (NPPA) list of species banned from sale, distribution, and propagation in New Zealand, and Regional Pest Management Strategy (RPMS) species. Other weeds are included in the key along with similar and related species.

The Weeds key is illustrated with more than 9000 images and runs using 48 characters and 217 character-states. There are hyperlinks at the species level to related websites: MAF Biosecurity New Zealand, Ngā Tipu o Aotearoa – New Zealand Plants databases, and Weedbusters New Zealand.

The TFBIS (Terrestrial & Freshwater Biodiversity Information System) Programme fully funded this project. For 2013–2015, TFBIS have provided further funds to add more than 100 species to this popular key. They are also funding an app version for smartphones and tablets.




System requirements

Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is required to run this key. You can download the most up-to-date version at


Dawson, M., Navie, S., James, T., Heenan, P., Champion, P. 2010. Weeds Key – interactive key to the weed species of New Zealand.
Accessed at
Date of access: 24 Apr 2014