African Boxthorn Control

African Boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum), was introduced from South Africa to provide hedges and windbreaks but has now been classified a Weed of National Significance.  African Boxthorn has become a major threat to biodiversity because it outcompetes native flora and alters the habitat by forming dense impenetrable thickets.  It has spread rapidly since its introduction because it produces appealing red berries that are eaten by both native and non-native fauna.

Boxthorn has become well established in coastal dunes and along riparian habitats between Hutt and Irwin Rivers.  NACC is focusing control efforts at some key sites within these areas, one of which is the Irwin Estuary within the Shire of Irwin where boxthorn infestations have impacted on recreational and aesthetic values.  Following boxthorn removal, the local community have risen to the challenge of pulling out boxthorn seedlings and assisting with revegetation.

For a copy of the Irwin Estuary Weed Control Plan, please contact NACC Coastal and Marine Coordinator Dr Mic Payne (E)

NACC has additional boxthorn removal programs in the Shires of Chapman Valley and Northampton, and has funded similar works in the City of Greater Geraldton.

In response to community enquiries, NACC is developing a boxthorn removal incentive program, which will provide some financial support to landholders who wish to remove this aggressive weed from their property. More information about the incentive program will be available soon..



It is good to read about successful box thorn removal. When reveg is undertaken, can or do you include species that have a similar food value for native specie?


Thank you for your comment.

NACC works closely with community groups, local government and plant nurseries to ensure that local provenance plants are used in revegetation projects. This helps to preserve local area biodiversity and means that we are planting plants from a genetic stock which is already accustomed to living in the specific environmental conditions. This also means that plants have higher survival rates.

In regards to your food source query, many of our plantings provide food for native animals. For instance, we often use Myoporum insulare (Blueberry Tree), Rhagodia preissii (Red Berry Saltbush) and Nitraria billardierei (Coastal Grape); all of which produce edible berries.

I hope this answers your query

NACC Biodiversity Program Coordinator

Is there funding available for residential property owners who are trying to remove the boxthorn from sububan lots in City of Greater G & G? I have a property over run attempting to remove. Labour costs perhaps ?



Some time ago I contacted NACC in regards to the Box Thorn problem along the Dolby Creek, Waggrakine, area.

I ended up speaking to male in regards to a program that was already under way closer to Drummonds and he said they would look at travelling up the creek further East with a contingent of prisoners from Greenough and that was the last I heard.

Can you advise if this will still be going ahead as some parts of the Creek are privately owned and others owned by Govt Depts.



Hi Gary,

Thanks for your message. One of our staff will be in touch with you soon to discuss African Boxthorn control further.

Kind regards,


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