Alert List for Environmental Weeds
Department of the Environment and Heritage and the CRC for Australian Weed Management, 2003
ISBN 1 9209 3235 6
About the guide
Kochia is on the Alert List for Environmental Weeds, a list of 28 non-native plants that threaten biodiversity and cause other environmental damage. Although only in the early stages of establishment, these weeds have the potential to seriously degrade Australia's ecosystems.
Kochia was originally planted in 1990 for forage and to rehabilitate salt-affected agricultural land in southwestern Western Australia. However, it soon spread out of control and was declared a weed in 1992.
Kochia is one of the fastest spreading of all weeds in the United States. Because it is extremely efficient at using water, it thrives in warm, low rainfall environments such as the cereal-growing regions of the southern mainland states of Australia. It can contaminate crops and suppress the growth of nearby plants by releasing chemicals into the soil.
Although palatable to stock, kochia may be toxic in large quantities. It can also alter fire regimes and reduce the abundance of native plants.