Quick Facts

Quick facts

  • Originally from southern Europe, parts of western Asia and northern Africa  Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is an erect soft annual herb. 
  • Biflora is a major weed of legume crops in South Australia, with records from NSW and VIC.
  • There are limited selective herbicide control options.
  • The seeds of Bifora can germinate over periods of up to eight years.
  • The transfer of fodder and grain during drought is a potential source of weed spread into unaffected areas.
  • Early identification and control are the first and most important steps in controlling and eradicating Bifora.

What Does It Look Like?

What is it?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is an erect, annual herb which grows to a height of 40 cm and has a strong foetid smell when crushed. Its greenish stems are hairless and ribbed lengthwise. The stems bear alternately arranged leaves that have a somewhat ferny or carrot-like appearance. The leaves of younger plants are slightly hairy and deeply lobed. As plants mature, the leaves become more divided, like those of a carrot, with narrow pointed segments.

The flowers are in small compound umbels (umbrella shaped groups) of two to five. There are five pinkish stamens. Each flower has five small white petals and two curved styles which sit on top of a small green two-lobed ovary.

The fruit is two-lobed, wrinkled, about 2.5–3.5 mm long, 4.5–7 mm wide, indented at the base and has a short beak at the apex (eFlora 2021; VicFlora (2016); Wissell & Moerkerk 2000)

For further information and assistance with identification of Bifora testiculata contact the herbarium in your state or territory.

Flower colour


Growth form (weed type/habit)


Where it currently grows? Preferred habitat

In Australia, Bifora (Bifora testiculata) occurs in cultivated paddocks (Wissell & Moerkerk 2000). It is reported to occur on more frequently cropped fields and heavier soil types, on areas receiving more than 400 mm of rainfall (Black et al. 1994).

Are there similar species?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is similar to Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), but Coriander is a larger plant (up to 1 m tall) with large compound clusters of flowers, and produces small rounded and ribbed fruits that do not have pits on the base (Richardson et al. 2006). Bifora is sometimes confused with Fumitory, but Fumitory has purple (not white) flowers and is a scrambling, not erect, herb (Wissell & Moerkerk 2000).

Why Is It A Weed?

What are its impacts?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata), is a weed a agriculture, with most infestations and  impacts known from South Australia (SA).

Agriculture: In SA Bifora competes with cereals, grain legumes and field peas, reducing yields. It is also a contaminant reducing value and marketability of seed and hay. It therefore increases crop input costs and can limit the options for crop rotations even precluding the use of legumes (Government of South Australia 2015). Wherever it occurs in Australia, Bifora has become a major weed for farmers especially in grain legume crops, where it can substantially reduce harvest speed, grain quality and yields. The seeds of Bifora can germinate over periods of up to eight years and are difficult to control as there are few post-emergent herbicides that are cost effective or registered (Wissell & Moerkerk 2000; Holding & Bowcher 2004). Some herbicide weed control programs allows Bifora to gain a competitive advantage as a result of the selective removal of other broadleaf annual weeds (Black et al. 1994).

Native ecosystems:  Not known as a weed of Native vegetation

Urban areas: Biflora has been collected from urban areas so could become a weed of gardens and parks

How does it spread?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is disperses by seed. Seeds are most often dispersed in contaminated agricultural produce, or in fodder and grain.

What is its history in Australia?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) was first noticed in South Australia's mid-north and Yorke Peninsula in cultivated ground in the 1990s. It is now found in isolated areas of southern South Australia and the Wimmera in Victoria. (Wissell & Moerkerk 2000). It was recorded in a seed box survey of field crops in Victoria during 1996 and 1997 (Moerkerk 2002), and from around Alice Springs in 2010 and 2011 (AVH 2021).

How To Manage It?

Best practice management

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) control is reported for agriculture. Early identification and control are the first and most important steps in weed control and eradication. Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is best controlled prior to sowing and in early growth to minimise its impact on crop growth and yield. (Holding & Bowcher 2004). During drought the transfer of fodder and grain between states can result in the transfer of seed to other states. Therefore it is important to check for any occurrences of the weed, especially in areas where stock have been fed (Department of Primary Industry and Water, Tasmania 2007; NSW DPI 2007; NSW Government 2017).

Chemical control: Bifora forms a significant seed bank in the soil as only about 25% of seed germinates in the first year (Government of South Australia 2015). Chemical control applied early post-emergence resulted in a 90% control of Bifora in wheat and barley crops. Pre-emergent and late post-emergent applications were not as effective (Black et al. 1994). Effective control of the weed in preceding cereal crops to reduce the soil seed bank was found to minimise the problem in following field pea crops (Black et al. 1994).  Effective herbicide treatments exist for bifora in cereals, with mixtures containing carfentrazone-ethyl giving the most reliable control. Control in pulse crops is more difficult, and there is no cost-effective control in field peas (Government of South Australia 2015).  for control with chemical in South Australia, see the Invasive Species Unit, Biosecurity SA (2018).

Please see the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority for chemical information http://www.apvma.gov.au 

Non-chemical control: Mechanical control: cultivation will stimulate germination of some of the seed bank.

Does it have a biological control agent?


When does it grow? (lifecycle/growth calendar)

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) begins germination with rainfall in autumn and continues to germinate through to winter. It flowers in spring and the seed matures in late spring and early summer. The seed can survive in the soil for approximately eight years (Wissell & Moerkerk 2000).

Where Is It Found?

Which states and territories is it found?

NT, SA, VIC, with undocumented records reported in NSW

What areas within states and territories is it found?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is a weed in South Australia, found in the Lower Flinders area, with infestations more common in the Mid North and on Yorke Peninsula and in the Lofty Ranges, and Adelaide. Government of South Australia (2015) comments that Bifora is also present and problematic on the Eyre Peninsula. However, there are currently no databased Herbarium records of Biflora from confirming its presence on Eyre Peninsula (AVH 2021; eFloraSA 2021).

In Victoria and the Northern Territory it is doubtfully naturalised. It was recorded in certified Vetch seed in Victoria in 1996-97 (Moerkerk 2002) and listed as occurring in the Wimmera area of Victoria.

In more recent times, from 2013 -2019, numerous reports of Biflora from and around the Sydney region, and from around Melbourne are recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA).  However, no specimens have been lodged,  identified, and databased with any State Herbarium (AVH 2021). In the Northern Territory it is recorded from the Alice springs region, but little is known about the records (AVH 2021).

Although no herbarium records are known, it is listed as present in south-eastern Queensland (Wissell & Moerkerk 2000; Navie 2004).

Where does it originate?

Bifora (Bifora testiculata) is native to southern Europe, parts of western Asia and northern Africa (eFlora 2021).

National And State Weed Listings

Is it a Weed of National Significance (WONS)?


Where is it a declared weed?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the National Alert List for Environmental Weeds?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Is it on the Agricultural Sleeper List?


Government weed strategies and lists – Weeds Australia

Names And Taxonomy

Main scientific name

Bifora testiculata

Other scientific names (synonyms)?

  • Biforis testiculata Spreng. (incorrect spelling)
  • Coriandrum testiculatum L.

Does it have other known common name(s)?

Carrot Weed, Birds Eye

Blackberry – a community-driven approach in Victoria

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