Rakweed was a small green plant with a red flower at the top. As the name suggested, it was an extremely adaptable and fast-growing weed. It could grow nearly anywhere and at incredible speeds. Its DNA would adapt quickly to deal with threats and individual plants could also communicate with each other by a high-pitched screeching sound. This connection could be broken by another high-frequency sound at 1421.09 Hertz, which would result in the destruction of all plants and spores within the sound's range.
The Rakweed could produce large amounts of spores. The spores served two purposes; to increase the Rakweed's number, and to infect life forms which were considered dangerous to the plant. Those who were affected by the spores would suffer a distinctive red and black rash and slip into a deep coma from which they would never awaken; while this was ususally almost instantaneous for normal humans, Luke Smith deteriorated progressively due to his advanced immune system, becoming weaker as the infection spread through his body. Due to to the rapid adaptation of the plant's DNA, Mr Smith determined that it would potentially take days for him to create an antidote for the Rakweed's spores, and even then there was no guarantee that it would prove successful. Destroying the spores with the high sound frequency method would reverse the effects of the infection, allowing the victim to regain consciousness and make a complete recovery.
Tree Slitheen-Blathereen had genetically engineered a strain of Rakweed that grew faster than normal. He and Leef gave a potted Rakweed to Sarah Jane Smith as a "gift" for stopping the Slitheen, which she reluctantly accepted. Unknown to Sarah Jane, the Rakweed flowered the next morning, and as a result it spread, just as the Slitheen-Blathereen had planned. The spores' first victim was Sarah Jane Smith's son, Luke Smith.
The Rakweed spread quickly around the local area, threatening to engulf the whole of London in a matter of hours. However, Rani and Clyde discovered the plant's weakness, prompting Sarah Jane to have Mr Smith transmit the sound of the bell across all audio systems in the affected area.
The Slitheen-Blathereen were addicted to Rakweed and would gorge themselves upon the food. Sarah Jane later used this to her advantage, having Mr Smith replicate the bell's noise, destroying the Rakweed in the Slitheen-Blathereens' stomachs. This resulted in the creation of a deadly amount of methane gas, causing the Slitheen-Blathereen to explode or, as Clyde put it, "fart themselves to death". (TV: The Gift)
Sometime after this events Sarah Jane Smith was kidnapped by the Slitheen-Blathereen. They told Rani Chandra that they would condemn Sarah Jane Smith to a life in exile unless Rani helped to grow the Rakweed until it would cover the Earth. To save Sarah Jane Smith Rani did as she was told. Sarah Jane was released but the Rakweed still grew and it would cover the Earth soon. Furthermore, Luke Smith got infected by its spores again. The Slitheen-Blathereen thought that they had won.(WC: Plants) Mr Smith and Clyde Langer had a plan to stop the Rakweed. They used Haresh Chandra's electric guitar to make the same sounds and vibrations as the school bell of the Park Vale Comprehensive School, which had destroyed the Rakweed before. The guitar sound broke the plants' communication methods and neutralised the Rakweed spores. This killed off the Rakweed and saved Luke's life. (WC: Sound)
The spread of "alien plant life" throughout London was one of several alien incursions which occurred in the "Ealing Triangle", cited by Ruby White when she met Sarah Jane and her team. (TV: Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith)
While voicing his suspicions about the SerfBoard, which Mr Smith scanned to be safe, Clyde mentioned Rakweed as one of the things Mr Smith scanned as safe but was actually deadly. (TV: The Man Who Never Was)