AN invasive weed that had not been detected in the Cassowary Coast area for seven years has been found growing at Mission Beach.
Residents have been urged to be on high alert following the discovery of Mikania Vine, which has been identified as one of the worst agricultural weeds in the Asia/Pacific.
“Mikania poses a serious threat to agricultural industries, damages the natural environment and affects the habitat of native animals,” National Tropical Weed Eradication Program Leader Mick Jeffery said.
“Mikania is amongst the worst agricultural weeds in many Pacific and Asian nations which is why (we)… have targeted it for eradication from Australia.”
Mr Jeffery said Mikania Vine patch was spotted by a Cassowary Coast Regional Council Pest Management Operator during a routine roadside survey for Siam Weed.
“The officer spotted a dense brown patch of seed heads and a field visit confirmed the patch of Mikania on the side of the Tully-Mission Beach Road,” Mr Jeffery said.
“Mikania is the one of the highest priority weeds for the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and Biosecurity Queensland will work with council to detect and control all Mikania vine outbreaks.
“Ground searches will be conducted over the next few weeks and members of the community are urged to keep an eye out for Mikania.”
Mr Jeffrey said the detection was the first new infestation at Mission Beach for seven years and followed a detection of Mikania in June this year near Ingham.
He said Mikania was an extremely fast-growing smothering vine.
“Mikania has smooth heart-shaped leaves, 4–13 cm in length, that taper to an acute point,” Mr Jeffrey said.
“The leaves grow in opposite pairs along their stems which are slender, ribbed and bear fine, white hairs.
“The leaves also have a pungent smell when handled.”
Mr Jeffery said anyone who suspected they had seen Mikania should contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.