Invasive vine makes unwelcome return to Hinchinbrook Shire

News release | 22-Jun-2018

Hinchinbrook Shire residents are being urged to check their properties for Mikania Vine after a large patch of the invasive weed was spotted recently at Lannercost.

National Tropical Weed Eradication Program Leader Mick Jeffery said it was the first time in four years that Mikania had been detected in the Hinchinbrook Shire.

“It is extremely important that everyone watches out for Mikania, and report all sightings to Biosecurity Queensland by calling 13 25 23 or the Hinchinbrook Shire Council on 4776 4607,” Mr Jeffery said.

“Mikania is an extremely fast-growing smothering vine that poses a serious threat to agricultural industries, damages the natural environment and affects the habitat of native animals.

“Mikania is amongst the worst agricultural weeds in many Pacific and Asian nations which is why Queensland’s National Tropical Weeds Eradication Program has targeted it for eradication from Australia.”

Mr Jeffery said Mikania Vine patch was spotted during Hinchinbrook Shire Council’s annual aerial survey for priority weeds.

“The initial detection of a patch of white flowering plants was followed up with a field visit that confirmed a one hectare-sized patch of Mikania on the southern bank of the Herbert River,” Mr Jeffery said.

“Mikania is the one of the highest priority weeds for the Hinchinbrook Shire Council and council will work with Biosecurity Queensland to detect and control all Mikania vine outbreaks.

“Air and ground searches of the Herbert River will be conducted over the next few weeks and members of the community are urged to keep an eye out for Mikania.”

Mr Jeffery said Mikania Vine, which develops from plant fragments as well as from seeds, was flowering right now and would be covered in masses of tiny white flowers.

“Mikania has smooth heart-shaped leaves, 4–13 cm in length, that taper to an acute point,” Mr Jeffery 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.”

Visit the Business Queensland website for more information about Mikania.

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Media contact: Brad Muir, (07) 3087 8600